Michael Neill
June 02, 1986 12:00 PM

LUCKILY, HE WASN’T WEARING A CROWN: St. Elsewhere’s Canadian-born Howie Mandel had a chance to meet Prince Charles after the opening gala of Canada’s Expo 86 in Vancouver. But commoner Howie was slightly confused about how to relate to royalty. “He was real nice,” said Mandel, “but I didn’t know the protocol. I didn’t know if I should shake his hand or bow or curtsy, so I went to shake his hand, and he bowed, and I shook his head.”

SO HOW MANY ACTORS ARE MEMBERS OF MENSA? Charlton Heston, patriarch of The Colbys, conservative Republican and longtime activist, has already said he won’t be running for the U.S. Senate. That, however, hasn’t stopped him from having strong opinions about show business types involved in political causes, especially the musicians who recorded Sun City, the antiapartheid album. Heston told Policy Review magazine: “I’m afraid I am not up on rock ‘n’ roll stars, but I am not impressed by their political activism. This may sound snobbish, but the intellectual level of rock musicians is not to be envied.”

THAT’S OKAY, THEY’VE GOT FAT HEADS: Oprah Winfrey, Chicago talk show host and star of The Color Purple, is weighing in at about 200 pounds these days, and that’s after spending time at a spa in Tucson. She’s trying to shed the extra flab because she’s tired of the sniping that it sometimes generates. “I’m lucky because I live in the public eye and people treat you positively,” Oprah told the Detroit Free Press. “But there are also people who think they can one-up you. They say, ‘She may have a talk show, she may have been nominated for an Oscar, but she’s still got fat thighs.’ ”

OH, CONAN, YOU BARBARIAN! Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have been married for only one month, but early on the muscle-bound one found something to complain about. In an interview aired on Boston television shortly after his wedding, Schwarzenegger said he was not entirely happy about the crosscountry nature of the marriage. “We fly back and forth as much as possible,’ and we run up thousands of dollars in phone bills.” And how do they keep their marriage intimate? Easy, says Arnold. “We have over-the-phone sex.”

HE’S HAVING A BAD DREAM, DON’T WAKE HIM UP: Filmmeister Steven Spielberg was in a jovial mood when he turned up at Brandeis University to accept an honorary Doctor of Creative Arts degree. “You’ve scored big with my parents,” he told his hosts at a private black-tie banquet the night before. “This is just the kind of university they dreamed of for me—a good Jewish one!” Spielberg went on to tell that as a child, he had “wide-screen dreams,” dreams of strange creatures and amazing places that he’d recount to his skeptical family the following morning over breakfast. “Their question then was, ‘How much will this dream cost?’ ” he says. “People who know me know that my question now is, ‘How much will it make?’ ”

THIS TIME HE ONLY PUNCHED THE KEYS: Sean Penn usually lets his fists do the talking, but last week he turned to nonviolent methods to express his anger. Upset by an article in the L.A. Times that catalogued the awful reviews given his pals Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy for Blue City, Sean typed out a nasty letter to the editor. “The young actors…earn higher salaries and notoriety than most staffers on the news circuit and therefore are considered fair game for ‘writers’…to scathe, thereby deriving needed therapy for the jealous, empty lives they lead.” He closed with, “As a media-appointed member of this ‘brat pack,’ I’d stand and be counted with Sheedy and Nelson any day.” So there.

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