People Staff
December 29, 1975 12:00 PM

More than 2,000 people appeared in this magazine during the past year—usually at some moment of crisis or significance in their lives. Many of them are famous and of continuing interest. For others, their moment in the news was brief. On these following pages, we offer a second look at some of these people. It’s our answer to that old question: Whatever happened to…?

The number of Mrs. Alex Josephs (May 12) has dropped from 13 to nine, but wife Joan says, “He gets many proposals in the mail.” Federal marshals are closing in on the self-styled Mormon, not for polygamy—yet—but for trying to set up a new town, “Bac-Bone,” on federal land in Utah.

Topless dancer Cat Futch’s gig aboard the nuclear sub Finback was salty enough to tarnish Navy brass (Sept. 29). Then an appearance at a tire dealers’ convention won her the distinction of being banned in Boston. So she sailed back to her native Florida to star in an offbeat religious epic: Cat plays Eve opposite a lifeguard and a boa constrictor named “B.C.”

Since Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova, 19, defected to the U.S. (Sept. 22), she’s cheered by fans wherever she plays. She seems to have adjusted, but “inside I’ve been all nervous, and I’ve put on a lot of weight.” She’s bought a condominium in Palm Springs and a Mercedes-Benz 450 SL. She phones home to Revnice, near Prague, once a week and thinks her parents will be allowed to visit her soon.

The runaway success of Looking for Mr. Goodbar (June 23) got author Judith Rossner looking for more expensive digs. She found a “pretty house” with a swimming pool in Westchester County, and can well afford it. Her hardback sales are 160,000 and paperback and film rights total more than $500,000. The divorcée, who has two children, is finishing her fifth novel.

Frank Blair and his wife, Lillian, who shed a tear at his retirement after 23 years on TV’s Today show (March 31), live in Hilton Head, S.C., but he hasn’t vanished from the airwaves. He still does commercials, and viewers who miss Frank’s old news reports should try radio. Instead of last night’s disasters, he’s giving the news as it happened back in 1776—and he doesn’t have to get up at 4 a.m. to do that.

“The Albert Schweitzer Hospital will become a decent, modern tropical hospital—or it will be closed,” vowed Dr. Holm Habicht, Schweitzer’s successor at the famed West African facility (June 2). Habicht probably has lost his battle. Unless the Gabon government or foreign donors come through, the hospital will close Jan. 1.

Beer baron Joseph Coors’ dream of joining the Public Broadcasting board (July 7) faded like so much foam after a Senate committee objected to his right-wing politics and a possible conflict of interest. The good news: Coors was pleased to announce that the family firm had developed a returnable plastic beer bottle which, when it is worn out, can be burned as fuel.

After being robbed of her jewels at gunpoint in New York, having her palaces confiscated by the government and her stable of cars reduced to one 1949 Jaguar (Feb. 24), Gayatri Devi, member of India’s parliament, was clapped in jail. Tax inspectors found a secret, illegal safe full of gold and jewels worth $4.8 million. But the former Maharani of Jaipur still lives in style. Her meals are catered by New Delhi’s luxury Oberoi Inter-Continental Hotel.

Armless detective Jay Armes (Apr. 21) finds show business is turning some of his attention away from crime-solving. He has become a sought-after talk show guest here and abroad, and in one recent TV interview he claimed to have located Patty Hearst weeks before her capture. Armes says a pilot for a TV series based on his exploits is in the works, and he’s off and running for the job of sheriff of El Paso, Texas.

“Pollyanna Never Had It So Happy” was the description (Apr. 14) of the marriage between former Disney star Hayley Mills, 29, and British filmmaker Roy Boulting—33 years her senior. Oops! After four years Hayley and 2-year-old son Crispian have moved out. Friends say her parents—the John Millses—are shedding no tears. It’s left to Boulting to play Pollyanna: “I am not going to waste my time talking about this nonsense. We’ve never been apart.”

Pogo dead? There was reason to worry. Creator Walt Kelly’s widow, Selby (June 30), decided to withdraw the Pogo strip from newspapers after 27 years. But the Okefenokee’s first citizen was just playin’ possum. Mrs. Kelly is pleased to report that Pogo has a book contract and a line of Pogo products—sheets, pillowcases, note pads, etc.—is being prepared.

So the New York Cosmos had forked over an estimated $4.7 million to sign soccer’s legendary Pelé to a three-year contract (Aug. 4). Was the Black Pearl worth it? As the season ended and Pelé joined his family in Brazil, the stats said yes: attendance was up and Pelé had scored or assisted in an incredible 44 points in 23 games. That comes to something like a bargain $35,000 per goal.

Ratting on “the company,” as Philip Agee (below) calls the CIA (Feb. 3), has made the 40-year-old ex-spy something of a multinational media operator. With a second exposé of spooks in the works, Agee, now based in England, is also scripting a film about a CIA takeover of the U.S. In Portugal recently, he publicly named CIA operatives there. Not surprisingly, his lawyer advises him not to return to the U.S. just yet.

After five years and $500,000 spent pressuring the Canadian government to close down part of the polluted English-Wabigoon river system (Aug. 18), Barney and Marion Lamm (below) say, “We’re not going to give up now.” So far 37 Indians with symptoms of mercury poisoning have turned up near the troubled waters.

Pop-country hybrid superstar Olivia Newton-John and her sidekick-manager Lee Kramer recently bought a house near Malibu and applied for permanent U.S. resident working status—prompted, no doubt, by Liv’s smashing success on record charts and concert tours (Feb. 24). She has won three American Music Awards and two Grammies. Her new album, Clearly Love, sold over a million in 10 weeks. Next: a variety special on ABC-TV produced by—surprise—Lee Kramer.

The nearly two-year-old mixed-media marriage of New York Times columnist Tom Wicker and ABC-TV producer Pam Hill (April 28) was generating some heavy static by fall. The couple split up for 10 weeks. She was seen often in the company of newsman Britt Hume, with whom she had co-written a documentary. “But Tom saw people, too,” maintains Hill, now reunited with Wicker, her third husband. Wicker is beginning work on a novel about a journalist in the ’60s. Hill is completing a documentary on terrorism.

“Judging California by the movie industry,” observes Erica Jong (below), who is still battling to gain a say in the movie being made of her best-selling Fear of Flying (Aug. 11), “is like judging New York City by the garment industry.” Otherwise she likes Malibu fine, and is completing a second novel, How to Save Your Life. Just divorced from psychoanalyst Dr. Allan Jong, Erica and friend Jonathan Fast, a writer, will maintain toeholds on both coasts.

“I will never go on a plane again,” says Joseph Dispenza (below) who, with his 10-year-old daughter Sandy, survived the Kennedy Airport crash that killed 113 (July 21). Still undergoing daily medical treatment on his right arm, a severely burned Dispenza sold his Baton Rouge restaurant and now lives with relatives in Clifton, N.J. He is suing the airline for $4.5 million, but “the money can never pay back what I lost—my wife and baby.”

Millionaire stockbroker Chris Janus (March 10) is still bullish on finding Peking Man, an anthropological missing link whose fossil remains vanished during World War II. He is besieged by tips, one of which said a Marine brought the bones to northern California. Though the search was a bust, Janus announced, “I’m giving myself another year,” in which he plans to scour the Philippines, and maybe go to China.

Cher and Cher-alike was hardly the maxim for success for model Wendy Oates (June 23). Though her career received a boost with an Erik Cigars TV commercial, Wendy’s striking resemblance to the sometime Mrs. Allman—she’s one inch taller and 22 pounds heavier—continued, in her view, to be a liability. Rejecting suggestions that she undergo plastic surgery, the 27-year-old relates, “The only nice thing is that people now want Wendy Oates’s autograph, not Cher’s.”

Life still throws mean curves, as the Jerry Reusses found out (May 12). The Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher, 26, had his best season ever in ’75—18 wins, 11 losses, with a 2.54 ERA. He also won a starting berth in the All-Star game. But on Nov. 1, he filed for divorce from wife Ann, 26, a nurse who lives in Santa Barbara, Calif. with their adopted daughter, Sarah, 1, while Jerry remains in Pittsburgh—the same arrangement they decided to experiment with during the season.

“Some of my best friends are blacks,” said jockey Mary Bacon as public disgust over her appearance at a Ku Klux Klan rally (May 19) began costing her access to quality mounts, lucrative product endorsements—and 90 percent of her income. Now convinced that Jewish stable owners are behind her ostracism, Mary claims: “I have three Jewish uncles and I’m Catholic.”

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