Sympathetic look loosely based on the relationship between tobacco heiress, Doris Duke (1912-1993) - think Duke University - and her shy butler, Bernard Lafferty. The icy and mercurial Duke fires her butler for serving a chilled cantaloupe; the agency sends Lafferty, formerly household staff to Liz Taylor and to Peggy Lee. He's an alcoholic, fresh out of rehab. He gradually becomes Duke's gay alter ego as she romps through life sleeping with young men, making shrewd decisions quickly, managing her fortune and orchids as Lafferty manages her New Jersey estate. With a wine cellar to die for, Bernard falls off the wagon. Can he pull himself together when Doris needs him?
Susan Sarandon, Ralph Fiennes, Peter Asher, Don Harvey, Chris Bauer, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Marilyn Torres, Nick Rolfe, James Rebhorn, Dominick Dunne, Thomas J. McGrath, Gene Parseghian, Henry S. Schleiff, Calvin Trillin, Kunnath P. Namboodiri