There’s no danger that John B. Connally will retire to any JBC ranch. In fact, the ex-Treasury Secretary is currently heading up an ad hoc U.S. citizens group trying to pump up non-Communist forces in next week’s Italian election. What’s in it for Big John? Seems that, politics aside, when he left Washington in 1971, he declared, “All Nellie and I want is to go to Italy and buy one of those big old palaces.” So Where’s the Connally palazzo? Nowhere. Big John’s palace envy turned out to be bigger than his pocketbook.
The surf almost ran out 11 years ago for the Beach Boys’ tidal creative force, Brian Wilson, when he stopped touring and singing with the group and drifted into reclusiveness. But in the fifteenth of the family’s endless summers, Wilson is surfacing with his first new songs in four years for the Bicentennial Beach Boy tour and their upcoming LP, 15 Big Ones. “I started aging. I began thinking I didn’t have a youthful look at life,” explains Wilson, 33. “I was scared for a while and ducked out.” But now, Brian believes, “I am an adult, and I can write for the kids better than ever.”
Two weeks after he arrived in town to shoot Billy Jack Goes to Washington, Tom Laughlin stormed out of D.C., claiming he had dropped a quarter of a mil for a quarter of the footage he needed because of “vague regulations and faceless bureaucrats.” Washingtonians retorted that Laughlin’s demands would have closed such landmarks as the Jefferson Memorial to other out-of-towners in the height of the Bicentennial tourist season. In any case, Laughlin can finish his remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in Hollywood (like All the President’s Men) and perhaps cash in on the controversy with publicity seeking hyperbole like his latest: “There is a concerted effort by the White House to prevent us from making this film.”
Though he made his rep with the being-in-love-is-never-having-to-say-you’re-sorry picture, Love Story, starring his third wife, Ali MacGraw, Hollywood producer-executive Bob Evans has, at 45, decided, “Three times to bat is quite enough. Anyway, what for?” he asks. “I don’t need a woman to give me a child—I’ve got Josh [by Ali]. And I don’t need a woman to look after house or cook for me—I’ve got David, who’s the best cook in town. There’s something else. I get bored easily with women. If you want to know the truth, I’d rather have breakfast in bed with my son than with any woman in the world.”
Since winning her doctorate in ethology from Cambridge, Jane Goodall, 42, has spent much of her life in the African bush studying and filming animal behavior. Not that she hasn’t also developed some theories on more highly evolved forms. “I certainly agree women have been denied their rights,” she observes, “but I don’t agree with the way women are going about getting them. The bond between the mother and child is very important, and women should take time out to be with their children.” But did she find time for her own child? “I spent at least half of every day raising my son until he was grown,” Goodall replies. (The boy, by her first husband, photographer Hugo van Lawick, is 9.) “People who haven’t time for children,” she says, “shouldn’t have them.”
•It was not a Hobson’s but a Huston’s choice. Anjelica, 24-year-old daughter of director John Huston, was offered a $10,000 modeling gig in New York by Halston—but that meant leaving her other old man alone in L.A. for a week. She opted to stay home with Jack Nicholson.
•Less than a year after he unpacked his carpetbag at a new $500,000 manse in McLean, Va., Charles Robb, the 36-year-old, Arizona-born lawyer husband of Lynda Bird Johnson, is testing Tidewater politics. There is no present target of opportunity, but the ex-Marine Major Viet vet is not denying that he’s gunning for Virginia’s lieutenant governorship in 1977.
•If last year’s report about The Fonz’s death wasn’t frightening enough, this year’s is worse: that Henry Winkler is inextricably hooked on Cindy (Laverne & Shirley) Williams. They did use to date, but “we’re just real good friends,” assures Williams, convincingly (if unoriginally). Says Winkler, in effect: sit on it.