For Bruce Willis and Mr. T, the Good-Neighbor Policy Has Just Been Canceled

updated 06/15/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/15/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Maybe good fences make good neighbors, as Robert Frost wrote, but there are some neighbors for whom even the walls of Fort Knox wouldn't suffice. Consider, for example, Moon-lighting's Bruce Willis and The A-Team's Mr. T, neither of whom is winning too many points with the folks next door these days. Both, in fact, have been at the center of imbroglios with real screenplay potential.

Title the Willis saga The Party That Wouldn't Die. It features that brash party animal Bruce, 32, the 30 guests at his nearly nonstop three-day blowout last month and his weary and irate Hollywood Hills neighbors. "He's been a lovely neighbor for most of the two years he's lived here," says one resident of quiet Nichols Canyon Road plaintively. "Unfortunately," adds a second, "his parties have gotten loud and frequent in the past few months. Maybe it's the weather, or maybe he's had a lot of things to celebrate lately." More than his neighbors have, anyway. Observes one malcontent: "I'm going to celebrate the day I see a moving van."

Memorial Day weekend brought no van, only decibels. Ex-bartender Willis hosted a raucous fete that started on Friday, and by Monday was still going strong—or at least loud. Bruce chose to entertain by planting his stereo speakers poolside, plugging in a mike and singing along with his favorite albums—including, of course, his own. "Listening to Bruce Willis attempt to sing over a P.A. system," says one who has had the privilege, "isn't quite like listening to Sinatra."

Late Monday night, after receiving numerous complaints, the LAPD arrived. Bruce bade them welcome. He rushed the officers "with his hands outstretched, yelling abusive language," says Lieut. Neil Zachary. As Willis was carried off to be booked for assaulting an officer, one neighbor heard him shout at the cops: "You guys will be out of a job tomorrow!"

The officers are still employed, but neighbors are still unforgiving. According to an informal PEOPLE poll, two of them want Bruce to stay, while eight want him gone. "If he celebrates Memorial Day that way," says one, "what'll he do for July Fourth? He'll probably burn the place down!"

On the other hand, maybe he could get Mr. T to chop it down.

A recent arrival in an exclusive suburb on Chicago's North Shore, the scowling bodyguard-turned-actor has been treating his neighbors to a preview of what might be called The Lake Forest Chainsaw Massacre. Mr. T, 35, moved onto his seven-acre estate in November and, like most Lake Forest residents, had been keeping a low profile. Then, three weeks ago, he started lowering his property's profile as well.

Named Tree City USA for the past seven years by the National Arbor Day Foundation, Lake Forest takes great pride in its estimated 75,000 maples, oaks and elms. Better make that 74,900. Pleading allergies to all things green, Mr. T has felled more than 100 of his own spreading oaks. In the process he has turned a shady woodland into a field of stumps and a tangle of limbs and branches. A local weekly newspaper has run an editorial denouncing Mr. T's impromptu landscaping as "an act of sheer butchery."

Mr. T is keeping mum about logging to come, but local ordinances and a building review board have already prevented him from placing two enormous decorative T's on his five-car garage. A few fans, however, have remained loyal. One mother told the Chicago Tribune, "The children in the neighborhood are relentless in trying to see him, and he's always patient and always nice." Lucky for them they're not green.

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