Is Brooke Shields over the hill? Hardly, but Monica Schnarre could make a college undergraduate feel ancient. At the barely ripe young age of 14, the 6-ft. brunette from Canada last week beat out 22 models Ashlock: living legend from 22 countries (including China) to become what the promoters modestly proclaim is the "Supermodel of the World." The contest, once known less grandiosely as "Face of the Eighties," is conducted annually by the Eileen Ford modeling agency, which will now award Monica a three-year $250,000 contract, a $10,000 diamond pendant and a $6,500 fox fur. The Toronto ninth-grader hopes eventually to break into the movies, but is satisfied for the moment with the profession she has been practicing for all of eight months. "The best part is the end result, seeing your picture," she says. Schnarre is the youngest winner ever. "She just happens to be tall enough and mature enough," explains Modeling Boss Ford. "At least I certainly hope it's not a trend." Does that mean diamonds and furs and modeling contracts just might be too much for some 14-year-olds?
The storybook legend of Donna Ashlock continues to grow. She is the California youngster whose romantically heartsick school friend, Felipe Garza, astoundingly prefigured his own death and directed that her sick heart be replaced with his. When Garza, 15, actually did die of a burst blood vessel in the brain, a transplant proved possible, and last week, just eleven days after the operation, Donna, 14, was well enough to log ten minutes on an exercise bicycle. Doctors at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco said that her body showed no signs of rejecting her new heart and that she might be able to return home as early as this week. Whenever she leaves, it will be in secret since she has become a celebrity with all the pros and cons that now brings. In a videotaped statement she thanked Garza for his lifesaving gift and gratefully acknowledged the get-well wishes from everyone "who's been concerned about my transplant and how I'm doing." She and her parents now have some financial sorting out to do. At last count, no fewer than 28 writers and producers had lined up for the rights to her story.
"Simone wanted me to do the film," recalls Yves Montand, "but I was on tour at the time. When you play on stage you feel, I wouldn't say young, but good, and to suddenly age for a role. At first I said no." Simone, of course, is his late wife Simone Signoret. The film is Jean De Florette, based on the story by Marcel Pagnol and completed on location in southern France three months after Signoret's death in September. Montand, 64, agreed to do the part only after donning the mustache of his character, the mean-spirited neighbor, César Soubeyran. "All of a sudden I saw myself aged ten or 15 years and instead of trying to hold back time I was pushing it ahead." Montand also savored the interplay with Co-Star Gérard Depardieu, "one of the best actors in the world," and the delights of the literate script. "The dialogue is so rich ...with the kinds of sentences that, mmm, you can taste because it's so close to the truth, so far from artifice," he says. "This film shows the grandeur of France, but the real France, not the pretentious, self-satisfied one." Which is not a bad way to describe Montand himself.