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FOWL CALL: Princess Diana’s father, Earl Spencer, admits to being troubled by this summer’s tabloid reports of a rift in his daughter’s marriage. “I do worry for her, but I’m sure she can rise above it,” he told Britain’s Woman magazine. “She was born with great courage. If you see her with her two beautiful, charming children, you can see she’s happy.” The Earl seems not at all upset, however, by charges that his daughter has more looks than brains. Apparently he’d agree with Di’s famous description of herself as being mentally “as thick as a plank,” since Dad maintains, “Most women are bird-brained.” Now, that ought to ruffle some feathers among the pheasantry.

HOT NUMBER: Alan Thicke, 40, the on-air dad to teen throb Kirk Cameron, 16, on ABC’s Growing Pains, has taken a second job, as host of a new Saturday afternoon children’s show on the network, Animal Crack-Ups. “They tell you not to work with kids or animals,” he notes. “That means I’m zero for two.” A bachelor since his 1984 divorce from soap actress/singer Gloria Loring, Alan says the Growing Pains job has greatly enhanced his romantic prospects. “I have something every girl in America wants—Kirk’s home phone number.”

KNOW THYSELF: You won’t catch Lisa Hartman, 31, declaiming her burning need to get back to the theater to play Lady Macbeth. From her druggie character in the TV remake of Valley of the Dolls to waitress Cathy Geary on Knots Landing, Hartman has trafficked in what could be called, as she admits, garbahge. “I love trash,” says the actress, who also bed-hopped in last season’s miniseries Roses Are For the Rich. “Trash is the greatest. I couldn’t do without it. Because actually, I’m trash myself. Well, sort of.”

OPTICAL ILLUSION: While in Santa Barbara, Calif., shooting a print ad for her line of sunglasses, Sophia Loren, 53, inadvertently may have given away one of the hallowed secrets of stardom. Dressed in a black sequined gown, she floated languorously on a huge silver raft in a pool under the glare of a hot California sun (she says she generally avoids such rays) for shot after shot. Finally the photographer said, “Now I want you to look indifferent.” Replied Loren: “I am indifferent.”

NO POLITICAL SATISFACTION: Mick Jagger, 44, isn’t one for making grandiose claims for the import of the songs he writes. “I’ve just written music about things I’ve seen, things I’ve done, about picking up girls after concerts. It’s not candyfloss [British for cotton candy], escapist music, but that doesn’t make picking up girls sociologically important,” he told the London Observer. He also says he’s taken a pass when asked, earlier in his career, to endorse either Britain’s Labour or Tory Party. “I was far too swept up with my own life and my own ego, going to every country I could, getting as much sex as I could. You could say my political awareness was very slight.”

EXTRAS ON THE SET: When Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise finally start shooting Rainman, the film’s director would do well to heed the warnings of Tony Scott and man the barricades. Scott, who directed Top Gun, recalls that the hardest part of working with the then-unmarried Cruise was the gawking women (and men) who flocked around the actor. “They were everywhere,” he says. “The young ladies from 14 to 40 die for him.” Perhaps Rainman’s yet-to-be-named director can turn this to his advantage, which is exactly what Scott did. “I used to hang around Cruise,” he explains. “I’d hang around him and get all the castoffs.”