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Interview: Lesley-Anne Down - I'm such a cheapskate; I use washing up liquid on my hair; FORGET THE GLITZY PARTIES - LESLEY-ANNE DOWN TELLS SHARON FEINSTEIN SHE WOULD RATHER BE AT HOME.



The sprawling house with the swimming pool, tennis courts and manicured grounds has gone. So have the five maids, nannies, gardeners and poolmen, along with the chauffeurs who used to whisk her to the latest Hollywood premieres or the most exclusive Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, city (1990 pop. 31,971), Los Angeles co., S Calif., completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles; inc. 1914. The largely residential city is home to many motion-picture and television personalities.  restaurants.

Instead Lesley-Anne Down's home is a rather ordinary four-bedroom house in the suburbs, her car a battered station wagon and her favourite restaurant the Chinese just around the corner.

And the actress who first found fame as Lady Georgina in the TV classic Upstairs, Downstairs Upstairs, Downstairs was a BAFTA and Emmy award-winning British drama set in a large townhouse in Edwardian London that depicted the lives of the servants "downstairs" and their masters "upstairs". It ran on ITV for five series from 1971 to 1975.  couldn't be happier.

Not that her retreat to suburbia has anything to do with a sudden dip in her career. She's making a small fortune in LA in the latest Aaron Spelling soap, Sunset Beach Sunset Beach may refer to:
  • Sunset Beach (TV series), an NBC television soap opera that aired 1997-1999.
  • Sunset Beach, California, the unincorporated beachfront community northwest of Huntington Beach in Orange County, that the soap opera is named after
, one of the few successes on Channel 5. No, after two divorces, a $2million child custody The care, control, and maintenance of a child, which a court may award to one of the parents following a Divorce or separation proceeding.

Under most circumstances, state laws provide that biological parents make all decisions that are involved in rearing their
 fight and a battle with cocaine, Lesley-Anne just wants a quiet life with her baby son, George, and her third husband, cameraman Don Fauntleroy.

"I love where I live now," says Lesley-Anne, lounging on the sofa of her Malibu home. "It's like a little safe place. It's homey, normal and sweet. It makes me feel secure like I've never felt before. We've sacrificed something big and glamorous for something more stable for George.

"I've lived that life in the mansion where there's always someone in your house cleaning, painting, pruning pruning, the horticultural practice of cutting away an unwanted, unnecessary, or undesirable plant part, used most often on trees, shrubs, hedges, and woody vines.  and looking after the pool. It's not your house - you're sharing it with the servants, which is not my idea of a relaxing, cosy life.

"In my neighbourhood, children play on the street and ride their bikes. There are parades, a little market on the corner, a hardware store and a creek where I walk my dogs. I have a four- bedroom-house, and a VW Beetle beetle, common name for insects of the order Coleoptera, which, with more than 300,000 described species, is the largest of the insect orders. Beetles have chewing mouthparts and well-developed antennae.  and an old Mercedes station wagon. For a meal out we go to the Chinese, and I only go to dinner parties or premieres when I'm absolutely forced to because I don't like them. I like to stay at home. My life is Don and George, taking the dogs for a walk and filming Sunset Beach.

"I'm not poor. I have a lot of money and could stop working tomorrow. But I'd go nuts if I didn't work. Even when I get a week off I'm ready to go back. "It's less tiring for me at work than at home. Here, I organise everything, the shopping, the baby, the bills, the decorating, the clean sheets, the meals. But in return I expect something back and when it's not given, I can be very, very bitchy bitch·y  
adj. bitch·i·er, bitch·i·est Slang
1. Malicious, spiteful, or overbearing.

2. In a bad mood; irritable or cranky.
. It's the little things that get me upset. If someone leaves the plates in the sink because they know I'll see to them, I get very angry.

"And when I lose my temper it's pretty extreme. The other day my ski machine wouldn't work so I pulled off one of the skis and beat the machine like crazy.

"I have a very caustic caustic, any strongly corrosive chemical substance, especially one that attacks organic matter. A caustic alkali is a metal hydroxide, especially that of an alkali metal; caustic soda is sodium hydroxide, and caustic potash is potassium hydroxide.  tongue, but I've noticed it only happens three days before my period. Now I put a red flag in the kitchen warning everyone to leave the house."

Yet despite these occasional lapses, Lesley-Anne says she has never been calmer. She puts it all down to Don. They met 14 years ago during shooting of the TV mini-series North And South and have been together ever since. He had loved her from the moment he saw her star opposite Harrison Ford in the film Hanover Street. But their fairytale romance took on the dimensions of a horror story horror story

Story intended to elicit a strong feeling of fear. Such tales are of ancient origin and form a substantial part of folk literature. They may feature supernatural elements such as ghosts, witches, or vampires or address more realistic psychological fears.
, as both were married.

Lesley-Anne was 27 when she married Exorcist ex·or·cism  
n.
1. The act, practice, or ceremony of exorcising.

2. A formula used in exorcising.



exor·cist n.
 director William Friedkin after a short-lived marriage to Argentinian Henrique Gabriel. Her divorce from Friedkin led to a very messy mess·y  
adj. mess·i·er, mess·i·est
1. Disorderly and dirty: a messy bedroom.

2. Exhibiting or demonstrating carelessness: messy reasoning.
 custody battle Noun 1. custody battle - litigation to settle custody of the children of a divorced couple
judicial proceeding, litigation - a legal proceeding in a court; a judicial contest to determine and enforce legal rights
 over their son Jack, now 17. It ended with them sharing custody.

"I'd met Don a few months before I left Bill," she says. "I had every intention of leaving, but he gave me the strength to do it.

"Don was my drug, my glass of wine at the end of the day. It's very difficult to go through things alone in life. If I'd been alone, I might have fallen apart."

But the main victim of her split from Friedkin was Jack.

"When you spend $2million on a custody battle the amount of damage is very extreme and the one who suffers most is the child," she says. "Jack says a lot of his childhood absolutely sucked. But I've never had any ups or downs with him and we're completely honest with each other. "The custody battle changed me a lot. It made me a much less relaxed, happy-go-lucky person.

"Thank God my marriage to Don is different. I actually like this man. I didn't like Bill at all.

"Don is the man I'd been waiting for. He's kind, funny, a great dad and he puts up with me.

"This is the happiest time of my life because at last I have no fear."

Another thing that makes her happy is the success of Sunset Beach in America. Even here, 36 pages of readers' letters on Teletext teletext: see videotex.


A broadcasting service that transmits text to a TV set that has a teletext decoder. It uses the vertical blanking interval of the TV signal (black line between frames when vertical hold is not adjusted) to transmit about a hundred
 are devoted to the daytime series and there's a gay bar in Glasgow that runs a Sunset Beach happy hour.

In the soap, Lesley-Anne plays wealthy super-bitch Olivia, a Nineties version of Joan Collins's Alexis in Dynasty. Olivia has a secret affair and a child with her son-in-law and may even have committed a murder.

Lesley-Anne is now 45 and most of the women on the show are half her age. "Buy I don't feel threatened by them," she insists. "I appreciate youth and anyway you can't compete with someone 20 years younger than you.

"I do go to the gym three times a week. But I eat whatever I want and I never want salads. For breakfast today I cooked myself a turkey burger and once a week I watch a video while munching a pile of chocolate and popcorn.

"I haven't had a facelift because I haven't got the guts. I often think I should have my eyes done, but Don tells me to be European and age gracefully."

For the past two-and-a-half years she has kept up a gruelling gru·el·ing also gru·el·ling  
adj.
Physically or mentally demanding to the point of exhaustion: a grueling campaign.



gru
 schedule and filmed more than 640 episodes of Sunset Beach. "We do 22 hours a month. I probably say more in a day as Olivia, than I do as me.

"People run down Sunset Beach because it's not art, but it doesn't pretend to be. I love working on it, but I love coming home to my baby.

"I told my mother that they say having a baby in your forties keeps you young. Well, it keeps you young or it kills you. My mother asked, `What's it doing to you Lesley?' I said, `a bit of both'."Dynasty. Olivia has a secret affair and a child with her son-in-law and may even have committed a murder.

Lesley-Anne is now 45 and most of the women on the show are half her age. "Buy I don't feel threatened by them," she insists. "I appreciate youth and anyway you can't compete with someone 20 years younger than you.

"I do go to the gym three times a week. But I eat whatever I want and I never want salads. For breakfast today I cooked myself a turkey burger and once a week I watch a video while munching a pile of chocolate and popcorn.

"I haven't had a facelift because I haven't got the guts. I often think I should have my eyes done, but Don tells me to be European and age gracefully."

For the past two-and-a-half years she has kept up a gruelling schedule and filmed more than 640 episodes of Sunset Beach. "We do 22 hours a month. I probably say more in a day as Olivia, than I do as me.

"People run down Sunset Beach because it's not art, but it doesn't pretend to be. I love working on it, but I love coming home to my baby.

"I told my mother that they say having a baby in your forties keeps you young. Well, it keeps you young or it kills you. My mother asked, `What's it doing to you Lesley?' I said, `a bit of both'." reakfast today I cooked myself a turkey burger and once a week I watch a video while munching a pile of chocolate and popcorn.

"I haven't had a facelift because I haven't got the guts. I often think I should have my eyes done, but Don tells me to be European and age gracefully."

For the past two-and-a-half years she has kept up a gruelling schedule and filmed more than 640 episodes of Sunset Beach. "We do 22 hours a month. I probably say more in a day as Olivia, than I do as me.

"People run down Sunset Beach because it's not art, but it doesn't pretend to be. I love working on it, but I love coming home to my baby.

"I told my mother that they say having a baby in your forties keeps you young. Well, it keeps you young or it kills you. My mother asked, `What's it doing to you Lesley?' I said, `a bit of both'."Dynasty. Olivia has a secret affair and a child with her son-in-law and may even have committed a murder.

Lesley-Anne is now 45 and most of the women on the show are half her age. "Buy I don't feel threatened by them," she insists. "I appreciate youth and anyway you can't compete with someone 20 years younger than you.

"I do go to the gym three times a week. But I eat whatever I want and I never want salads. For breakfast today I cooked myself a turkey burger and once a week I watch a video while munching a pile of chocolate and popcorn.

"I haven't had a facelift because I haven't got the guts. I often think I should have my eyes done, but Don tells me to be European and age gracefully."

For the past two-and-a-half years she has kept up a gruelling s
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Feinstein, Sharon
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 25, 1999
Words:1686
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