Sound asleep at 3 a.m. in the Travelers Hotel at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, comedian Shelley Berman was rudely awakened by a hooded gunman who stole $60 and a watch. He then bound and gagged poor Shelley and just for laughs, according to reports, sandwiched the naked Berman between the mattress and the box spring. Not true, cried Shelley. The thug actually plastered him to the floor by dumping the whole bed on top of him. “For example,” explained the ever-helpful Berman, “if I were a piece of salami I would have been between the counter and a slice of bread.”
Four or five times a day, Spain’s interim head of state, Prince Juan Carlos, 36, telephones his father Don Juan at the latter’s exile estate outside of Lisbon, Portugal. Though Don Juan has long been out of favor with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco because of his liberal views, he still exercises influence on his son. But whenever father-son communications treat anything serious, couriers are sent to hand deliver letters: both sides of the royal phone calls are convinced that Franco has them bugged.
Newly divorced from his second wife, actor Telly Savalas, 52, is contemplating another go at connubial bliss—this time with beautiful Sally Adams, 30, mother of Telly’s 15-month-old son Nicholas, as well as a 9-year-old daughter by a previous marriage. But when Telly’s three girls, aged 20, 12 and 11, come to visit him, things could become just a trifle crowded in the Savalas household. But foresighted Telly appears to have solved the dormitory problem: for a reported $600,000 or so, he has purchased the mammoth Bel Air mansion once owned by Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow.
It is not comme it faut to upstage Canada’s Governor General Jules Léger, particularly at his own press conference. But in this case, no one seemed to mind the commotion when lithesome Margaret Trudeau, 25, wife of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, turned up in workaday jeans and toting a camera. “I’m taking photography lessons,” she explained as lensmen scrambled for snaps of her snapping away.
“Nature provides a fairly complete drugstore for the thoroughly initiated,” declared wild food forager Euell Gibbons in his first popular book, Stalking the Wild Asparagus. Maybe so. But to relieve his arthritis, the 63-year-old Gibbons resorted to more familiar pharmacology—aspirin—and now Mother Nature has wrought her revenge. Euell has lately confessed to an ulcer.
First reports from London suggested that pop-rock star “Mama” Cass Elliot, 33, had died of “unnatural causes,” the rumors arising partly out of her admitted history of difficulty with drugs. Then the word was that she had choked on a ham sandwich she was too weary to chew after a round of parties. The final verdict came as she was laid to rest, at 220 lbs., by sorrowing friends. Said the coroner, Cass was “grossly overweight,” and she died of a heart attack caused by “part of the heart muscle turning to fat due to obesity.”
Yes, acknowledged Patty Hearst’s ex-fiancé Stephen Weed, he too has been thinking seriously of writing a book on Patty, and has discussed the possibility with publishing friends “just to find out what my options are.” But the whole thing is “kind of premature.” As a matter of fact, it seems extremely premature. Weed said he had “no idea” where Patty might be—though he assumes she’s somewhere in California. “I really haven’t given it any thought.”
From British actress Jill Bennett, 42-year-old wife of playwright John Osborne, after being tossed out of a London department store for “staring” at scantily clad girl customers in the changing room: “I’m not a raving lesbian, but I don’t spend much time with girls and I like to see them in the nude. I’m a bit shortsighted and I must have been staring pretty closely. You look at a girl and think, ‘I’ve got a better bum than her.’ ”