updated 12/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
By the time the $24.98 Batman video was rushed out last fall, though, Nicholson was making news for a different kind of performance. In November the actor learned he had more than just a piece of the action at Helena's, the L.A. hot spot he partly owns. It was reported that Rebecca Broussard, 26, an ex-waitress there, was due to bear a child by Jack next spring. A month later, starlet Karen Mayo-Chandler, 28, used a Playboy pictorial to claim that she and Nicholson had a torrid, months-long, pre-Batman affair. Jack in the sack, she said, was "a nonstop sex machine." Anjelica Huston, Jack's longtime love, was said to be stung by the news, and it wasn't certain if their 15-year romance could weather the alleged escapades.
Nicholson ignored the brouhaha and turned his talents to finishing The Two Jakes, the 15-years-in-the-gestating sequel to Chinatown. He is both star and director of the film, which will be released next year. After three decades and 40-plus movies, Nicholson has become that rare public figure whose art permits him to float, beloved and bankable, almost beyond criticism or scandal. As Meryl Streep, his co-star in Heartburn and Ironweed, has said: "He's a serious artist—I think he's a master. He's got a voracious appetite for the work. He's never satisfied but he's always churning. It's wild. There's nobody out there that far in the movies. Nobody!"
This year did nothing to prove Streep wrong.