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Tape Players

In other cities answering machines are for recording messages, but in Los Angeles they also entertain. Call Phyllis Diller, for example, and you’ll hear the comedienne say, “Don’t be shy about talking into my machine because it will call back your machine. My machine is actually having a torrid affair with three other machines.” Aspiring actress Anita Finch (Peter’s 32-year-old daughter) announces over her machine, “So far, no work. If you don’t have a part for me, please leave your credit card number at the sound of the beep.” Dorothy Lamour’s message is: “I’m on the road again. Call you when I’m back from Bora Bora.” And Taurean Blacque of TV’s Hill Street Blues concludes his tape with the show’s familiar admonishment: “Remember, let’s be careful out there.”


To mark the 48th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth on Jan. 8, L.A. recording studio manager Currie Grant spent “more than $1,000” for a quarter-page commemorative ad in Billboard, the music biz weekly. The ad, which he says is meant to “tell the world that a lot of stars loved Elvis and think about him a lot,” was co-signed by such celebs as Jackson Browne, Stevie Nicks, Kim Carnes, Pat Boone, Ann-Margret, Frankie Avalon, Phoebe Cates and Merv Griffin. Currie, who became a “very close friend” of Elvis’ after meeting him in Germany in 1959, spent weeks getting permission to use the stars’ names. The only one, he says, who turned him down was his brother-in-law, Tony Bennett. “It was nothing against Elvis,” explains Grant. “Tony’s just mad at my sister because she’s divorcing him.”

Megillah in Manila

Maria “Imee” Marcos, 27, the attractive, Princeton-educated daughter of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, wed golfer Tommy Manotoc in a civil ceremony in the U.S. in December 1981. Three weeks later the “secret” marriage burst into the headlines when Manotoc, then 32 and the divorced father of two, was kidnapped. It quickly became clear that Imee’s parents didn’t miss him; some reports even had them orchestrating the abduction. After Manotoc reappeared, blaming his disappearance on unnamed “terrorists,” Imee lived in the presidential palace but continued to see Tommy at his apartment. Now, Manila sources say, she is pregnant. Her bulging waistline was evident last November when she appeared with Tommy at her birthday celebration. In December the couple was seen boarding a plane for the U.S. Explained Tommy’s older brother Dini, “They wanted to avoid Christmas obligations. Can you imagine President Marcos having dinner with his family, including Tommy, and looking him straight in the eye, knowing full well what had happened?”

Taking a Breather

While driving his Rolls-Royce through London, talk show host David Frost was stopped by police conducting a random check for drunken drivers. The bobbies made Frost take a breath test, the results of which won’t be known for a few more weeks. Hosting a New Year’s Eve show on television later that night, Frost made light of the incident. “My New Year’s resolution,” he claimed, “is to keep on breathing—but not into a plastic bag.” As for the nameless blonde who police said was with the divorced Frost in his car, he wagged, “I want you to know that Margaret Thatcher and I are just good friends.”

Bird on a Wire

Hockey star Wayne Gretzky was trying to reach his friend, singer Anne Murray, to invite her to one of his games, but he made the mistake of labeling his telegram “confidential.” Twice telephone operators called Anne to deliver the message, and twice they didn’t believe it was the star herself answering the phone. “What do I have to do,” Murray asked in exasperation, “sing a few lines of Snowbird?” Finally Anne had to have her husband, Bill Langstroth, phone the telegram service to vouch for her so she could get the message.