I also made a Walt Disney movie ('The Legend of Young Dick Turpin’) before that, so I had quite a bit of experience in the business.” Still, he had never done Shakespeare. It’s rather like having an accent from the Bronx or Brooklyn if you’re talking about New York.
Despite beating out 300 others for the role of Romeo, he wasn’t out of the woods yet. And they said, 'He looks perfect, but he doesn’t sound right.’ So they took me to a very famous Shakespearean actor and his wife to try and get me to say the Bard’s wonderful language properly.” Whiting, 64, has focused on theater and music over the years — he said he was never satisfied with the quality of film scripts he received — and has, in the past few years, taken up painting. - for gala and film, for film only, free under 16.
Hussey’s daughter, India Eisley, plays Julia in the film, and Hussey and Whiting are her parents. “It was nice to be on a set and in a studio again,” Whiting says. And, of course, it’s always nice to see my Juliet.” Part of the timeless appeal of Zeffirelli’s version of “Romeo and Juliet” — apart from the direction, the colorful Italian locations and Nino Rota’s fabulous score — is that Whiting, then 17, and Hussey, 15, were the first teenagers to play what are, in fact, teenage roles.
(Consider that George Cukor’s 1936 version starred a 43-year-old Leslie Howard and a 34-year-old Norma Shearer.) Both actors, however, were practically grizzled veterans.
In 1987, Hussey appeared in a clip for the Michael Jackson video Liberian Girl, among others, who also included Steven Spielberg, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Whoopi Goldberg, Lou Ferrigno, and Billy Dee Williams.
Hussey has also worked as a voice actress, and was nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production" at the Annie Awards for her work in Batman Beyond, as Talia. In 1991 Hussey married American rock musician David Glen Eisley, a son of the late actor Anthony Eisley.
She would appear in several international productions throughout the 1980s, including the Japanese production Virus (1980), and the Australian horror film Turkey Shoot (1982).
In 1990, she appeared in two other horror productions: Psycho IV: The Beginning and Stephen King's It.
In 1974, she played the leading role of Jess in the Canadian horror film, Black Christmas (1974), which became influential as a forerunner of the slasher film genre of horror films.
She played Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the 1977 television production of Jesus of Nazareth (her second work for director Zeffirelli).
Whiting will be in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day (Saturday, Feb.
14) to be part of a gala event: He’ll be interviewed onstage at the Castro Theatre and will introduce a screening of the film.
In 1974, she appeared as the lead character, Jess, in the cult horror film Black Christmas.