If you haven't been following the crazy (and kind of amazing) trainwreck story of the life of actor Randy Quaid and his wife Evi, you pretty much have to ask yourself why. The Quaids have been on the wrong end of the headlines since September 2009 when they were arrested in Texas for allegedly defrauding an innkeeper, burglary, and conspiracy in California. Their troubles actually started to begin further back in 2007 when Quaid's erratic behavior got him fired from "Lone Star Love," a Western-themed stage play adaptation of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, in which Quaid played the lead role of Falstaff (he was banned for life by the stage actor's union thanks to his erratic behaviour).
But things kept getting worse and worse for the Quaids and their grifter-ish behavior. The couple faced burglary charges earlier this year when they were caught essentially squatting in a guest house without permission that they claimed they owned (they didn't). Having skipped several court appearances, the couple are now living in Canada, seeking refugee status under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, because they believe a shadowy cabal is out to kill them (the same nefarious cadre that evidently may have killed off other Hollywood stars). Their slow descent into unhinged, conspiracy-theory-filled madness was recently chronicled in an excellent feature article in Vanity Fair by Nancy Jo Sales. We thought we'd list out the greatest hits of that article below.
1. They no longer use cell phones because the Star Whackers are trying to hunt them down and kill them.
“They’re tracking us,” Evi told Vanity Fair about their precautions taken against the "Star Whackers" who are out to kill them. They’re hunting us,” she added. “It’s really happening. They’ve got us in a spiral. ‘Don’t let up on ’em. Drive ’em off the road. Starve ’em to death. Pull their money out of their bank accounts.’ ” “I guess I’m worth more to ’em dead than alive,” Randy said.
2. Randy proposed to Evi the day they met.
The couple met in 1988 when Randy was shooting "Bloodhounds of Broadway," a Madonna vehicle filmed in New York and she (24 at the time) was a production assistant assigned to drive actors to the set. He proposed to her at a Chinese restaurant in New Jersey near where she was living that same night. “Then we went home and brushed our teeth and fucked,” said Evi. “When we brushed our teeth it was like we’d been doing it all our lives."
3. They drive a Prius, which they sometimes live out of as well.
According to the author of the article, Nancy Jo Sales, it apparently smells of "fast food, dog pee and Randy’s cigars. "We used to have a Mercedes. This whole ordeal has forced us to become incredibly green,” Evi said apparently with a straight face. Later on in the article they claim that the Mercedes was stolen and Sales contends it was merely repossessed. “Priuses are deceptively roomy,” Randy drawled. “We’re tall people, and the legroom is important."
4. The Hollywood Star Whackers may have also killed David Carradine, Heath Ledger, Chris Penn, framed Mel Gibson, sabotaged Jeremy Piven, and set up Randy's friend Robert Blake (they co-starred together in a 1981 TV production of John Steinbeck’s novel "Of Mice And Men").
5. Their court appearances -- at least the ones they have shown up for -- have been colorful.
"They wore pink handcuffs. Evi carried Randy’s Golden Globe and had a 'valid credit card' affixed to her forehead," Sales wrote.
6. A post-separation gift that Evi gave Dennis Quaid after Meg Ryan left him for Russell Crowe went over poorly.
“I didn’t even think consciously what [it] mean," Evi said of the Andy Warhol painting titled "Russell Means" that she brought over when Dennis asked her to find him a piece of art to cover a blank space on a wall because Meg had taken art from the house in their divorce. “It turned into, like, a play,” Evi said, laughing about the family blowout that occurred. “It was insane, with Dennis screaming at me and Randy screaming at Dennis and their mother screaming at both of them. It was kind of funny, to tell the truth.”
7. Quaid sued the producers of "Brokeback Mountain" for $10 million after the film became a hit.
Writes Sales, "In 2006, Quaid sued the producers of the film for $10 million, claiming they had misled him into believing that it was an indie production, causing him to take a lower fee, when it was really a big-budget release." “The circumstances of him dropping the suit are as mysterious as the circumstances under which he filed his claim,” a Focus Features spokeswoman said at the time.
8. They hired a private investigator to see who was after them and causing their financial problems.
"I started researching. And there really is no mob, nobody was out to kill them, it was all coincidental, and every one of these actors died at their own hands," Becky Altringer, an L.A. private eye featured in the 2006 documentary "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," said (gee, glad to see we need a private eye to tell us that). "But when I tried to tell Evi that, she went nuts and said, ‘No, you’re wrong.’ ”
9. The Quaids stayed at the home of their private investigator when they were broke. One morning Evi said the mob had arrived—they were carrying chainsaws and shovels.
" 'They’re going to bury us!' " Altringer recalls Evi saying in a panic. "I said, 'Evi, that’s the gardener.' ”
10. They created a pitch for a show called "Star Trackers" wherein Randy and Evi would play a "Bonnie and Clyde" like couple.
"The first sentence [of the pitch] envisions the couple shooting off the head of one of the people named in [one of the Quaids'] lawsuits. This person said he briefly hired security," Sales wrote.