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Westside Watch

Actor Hopes to Ride Trusty (and Rusty) Colt to Success

March 12, 1995

WHERE'S THE SEQUEL? Officials of Santa Monica's American Film Market are still crowing about this year's attendance figures, but what we want to know is what the event did for Dennis Woodruff.

He's the actor who plastered his two-door Plymouth Colt with dozens of publicity stills and his phone number, plopped a mannequin in his likeness on the roof and parked down the street from the convention. An Oscar statuette doubled as a hood ornament. A huge sign screamed "Cast me--No part too small! No part too large!"

Always the showman, the 42-year-old Woodruff had a pitch for everyone.

"The next Tom Cruise, how are you?" he said as he handed a self-promoting flyer to a nonplussed Italian film distributor. "Hey, we'll do lunch," he yelled at another passerby.

His rolling resume, banter and 1,200 flyers may have paid off even if he didn't get any work out of it--yet.

"I commend his courage and his efforts," said Bob Alexander, president of Telegence Inc., a film and television production company in Beverly Hills. "Success in this business is based on gumption and perseverance and (Woodruff) has certainly demonstrated those qualities. I would definitely consider him for a part."

Prior to his latest self-promotional blitz, Woodruff already had a few bit roles in TV's "Quantum Leap" and "Serious Money" and an extra part in the movie "Toys."

"I've been doing this for about 10 years--that's about how long it takes to make it--so I figure I should be getting a break any day now," he said.

Oh yes, the attendance figures: More than 6,000 movie distributors, buyers and exhibitors from 67 countries came to the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel to buy and sell film rights during the nine-day event that ended March 3.

*

OPEN-DOOR POLICY: Stealing air bags from Mercedes-Benzes is one thing, but now the bad guys have come up with a new wrinkle in the auto theft business. They're making off with Jeep Wrangler doors.

The latest trend surfaced in West Hollywood, where sheriff's deputies arrested two Hollywood men in connection with a rash of stolen doors, complete with metal window frame, worth about $2,500 a pair.

During the last six weeks at least nine of the open-top Wranglers have had their metal doors vanish, said Detective Pam Sivelle of the West Hollywood sheriff's station. She said a skilled thief can do the job in less than 10 seconds.

The suspects, identified as Mkritich Galystan, 18, and Armen Arutyunyan, 22, were arrested March 1 and charged with possession of stolen property. Sivelle said two of the stolen doors were also taken into custody.

*

NO BLARNEY: Los Angeles police hope to ensure that revelers won't need the luck of the Irish March 17 to make it home safely on St. Patrick's Day, an occasion often dismissed by serious drinkers as "amateur night." The LAPD and Budget Rent a Car are sponsoring their fifth annual "Paddy Wagon" program, which lets over-imbibing celebrants call for a free ride home in a police-chauffeured van.

More than 400 bars and restaurants citywide will participate by posting Paddy Wagon flyers with the program's telephone number: (800) 70-PADDY. Twenty-five vans driven by police reserve officers will be available to pick up callers from bars between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. About 250 people took a ride in the Paddy Wagons last year--twice as many as the year before.

This year, with St. Patrick's Day falling on a Friday, police expect a brisk business.

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