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Back To Work After 'Cotton Club'

July 12, 1986|RODERICK MANN

If you wondered what happened to Diane Lane after she made "The Cotton Club" a couple of years ago--wonder no more. She's finally surfaced again, this time in Pittsburgh, and she's gone back to work.

Lane, who made a Time cover at 14 after working with Laurence Olivier in "A Little Romance" and who earned some of the best notices in "The Cotton Club" in which she played a sophisticated '20s vamp, decided she'd made enough money in her 15-year career to take things easy for awhile. She was highly paid for "The Cotton Club," she does TV commercials in Japan for Max Factor and anyway, she says, nothing very good came her way.

She could afford to wait. She's made movies with Burt Lancaster, Laurence Olivier and Richard Gere, worked three times for Francis Coppola and she's still less than half the age of most of the heavy-weight actresses she admires.

So--no hurry.

"After 'Cotton Club' I didn't want to rush into anything quickly," she said this week. "That was a fairly exhausting experience, as you know. I wanted to take my time. Then this film 'Lady Beware' came to me and I liked it a lot. And we've got Karen Arthur directing, who's really good. It's a thriller in the Hitchcock vein in which I'm on the run from a maniac."

Lane now resides in Georgia with her mother, a former actress and Playboy pinup. And she does not expect to be in Los Angeles for some time.

"After this I go straight into another movie," she said. " 'The Arm'--from Marty Ransohoff. It's set against a gambling background in Chicago in the '50s. And I play a stripper. But not the usual kind. She's more the kind of stripper Lili St. Cyr was--when stripping was considered almost an art form."

Tommy Lee Jones and Matt Dillon are her co-stars in this movie, which will be directed by Harold Becker.

"I think it will be rather good," said this mature 21-year-old. "I certainly hope it will be rather good. . . ."

NEW FANS: Katharine Ross got her first break in "The Graduate" opposite Dustin Hoffman and then went on to star with Paul Newman and Robert Redford in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

Then she didn't work for two years.

"My fault entirely," she said the other day. "I was arrogant to think I'd always get important pictures after that. Why wouldn't I think that? I knew nothing about the business. So I waited and waited. And finally I had to come to terms with the fact that those kind of movies don't come along very often."

Since then she's worked fairly consistently, and now she's one of the stars of ABC's "The Colbys," playing Francesca Scott Colby Hamilton, and seems happy enough doing it. It gives her plenty of time to be with her 22-month-old daughter from her marriage to actor Sam Elliott.

"I'm enjoying it," she said the other day, "and of course more people see me in this series than saw me in all the movies I've ever made. And I'm reaching a whole new audience of young people who never saw me in those early movies."

Recently voted one of the world's 10 most beautiful women by Harper's, Ross says she rarely sees any of her old films.

"And when I do it's interesting," she said. "Sometimes I think I'm quite good; sometimes I think how lucky I was to have gotten away with what I did. . . ."

WRONG SUBJECT: "The book I'm writing is not about James," said Pamela Mason. "How could it be? Even though I was married to the man for 25 years I didn't know him from Adam."

For some time now the irrepressible Mason has been closeted away in her Beverly Hills home writing a book tentatively called "Hollywood Be Thy Name."

It's a novel, she insists, not a thinly disguised account of her tempestuous marriage to the late James Mason.

"Porty (daughter Portland) is writing that one," she said. "And she has some good material. I kept every letter James ever wrote me and he would write every day when he was away on location. Porty's book should be quite human. Certainly better than that dull autobiography James wrote."

QUOTE: From Bob Fosse, 58, the director-choreographer of some of Broadway's greatest hits: "I hate the way my face looks now. It's just awful. I'm older than almost anybody I know."

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