One of the sizzling sidebar questions of the Helsinki Summit was the state of health of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The Russians have long put down the dire rumors—his only medical problem, they say, was adjusting to new dentures. But British Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s physician had reportedly detected unmistakable signs of radiation treatment along Brezhnev’s jaw during their earlier meeting, and at Helsinki, observers couldn’t resist scrutinizing the area. The Communist party chief openly toyed with his false teeth, but that could have been an act, for through the entire conclave, Brezhnev, a classic Slav trencherman, never ate a morsel in public. And his sessions with Gerald Ford (who held all such other meetings over breakfast or lunch) were deliberately scheduled between meals. So, as the leaders returned home, the question remained unanswered. Could Soviet dentistry be so primitive as to take eight months to fit a set of false teeth?
“I suppose I do fancy blokes quite a bit,” says British rock star David Bowie, acknowledging his bisexuality, “but I spend more time with chicks. It’s all so academic, and anyway, I love my wife Angie.” Of course, David would never have met his aspiring actress wife, Angela, he concedes, if they hadn’t both been involved with the same man. Just now, Bowie is off in New Mexico shooting his maiden movie, Nick Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, but Angie says, “I’m not worried that Bo will fall in love with someone else while we’re apart.” In the first place, “He’s incapable of loving anything except his work,” and in any case, she adds, “I’m his security, and anyone else is just a one-night stand.”
This Trip Necessary?
To buck up Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller’s bruised ego and to indicate that campaign manager Bo Callaway’s drop-Rocky remarks didn’t necessarily speak for the Oval Office, Gerald Ford made a public display of choppering with Rocky to Andrews Air Base (en route to Helsinki). Of course, the gesture required a direct presidential order to the Secret Service, which opposes flying the two top eggs in one basket. White House wags, noting that the Speaker of the House is next in line, still refer to the trip as “The Carl Albert Memorial Flight.”
Why was George Peppard, 46, who deserted NBC’s Banacek and professed his distaste for series TV, returning to the network’s new Doctors’ Hospital? “Alimony for two ex-wives, three children to support,” he cryptically replied. So why had he just married Sherry Boucher? “Sherry doesn’t eat that much,” he cracked. “It’s ex-wives who seem to eat so much—you’d imagine they weigh 400 pounds.” If the truth be told, Peppard’s exes include svelte actress Elizabeth Ashley, and George legally ended support payments to her last fall on the grounds that he was an indigent aspiring producer who had given up gainful acting.
Promptly at six o’clock each Monday evening in the august hearing room of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, some of Washington’s most imposing figures converge in caucus. There are 22 of them, and they all have one thing in common: they are fat. But they want to do something about it. The Committee on Corpulent Responsibility, as it calls itself, includes former Census Director Richard Scammon, Lady Bird Johnson’s onetime press aide Liz Carpenter, and a preponderance of Democrats led by Sen. James Abourezk of South Dakota, who brings his scale to each meeting. House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill showed at the founding session, went on his own diet, and shucked 33 pounds to a wispy 264. Abourezk himself has lost 20 pounds since June on a 1,800-calorie-a-day diet that prohibits alcohol. He weighs 222 now, and observes for the record: “I’ve never been so bored in my life.”
•The cradle rocks, and another bird falls into the life of Peter Sellers, 49. This month’s is Tessa Dahl, 18, the striking starlet daughter of Peter’s contemporaries, actress Pat Neal and author Roald Dahl.
•Everybody stared at the tiny pale blonde—obviously an expectant mother—who appeared in the maternity department at New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue the other day. She stayed only briefly, but anyone who got a good gawk knew it was Tricia Nixon Cox.