Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vintage tabloid is a treasure trove that takes us on a little trip back in time

Wow, what a find. Our buddy Andrea had this out on the table for her garage sale last month. Yes, she was going to part with it! BRBTV grabbed that up, forthwith, on the merits of its cover alone! And really, there's just so much other stuff to grab onto, in this August 17, 1982 issue of the National Enquirer, it would make this blog post waaaaaaayyyyy too long to cite it all. It's an extravaganza as far as '80s television is concerned, particularly for "Dynasty," "Dallas" and "The Dukes of Hazzard," which were all in their original airings at that point.

So what are these shocking childhoods of Linda Evans, Pamela Sue Martin and Joan Collins that the cover screams about? Well, Evans, it says, was a "sad and skinny wallflower raised in poverty." Quoting various sources (many of them named, believe it or not), the story says Linda wore hand-me-downs and dreamed of one day living in a world of Ferraris and champagne. Her high school rival for a boy she liked was none other than Stefanie Powers.

For Pamela Sue Martin, the mag says, as a teen her world was filled with lots of boys, beer, cigarettes and  mischief. Unlike Evans, Martin had no aspirations to act at a young age. She started in the business as a model.

Joan Collins, on the other hand, barely had a childhood, the story says, her family dodging German bombs in World War II when she was a child. Collins (apparently) spoke to the Enquirer herself, quoted as saying, "I remember huddling in the basement, hearing the tremendous roar of exploding bombs. I used to pray to God, just sitting there in the dark, wondering if the bombs were going to hit us. Ever since, I've been unable to sleep in the dark."

Collins was 49 at the time of this publication. As a teen, the story says, she wrote an explicit sex saga, starring the teachers at her school, and passed it around to her female friends (shades of her later life as a novelist?). She married her first husband, who it says raped her on their first date, at only age 17. (The IMDb says she was 19.)

It's interesting to note whether or not certain "predictions" the magazine makes came true. For instance, the story, "Tony Curtis is Killing Himself with Cocaine." The actor was 57 at the time, and the story claims "show business insiders" feared he would be dead in a year. Well, actually, Curtis died much later, in 2010, at the age of 85. Then there's Linda Lavin of "Alice," getting her own screaming headline on the cover. The story said she would marry her live-in love, Kip Niven, later that month. Indeed, she did, on August 22, 1982. Then she divorced him in 1992.

The "TV -- Behind the Screens" section is just a goldmine. Love that one. It mentions Melissa Sue Anderson of "Little House on the Prairie" being offered $17,500 a week to play "the daughter of the Carringtons' butler" on "Dynasty" (whom we know as Kirby, the role that went to Kathleen Beller). Linda Gray of "Dallas" got tormented by a guy with a gun at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Heather Locklear of "Dynasty" was evidently talking marriage with L.A. disc jockey G.W. McCoy. And yes, the aforementioned Joan Collins "hit the roof" when Gordon Thomson was cast to play Adam Carrington on "Dynasty," since he was only 12 years younger than her. Producers ordered him to say he was 27 rather than 37. Yea, we'd heard that one before.

This issue also has a feature story on Tom Wopat and John Schneider, who were in the midst of their walk-out on "The Dukes of Hazzard." Wopat's career was failing and he was trying to talk Schneider into going back, the story says, as Warner Bros. told him the two had to come back as a package deal. Schneider was (reportedly!) telling Wopat no, because he had offers coming out of his ears at the time. The story also gives a look at their two replacements, Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer. So fun.

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