updated 04/07/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/07/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
Courtney J. Vance, 26 and in his last year at the Yale drama school, was asked to play the lead in Native Son, the film version of Richard Wright's novel about racial prejudice in the 1930s. Vance, who would have had Matt Dillon, Geraldine Page, Oprah Winfrey and Elizabeth McGovern as co-stars, nonetheless bowed out because accepting the role would have meant missing classes and delaying his graduation. Explains a spokesman for the drama school, "The view here is to the very long career. We believe that with a Yale degree one can be an actor for life, not just a flash in the pan." Yet to be seen is whether Vance's replacement, L.A. City College grad Victor Love, will succeed without a Yale diploma....
The U.S. television career of British actor Mark Lindsay Chapman was derailed when he was cast to play John Lennon in the NBC movie Imagine: The Story of John and Yoko and then lost the part because he has the same name as Lennon's killer. He gets a second chance as the star of NBC's pilot movie The Annihilator, airing April 7, although that role was not without its own hazards. Eager to do his own stunts, Chapman was nearly run over while leaping from the path of a speeding car and was accidentally knocked down by falling debris during an explosion scene....
Meanwhile, the actor who replaced Chapman as Lennon, Mark McGann, is having a real-life romance with Kim Miyori, who played Yoko in the TV movie. Miyori will play the Japanese-American wife of a U.S. Senator in an episode of T.J. Hooker....
Love also blossomed on the set of producer Michael (Miami Vice) Mann's movie Band of the Hand, starring newcomers Lauren Holly and Daniele Quinn, Anthony's son. Cast as onscreen lovers, the two were "immediately attracted to each other," says Holly, who has also gotten close to Anthony. "He hasn't directly given us advice about acting," she admits, "but when he talks, I listen."
Robin Williams isn't getting laughs from his fellow comics at L.A.'s Comedy Store. Williams has been showing up at the club regularly and using his star status to hog the spotlight, according to several denizens of the club. Says one bumped performer, "It's not as if he's Cosby or Pryor and everybody could learn something from watching him work. Most of the time he's not even trying out new material. He's just feeding some overwhelming need for attention."
On an upcoming installment of Mother's Day, Joan Lunden's cable-TV talk show, Henry Kissinger says he's deposited a letter with the President saying, "If I'm ever kidnapped, I want no negotiation on my behalf, and if I should request negotiation, he should assume it was done under duress. I feel so strongly about it. It is the only way we can stop terrorism."
Sean Penn has written a book of poetry and is shopping for a New York publisher. Notes one early reader of the manuscript, "The poems are dramatic monologues. They have a lot of energy and humor and are pretty raunchy and violent. But I can't say they have high literary merit."