Of the tube’s most beautiful people, old pro David Janssen thinks (a) Lee Majors “might be a pretty good actor, but he hasn’t had a chance to prove it with the comic book lines of Six Million Dollar Man,” and (b) his wife should follow Marilyn Monroe’s tactic of “surrounding herself with talented people—names like Alec Guinness and Jack Nicholson—if she wants to be taken seriously.” Of course, the avuncular Janssen, 47, admits he’s “no sage.” Back in the immemorial days when she was unknown, Farrah Fawcett-Majors showed Janssen the pilot script of Charlie’s Angels. “I said it was the worst piece of crap I’d ever seen, but she should accept it to get leading lady status—and besides, the show would never sell.”
Though he shed 60 pounds during the arduous Philippine filming of his Vietnam-era epic Apocalypse Now, producer-director Francis Ford Coppola stands to lose a more painful pound of flesh if the film bombs following its scheduled December opening. United Artists put up $7.5 million and raised another $7 million selling foreign rights, but where was the completion money to come from once the film’s original $12 million budget had ballooned to a Pentagonesque $25 million? Answer: from Coppola’s own pocket. The former boy wonder, despite his 6 percent skim of the Godfather gross and an even better deal on Godfather II, reportedly has had to hock all his personal assets to finish Apocalypse—and that includes his eggshell-blue mansion in San Francisco’s posh Pacific Heights.
Frank L. Rizzo, 56, self-described music lover, former high school clarinet player and mayor of the home city of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Ballet, admitted to the city’s PBS channel his own cultural preferences: on TV, Police Story, other detective thrillers (he’s a second-generation cop), Westerns; in movies, those of John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and above all Gunga Din, which he’s seen “at least 30 times”; in music, Sinatra and “Western” stuff but not “all this noise and junk.” He’s never seen Eugene Ormandy’s famed Philadelphians—though he’s heard them on the air and professes to like them—or an opera at the Academy of Music. (No word of ballet.) Rizzo’s barely convincing explanation since concert dress is optional): hates tux, won’t travel.
In television’s 1973 Peeping Tom purview of An American Family, long-haired youngest son and amateur musician Grant Loud was slouching through high school while eldest brother Lance chased the Manhattan limelight, eventually performing with a rock group called Mumps. Now the Mumps have subsided back to California, and Grant, at 23, has a steady, four-night-a-week singing gig in a Big Apple boite. “One morning I woke up and I just couldn’t face rock’n’roll anymore,” he explains of his solo renderings of 1920s-40s tunes. “Jolson led me to Crosby, and Crosby led me to Paul Whiteman.” But while Lance camped flamingly, Grant is playing his nostalgia straight—he dresses for his performances with short hair parted in the middle, a sleeveless sweater and polka-dot bow tie.
•He looks super, but at 73 and worth more than $20 million, Cary Grant says he doesn’t need the aggravation of another movie. “I’d hate it,” Grant says, “mostly for [11-year-old daughter] Jennifer’s sake. Let the tall, dark, smooth-haired guy stay where he is on late-night TV. He was very immature compared with me, but I quite liked him.”
•President Carter groused recently about his burden of paperwork, but State Department insiders say much of the problem may be self-inflicted. Insatiable about detail, Carter returns many more memos than his predecessors and with far more minute marginal comments. But a breakthrough may be in progress. The President has just completed his Evelyn Wood speed reading course.
•”As an actor, as a parent, as a former teacher, I try to make Kojak as nonviolent as possible,” says 55-year-old Iolli-Pop Telly Savalas. He doesn’t entirely succeed: son Nicholas, at a tender three years, is forbidden to watch the show. Telly’s three older children, 14 to an independent 26? “Maybe.”