authority, and almost hopeless in upward mobility. i4 "Americans are quite different," Beryl Vertue points out "They are rugged individualists, and I am quite aware of that, which is why Beacon Hill is going to be a good deal different from Upstairs, Downstairs. Vertue's career "Except for one English actor, George Rose who plays the butler, Hacker, in Beacon Hi//; 1 am using all New York theatrical players, wonderful actors, and actresses who are unknown to TV audiences. We are shooting all our episodes in New York, and I have actually plundered the world of New York theater. I've also been complimented on bringing live theater back to New York." Frequently mistaken for pop-singer Petula Clark, Beryl Vertue started out in show business as a London secretary for two TV comedy writers, Alan Simpson and Ray Gallon. They encouraged her, and subsequently she became a writers' agent 'Then I went into agent- ing film production (she is the executive producer of the currentJfilm Tommy starring AnnrMargret) but I was an impatient agent, so I joined the Robert Stigwood production company, started to dream up TV ideas, and became a director of the corporate board. Today I am chief of worldwide film and TV ' production for the organization. Not too bad for a girl who was bom in Mitcham, a smalh village in Surrey." American TV-watchers found Upstairs, Downstairs exotic and interesting without for the most part identifying themselves with any of the characters. High hopes Whether they will generate the same TV interest in a large family of Irish Bostonians with their retinue of servants (there are more than 20 regular characters in the series) remains to be seen. Beryl Vertue is aware that after Watergate, Nixon, Howard Hughes, Bebe Re- bozo, and Martha Mitchell, the Lassiters of .Beacon Hill may very well turn out to be small potatoes indeed. "I only hope," she says, "that the American public will have enough patience to stay with the show for a few weeks and get to know the Lassiter family. They, are not based on the Kennedys of Boston, which is a rumor now making the rounds. They are completely fic- ^tiolial, but I think they are fascinating, and hopefully the audience will find them so." ' Upstairs in "Beacon Hill": The Lassiters, a Boston Irish family, and downstairs, their retinue of servants. Set in the ex- citing post-World War I era, "Beacorf Hill's" characters are "very American," not copies o^ those in the British series.
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