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Pleasant Messenger

“Messenger of Death.” It’s not exactly a title that suits Trish Van Devere’s sweet, lamblike personality. This is a woman who could spend all afternoon talking about animal rights and the horrors of war.

But Van Devere co-stars with Charles Bronson in this celluloid thriller, which opened here Friday, about a Denver newspaper reporter who arrives in a small town to investigate the wholesale slaughter of a Mormon family. Van Devere is the editor of the local paper who assists Bronson in his pursuit.

And, as is usual for Van Devere characters, she’s nice, very nice.

“Pleasant,” says Van Devere, “the kind of person everyone would like to be.” The kind of role Van Devere says she is most at ease playing.

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Van Devere has appeared in “Where’s Poppa?” “One Is a Lonely Number” and “Harry in Your Pocket.” But she may be best known for her performances opposite her husband of 16 years, George C. Scott, whom she met during the filming of “The Last Run.”

Scott and Van Devere, who also appeared together in “The Day of the Dolphin,” have another film project in the works, “Harrow Alley.” The story, written by Walter Brown Newman and widely considered to be one of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood, takes place during the plague of the 1600s “and deals with human nature under crisis and stress,” Van Devere says.

A few million dollars still stands between the script and rolling cameras. But, says Van Devere, “there’s been some resurgence of interest in it because of the AIDS crisis.”


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