Baltimore courthouse serves as backdrop to Mamet movieA...


October 09, 1990|By Jean Marbella Buckwheat impostor fools '20/20'

Baltimore courthouse serves as backdrop to Mamet movie

A lot of homicide cases probably have passed through the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse, but now "Homicide," the movie, is also having its day in court.

"Homicide," starring Joe Mantegna and directed by David Mamet, began filming a scene in the law library and several offices of the courthouse, at Calvert and Lexington streets, yesterday. Filming at the courthouse will continue through Thursday.

The scene being filmed, ironically, does not involve courtroom proceedings. Rather, the courthouse rooms are standing in as a Jewish library and museum. Mr. Mantegna, who plays a homicide cop, is investigating the murder of a Jewish woman "and comes to terms with his own Jewishness and as an outsider on the force," said Ron Rotholz, executive producer of "Homicide" and the current movie "State of Grace."

Filming will continue in the area for another six weeks.

The executive producer of ABC's "20/20" acknowledged Saturday that the television show was duped by an impostor claiming to be Buckwheat from the classic "Our Gang" comedy.

William "Billy" Thomas, the actor who played Buckwheat, died nearly a decade ago.

Hugh Downs narrated a segment on the show Friday in which the series claimed to have found Buckwheat working as a grocery bagger in Tempe, Ariz. The impostor, Bill English, said he had changed his last name from Thomas.

A "20/20" spokeswoman said the show would apologize during its broadcast Friday.

Trudeau told Pauley to leave NBC

"Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau says he urged wife Jane Pauley to "walk away from NBC altogether" when she was edged off the "Today" show in favor of Deborah Norville.

Mr. Trudeau wanted to satirize the morning program in his irreverent comic strip because "it had a formal, Kabuki-like quality . . . that would have been a natural for me," he said in a rare interview in the Oct. 15 issue of Newsweek magazine.

But he says writing about his own family in his comic strip would be "a violation [as well as] infinitely banal." Actress Susan Dey, who has played a judge and prosecutor as Grace Van Owen on "L.A. Law," says her fifth season on the NBC series will be her last.

Ms. Dey, who was in Wichita, Kan., Sunday as national spokeswoman for the Institute of Logopedics for children with communication disorders, said she decided to leave the show after the upcoming season because her contract expires.

She said she was not leaving because of any ill feelings.

Connery is that Silver Mask man

Princess Anne has presented actor Sean Connery with an award for his "outstanding contribution to world cinema."

Mr. Connery, only the third recipient of the Silver Mask Tribute Award, said he was "very moved" by the presentation in London Sunday.

The previous winners of the British Academy of Film and Television Artists award were Dirk Bogarde and Julie Andrews.


* Emory University in Atlanta has named former first lady Rosalynn Carter a distinguished fellow in a new program named for her to support academic studies of women in public policy, the school said yesterday.

Tough-guy actors Charles Bronson, Charlton Heston and Charlie Sheen are taking to the airwaves with public-service announcements promoting a $4 million federal reward for leads to the terrorists responsible for the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, reports the New York Daily News.

Ted Turner, chairman and president of Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc., will receive the 1990 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and Telecommunications, Arizona State University announced yesterday. The award will be presented by Mr. Cronkite, the former CBS anchorman, Nov. 7.

Today's past


In 1635, religious dissident Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

In 1701, the Collegiate School of Connecticut -- later Yale University -- was chartered in New Haven.

In 1776, a group of Spanish missionaries settled in present-day San Francisco.

In 1855, Joshua C. Stoddard of Worcester, Mass., received a patent for the first calliope.

BIRTHDAYS: Sen. Gordon Humphrey, R-N.H., is 50. Singer Jackson Browne is 41. Football player Mike Singletary is 32.


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