- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Ann-Margret’s ‘Watch’

Sex symbols are supposed to burn brightly, grab bucket loads of attention and then vanish like the Hula-Hoop or Rubik’s Cube.

Someone forgot to tell Ann-Margret.

Although the 62-year-old actress hasn’t sat atop the A-list for years, she nonetheless continues to work in film, television and onstage long after what cynics might have deemed her expiration date.

Ann-Margret’s latest gig is a three-episode arc on NBC’s “Third Watch,” which airs Friday evenings at 10. The show casts her as a tough judge targeted by some of the felons she helped put behind bars through the years.

“There are several hundred people who are not pleased with her performance,” she said during a recent conference call to promote the show. “She has to watch her back all the time.”

Ann-Margret has had her own run-ins with stalkers.

“It started with a telegram,” she said of one troubling incident. “Then a person … found out where one of our sons was working and approached him. It got sticky and frightening. I understand why I would be targeted, but when it comes to my family, I call the FBI.”

The actress said doing television again reminded her of how much the medium has changed.

“When I started, you couldn’t do a scene in bed with an actor,” the Swedish native — born Ann-Margret Olsson — said. “They could throw you on top of a bed, but it couldn’t be undone.”

In addition to her “Third Watch” chores, she has several projects forthcoming, including a part in the new Jimmy Fallon movie, “Taxi,” and the starring role in the TV film “‘Til the River Runs Dry,” set to air early next year.

She just wrapped 18 months touring with “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and still takes her one-woman show “Here! Now!” to cities nationwide.

“I enjoy all those avenues,” she said of her still-active career, although she prefers the immediacy of the theater.

Today she puts few limits on her opportunities, but Hollywood didn’t always recognize her range.

The change came, she said, when director Stanley Kramer cast her in 1970’s “R.P.M.”

“I knew somewhere inside of me that I could do something dramatic,” she said.

She explained that while today’s young musical performers are given a shot at dramatic roles, in the 1960s, Hollywood tended to slot talent into rigid categories. “Then, if you were a singer-dancer, you were in one section; the drama people … they were in this other section,” she said. “God forbid if you tried to go into another area.”

B Westerns ride again

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the B-movie Western ruled Hollywood.

“When Cowboys Were King,” airing at 8 tonight on the History Channel, lassoes the likes of Bruce Dern, Ernest Borgnine, Ricardo Montalban, Tom Selleck and the late John Ritter (whose father, Tex Ritter, once roamed the cinematic range as a singing cowboy) for their thoughts on a bygone era.

The documentary tracks the genre from the early Thomas Edison Studios through the B-Western heyday and up to today’s revisionist takes on the Western.

Clips from such classic Western stars as Tom Mix, Gene Autry and Lash LaRue round out the two-hour special.

Cain plays Peterson

Former “Superman” Dean Cain has been tapped to portray accused murderer Scott Peterson in USA Network’s made-for-cable movie “The Perfect Husband,” Reuters News Agency reports.

Mr. Peterson is charged with slaying his pregnant wife and their unborn son.

“The Perfect Husband” will tell Mr. Peterson’s story, beginning with the mysterious disappearance of the eight-months-pregnant Laci Peterson last Christmas Eve.

It will chronicle the extensive search for the missing Modesto, Calif., woman and the grim discovery of the remains of her and her baby along the San Francisco Bay. The film will end with the arrest of a disguised Scott Peterson in April as he travels to Mexico.

Filming is scheduled to begin early next month in San Diego.

It doesn’t hurt that Mr. Cain bears more than a passing resemblance to Mr. Peterson.

The role marks a departure for Mr. Cain. After years of playing good guys and heroes, most notably his starring role on ABC’s “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” the actor first ventured into the dark side this year with the feature “Out of Time.”

He also hosts the TBS/syndicated series, “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” and has a role on the Lifetime series “The Division.”

Dee Wallace-Stone, best known for her role in Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” will play Laci’s mother, Sharon Rocha. Tim Quill, who was featured in Steven Bochco’s pilot for Fox’s “NYPD 2069,” will play Laci’s brother Brent.

Emmy-winning director Roger Young (“Murder in Mississippi”) is onboard to direct from a script by Dave Erickson (USA’s “Murder in Greenwich”).

In his court

Canadian Press

As if being the top-ranked tennis player in the world and dating pop star Mandy Moore didn’t make him enough of a celebrity, Andy Roddick soon will have his own reality show.

“The Tour” will track the 21-year-old U.S. Open champion next summer as he deals with fame, fans and fellow players.

“I’m just this guy who happens to play tennis, but my life has become this circus,” Mr. Roddick said Tuesday.

” It’s a wild ride, and I’ve given “The Tour” producers total access … except my bedroom —sorry, I have to draw the line somewhere,” he added.

Miss Moore, however, told Associated Press last month that she wouldn’t want to be the subject of any reality show, although she’s a big fan of the MTV hit “Newlyweds,” about pop singers Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. “My personal life is my personal life, and it’s behind closed doors,” the 19-year-old singer-actress said. “I like watching other people, though.”

Cameras will follow Mr. Roddick from May to September next year during the 2004 ATP Tour.

Craig H. Shepherd, producer of Bravo’s hit series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” will pitch the show to broadcast networks this week.

Mr. Roddick also is hosting NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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