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Full Circle

May 03, 1987|Pat H. Broeske

"It all seemed to be coming together--the memories of the present and the past."

That's how Geraldine Fitzgerald, 73, described her return to Stage 2 of the Burbank lot--where she just filmed the sitcom pilot, "Mabel and Max," from Barbra Streisand's Barwood Productions. Back in 1938, Fitzgerald worked on the same stage--when she made "Dark Victory," one of her earliest Hollywood films.

(By the way, add her name to the growing list of colorization botch jobs: Dazzling redhead Fitzgerald ends up a drab brownette in Ted Turner's/Color System Technology's dyed "Dark Victory.")

More minglings of Then and Now: "Mabel and Max" makeup artist Michael Westmore is the grandnephew of Perc Westmore, who did the makeup for "Dark Victory." And Anthony Goldwyn--who plays Fitzgerald's son in the sitcom--is the grandson of Samuel Goldwyn. "I made 'Wuthering Heights' with Sam," mused Fitzgerald.

Taped before a live audience two weeks ago (Streisand watched from a booth, later mingled with and congratulated the cast), "Mabel and Max" is about aging actress Mabel (Fitzgerald) who shares an apartment with struggling young actress Max (Mary Ward)--"One's on her way down," said Fitzgerald, "one's on her way up."

As for any similarities to Mabel, her sitcom character, the busy Fitzgerald (when she isn't doing films or TV, she takes a one-woman show on the road), said: "Oh, I think she feels like I do about work.

"There's always a chance. You should never give up. I mean, here I am, suddenly working on something Barbra Streisand is involved in. I've always been a great fan of hers. Who'd have thought it would happen?"

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