Peter Castro
July 24, 1989 12:00 PM

RON HOWARD: CHILD LABOR

GRACE SLICK: AGE OLD PROBLEM

YOUNG AND THE RESILES: For RON HOWARD, directing two dozen kids in his latest movie, Parenthood (which stars STEVE MARTIN, MARY STEENBURGEN, RICK MORANIS, MARTHA PLIMPTON and JASON ROBARDSA wasn’t exactly child’s play. “I have four children [ages 2 to 8] and I have a pretty high tolerance level for kids,” says Howard, a former child star himself, “but sometimes it’s a relief when I leave in the morning logo to work with adults. Making (his movie, however, there were days I was leaving one chaotic household to go to another. The thing about kid actors is that they don’t think in terms of having a ‘career,’ so they don’t much care whether you like them or not. In fact ZACHARY LAVOY [3, who plays Steve Martin’s son, Justin] got a little tired by the second day and was saying ‘I want to go to my Winnebago/and I thought, ‘Well, this guy’s already learning how to be a star.’ ”

AGING GRACELESSLY: While rock legend GRACE SLICK believes she sounds better with age since she stopped doing drugs and alcohol seven years ago (“They dry your throat”), she’s not happy about getting older. “Getting old isn’t all that hot,” says Grace, 49, who, with a re-formed Jefferson Airplane, will be releasing a new album and playing a national tour next month. “That doesn’t mean I’m miserable, but let’s get real. First you don’t look good, then your memory goes, and then they lug you around in a wheelchair. That’s no fun. I’d be perfectly happy, science willing, to have a bunch of plastic parts put in to keep going any way I can.”

GHOSTBUSTED: Ghostbusters II writer and star HAROLD RAMIS is feeling the SOCK! of his film’s archenemy, Batman, at the box office. Batman has so far out-grossed Ghostbusters by $142 million to $86 million. “I knew I was going to be shocked and sickened by Batman’s success, but it hit me harder than I thought,” says Ramis. “So I decided I wouldn’t look at the figures again until the summer’s over. Otherwise, it’s like taking your temperature every five minutes.”

COLOR BARRIER: Designer PALOMA PICASSO suffered her first art attack at age 11. “I had an art teacher who was supposedly a modern art teacher, and he wanted us to do whatever we wanted,” says Picasso, who’s active in Learning Through Art, a New York program that improves children’s language and reading skills through art. “I was painting the grass green, the sky blue, everything the right color, and he was furious. He said, ‘But you [PABLO’s daughter] should know the grass doesn’t need to be green.’ And I said, ‘But I want to make it green.’ If rebellion is organized, it isn’t a rebellion anymore.”

CHOP SHITIK: He may play karate master Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid series (KKIII is in theaters now), but PAT MORITA knows as much about the martial arts as Errol Flynn knew about fencing. “Looking back, I can’t even imagine how I ever got into the entertainment business,” Morita told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I don’t sing, I don’t dance, I don’t juggle, I don’t have an animal act and I can’t even do karate, to tell you the truth. Karate really mystifies me in a way. All that stuff about breaking bricks. Why don’t they just pick up the brick and hit ’em over the head with it?”

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