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Career Spark

After months of speculation, the plum role of stripper Blaze Starr has been cast.

Starring opposite Paul Newman--who will play Louisiana Gov. Earl Long--in A&M;/Touchstone’s “Blaze,” will be a virtual unknown. She’s Lolita Davidovich, a Toronto-based actress of limited film experience.

Davidovich snared the role after the film’s producers read and tested hundreds of actresses--known and unknown. (For awhile, it was widely talked that Melanie Griffith would portray the voluptuous Blaze.)

Davidovich, until recently known professionally as Lolita David, has had small roles in Columbia’s “Big Town” and Paramount’s “A New Life.” Her most significant film part to date: The third lead in a Canadian thriller called “Blindside,” starring Harvey Keitel.

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“Blaze” chronicles the real-life tempestuous relationship between Starr, and the Louisiana politician, which began in 1959 and ended when he died the following year. Despite scandalous national headlines, Long rebuffed political pressure to end the affair.

Ron Shelton wrote the script and will direct when “Blaze” begins filming next month in Baton Rouge under producers Gil Friesen and Dale Pollack.


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