An online city guide backed by a Hollywood heavyweight comes to Austin. Plus: Anna Nicole Smith, bag lady.
THE RACE TO COLONIZE CyberTexas is heating up. This summer, Microsoft quietly unveiled its plans to create online entertainment guides in Dallas and Houston. Now comes word that an even broader venture is launching in Austin. By the end of 1996, CitySearch—a fledgling California company that counts Steven Spielberg among its investors—will create a multimillion-dollar guide to Austin featuring not only event and club listings but also information on city services, volunteer opportunities, and businesses. As in the other cities with CitySearch guides (Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Pasadena, California), the company will hire a local staff and team up with local content providers; it will also create World Wide Web pages at no cost for nonprofit groups and at a minimal cost (less than $100 a month) for businesses. Why Austin? “So much is going on there,” says chief operating officer Thomas Layton. “Internet use is as high as any place in the country, and there’s an incredible amount of culture. It’s a vibrant community.”
Buttafuoco Seriously, Folks
It sounds like a match made only in tabloid heaven, but Joey Buttafuoco insists it’s true: He and Anna Nicole Smith are co-starring in a movie. Though they don’t share any scenes, the Lolita-loving Long Islander and the Mexia-born model-widow will appear in The Underground Comedy, a Kentucky Fried Movie-style collection of skits that also features rocker Axl Rose. Buttafuoco boasts that he beat out forty actors to play a “mafia-type character” in a Godfather parody, while Smith plays a “bag lady.” So how does he feel about sharing the marquee with a woman of her talents? “I know how I’ve been judged by the world,” he says, “so I don’t judge anybody.”
On the Ropes Again
Having fought the Internal Revenue Service to a draw, Willie Nelson is getting in the ring with a more formidable foe: retired boxer Randall “Tex” Cobb. On November 21, Nelson will spar with the Abilene native at Philadelphia’s Bellevue Hotel to raise money for a scholarship fund. It’s not the Thrilla in Manilla, but Nelson is taking the fight seriously. When his manager, Mark Rothbaum, noted that Cobb is a “big guy,” Nelson replied, “Don’t worry, I ain’t gonna hurt him.” For his part, Cobb vows the bout won’t be a replay of his bloody 1982 loss to Larry Holmes: “I never lost to a middleweight. Or a musician. Or a sixty-year-old middleweight musician.”
From scripting dialogue for James Caan to getting beat up by Jim Carrey to producing Jack Nicholson: Such is the upward career trajectory of Dallasite Owen Wilson. The co-screenwriter of the independent film Bottle Rocket (which starred Caan) could be seen this summer in The Cable Guy (he was the yuppie pummeled by Carrey). Now he’ll associate-produce Old Friends, the story of a writer (Nicholson) who cares for a gay painter after he gets assaulted. That movie starts filming this fall; in the meantime, Wilson is wrapping Anaconda, an action pic in which he stars alongside Jon Voight. “It’s about a snake,” he cracks, “but I can’t tell you what kind of snake.”