Heartbeat Beat: Dweezil Zappa and Brooke Shields were out on what appeared to be an honest-to-good-ness date last weekend at comedian Louie Anderson's show in Los Angeles. They even held hands while in line for refreshments.
In Rainman, the Dustin Hoffman-Tom Cruise movie due Dec. 16, director Barry Levinson took a turn in front of his camera. He plays a shrink consulted by Hoffman's autistic character. Levinson stepped into the role when actor J.T. (House of Games) Walsh decided at the last minute to do another movie. No onscreen tyro, Levinson was a murderous bellhop in Mel Brooks's 1977 movie, High Anxiety, which he helped write. Levinson plans to return next year to his hometown of Baltimore (where he set Diner and Tin Men) to make a third movie there.
Blaxploitation theme song heavies Isaac (Shaft) Hayes and Curtis (Super-fly) Mayfield, proving even bad dudes have a sense of humor, have each written themes to be played in I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka when the characters Slade and Flyguy appear in the film. The high-concept, low-budget comedy is a takeoff on the '70s action films. Black Packer Keenen (Hollywood Shuffle) Ivory Wayans will make his directorial debut and star in the United Artists film. The cast includes such vets of the genre as Jim Brown, Bernie Casey and Antonio Fargas. Clarence Williams III, Line on Mod Squad, will do a cameo.
A production meeting of the NBC series In the Heat of the Night at MGM/UA got hotter than the producers bargained for when star Carroll O'Connor complained loudly that the scripts were "appalling." He hinted that he wouldn't play Chief Bill Gillespie unless the writing on the show improved considerably. O'Connor's spokesman says, "As far as I know, he's ready to start." The show resumes production for the new season in Atlanta next week. Just in case the scripts don't measure up to O'Connor's standards, an insider says actors Brian Keith and Jack Warden have been mentioned as possible replacements.
Should Michael Dukakis lose this election, it won't be the first time he has blown a presidential bid. In 1951, at Brookline (Mass.) High School, the Duke ran for class president against Robert Wool and lost. (He later served as student council prexy.) He lost his prom date, Sandy Cohen, to Wool as well. Now a New York-based business writer, Wool says, "When Sandy and I broke up before senior year, she started going out with other guys, one of whom was Michael. When we got back together, she said Michael had already asked her to the prom. I said, 'Too bad, you're going with me.' " Wool says he thinks the Duke ended up running the coatroom on prom night. "Social approval, which was so important to us at that age, he could live without," says Wool.
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