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Jessica, Sissy and Jane Take Farm Roles to Washington

May 07, 1985|JENNINGS PARROT

--Three movie stars who played distressed farm wives offered sometimes tearful testimony to congressional Democrats about the emotional toll being exacted by America's agriculture crisis. "It is heartbreaking to witness their anguish as they watch their lives being stripped away," Jessica Lange, who starred in the film "Country," said with tears in her eyes before a dozen Democratic congressmen on the party's House farm task force in Washington. Lange was joined by Sissy Spacek, who produced and starred in "The River," and Jane Fonda, who developed and played the title role in the television film "The Dollmaker." All three films were about stresses facing farm families. Fonda accused President Reagan of practicing "a double standard" that offers more in subsidies to defense contractors than to farmers and better breaks to those who invest in farming as a tax shelter than to those for whom it is their livelihood. Spacek, who lives on a farm near Charlottesville, Va., said she feared that "our largest and most vital industry is disintegrating."

--The 20th annual Academy of Country Music award for entertainer of the year went to Alabama, with the runners up being Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Skaggs and Hank Williams Jr. Others honored in academy ceremonies held at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., were Reba McIntire, top female vocalist, and George Strait, who garnered the top male vocalist award. The award for the top vocal group went to Alabama. The Judds, Naomi and Wynonna, a mother-daughter pair, won the top vocal duet award, and the top new female vocalist prize winner was Nicolette Larson. Vince Gill was the top new male vocalist, and the Tex Ritter award for the country motion picture of the year went to "Songwriter."

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