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Six degrees

Annemarie Evans

 

Dirty Dancing, the stage version, will be running at the Cultural Centre from Friday. The all-singing, all-dancing production is based on the 1987 coming-of-age movie, which featured a misunderstood young woman, dancing, leggings, leotards and the six-pack torso of dance instructor Johnny (played famously by Patrick Swayze), who lifts the girl, Baby, over his head, in a move (above) that was recalled in the recent romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. Swayze would go on to superstardom with the mega-hit Ghost, alongside a grumpy psychic con artist played by Whoopi Goldberg …

 

The Grammy-award winning comedienne and actress, born Caryn Elaine Johnson, is credited with forging a more prominent presence for African-American women in Hollywood. Goldberg, who made an impressive acting debut in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, has at times been a controversial figure. She defended actor Mel Gibson after his infamous drunken racist rant; and some vulgar, if amusing, remarks about former United States president George W. Bush lost her the Slim-Fast advertising gig. Last year, Goldberg lost her temper and swore at author Ann Coulter during a discussion about race. on US chat show The View, chaired by veteran news anchor Barbara Walters …

 

During a career that began in the early 1960s, Walters has established herself among the doyennes of TV interviewers and in 1999 conducted the one-to-one with Monica Lewinsky (the woman whose "improper relationship" with Bill Clinton led to the US president's impeachment) that attracted more than 70 million viewers. It wasn't always plain sailing for Walters, though: as the first female co-anchor on a US network news show, she claims she had to cope with prejudice from producers and co-hosts. Walters also interviewed the then Shah of Iran and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez …

 

Chavez, who recently succumbed to cancer, remains a hugely popular, if divisive, figure in Venezuela. A great friend of Cuba's Fidel Castro, and a firebrand demagogue, he was loved by the poor in his country and, like Castro, made great political capital from his defiance of the US. He famously called Bush a donkey, and sang a song about his mutually antagonistic relationship with US secretary of state Hillary Clinton …

 

Flying almost continuously around the globe during US President Barack Obama's first term took its toll on Clinton and she stepped down as secretary of state to be replaced by John Kerry earlier this year. Amid ongoing speculation that she will run for president in 2016, fundraisers are already gathering the cash together for a Clinton tilt at the Democratic Party nomination. Among celebrity Democrats who would support her bid are acting couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick …

 

The ever youthful-looking Broderick has been successful in both his movie career, with films such as Biloxi Blues and The Cable Guy, and on Broadway. In August 1987, while driving with his girlfriend on holiday in Northern Ireland, Broderick was involved in a head-on collision with two women, a mother and daughter. They both died instantly, while Broderick sustained multiple injuries. His girlfriend at the time, Jennifer Grey - his co-star in Ferris Bueller's Day Off - escaped with minor injuries. That year, Grey had starred in another film. She later revealed that she was still reeling from the car crash when, days later, she set foot on the red carpet for the premiere of Dirty Dancing.

 

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