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OFF-CENTERPIECE

Tulips, Schmoolips--The Guy Wants a Job

August 01, 1993|CLAUDIA ELLER

Poor Tiny Tim. Here's a gentle soul who believes in tiptoeing through the tulips and that "Hollywood is the Shangri-La--the fairyland of the imagination" and he can't catch a damn break in this town.

He was just rejected for the role of an old woman in Paramount Pictures' sequel "The Naked Gun III: The Final Insult," after sending the studio a videotaped audition from his home in Des Moines, Iowa.

"They sent me a script, so I put a bonnet on my head and read the part on video--I thought it was good, but they turned me down. They said they changed their mind and wanted a girl," said Tim, whose real name is Herbert Khaury. He was sent the script after his manager, Mike Debonis, made an inquiry to casting director Pamela Basker about whether there were any potential roles for his client in the movie.

A Paramount official said Basker had explained to Tim's manager that the only roles left to be filled were for females. A particular scene (as opposed to an entire script) was sent to Tim "and a few weeks later, a tape showed up at the casting office with Tiny Tim dressed as a woman," explained the spokeswoman.

Nonetheless, Tim acknowledges: "I know I need a lot of experience in acting." He said he is not disheartened by the rejection and still strongly believes that "Hollywood is the greatest."

The closest he's ever gotten to breaking into the movies, he said, was appearing in the ill-conceived 1968 documentary of the mid-'60s "You Are What You Eat" along with such luminaries of the era as Peter Yarrow, Paul Butterfield, Barry McGuire, Father Malcolm Boyd, the Electric Flag and Harper's Bizarre.

The 63-year-old Tim, who married Miss Vicki on Dec 17, 1969 on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in front of zillions of home viewers, says: "I just keep on going."

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