A Minnelli mélange
Life is not always a cabaret for Liza Minnelli, who suffered her second miscarriage on New Year’s Eve, but it is almost constantly a party. She threw a dazzling one in her new Manhattan digs for childhood chum Rock Brynner, 34, Yul’s son. The occasion was the publication of his first novel, The Ballad of Habit and Accident, which draws on his problems with alcohol and drugs. Pals like Halston, Norman Mailer and Eli Wallach ogled the nine rooms Liza has decorated with works by sculptor husband Mark Gero and Andy Warhol. While the hostess welcomed Rock before Warhol’s multiple silkscreen of herself, her hooded godmother, author Kay (Eloise) Thompson, 70-ish, circulated like a Bergmanesque dervish. Clearly, she enthralled another dowager, Martha Graham, and amused onlooker Bianca Jagger.
Oscar contender Roman Polanski, whose film Tess is up for Best Picture, appeared to be competing in another category, Most Exuberant Dancer. The buccaneer-garbed Polanski, who starts work this fall on Pirates, whirled his current live-in, Sabina Chudy, 18, at a Gstaad party. Their athletic dance seemed to combine elements of the carioca, Charleston and Highland fling. The 47-year-old Hollywood exile denied perennial rumors of his imminent return to the U.S., expressing fears that an appearance here would seem “a promotion for Tess, which I want to make it on its own.” When he returns, says Polanski, it will be “only for settling legal problems.”
No one can say Britt Ekland, 38, doesn’t know what her daughter is doing these nights. A maternal Britt has become a pink panther of protectiveness since her 16-year-old, Victoria, lost her dad, Peter Sellers, last July. Ekland took the teen to a Rocky Horror Show revival and later to a party at L.A.’s new disco, Club Lingerie. Victoria was suitably made up in Horror Show tradition as Magenta, a “maid of all seasons.” Of course Britt, who’s still glowing from her inclusion in NBC’s Women Who Rate a 10 special, is sort of the fairy godmother to the Horror Show. In 1973, when it was just a lowly production in an obscure London theater, she brought it to the attention of her then lover, Lou Adler. He became its co-producer and took it to the big time. Now Britt is promoting something else, her racy autobiography, True Britt. “Don’t forget it’s being published here next month,” she chirped, before she and Victoria melted into the gloaming.
Young never sleeps
Comes a time when even a recluse like rocker Neil Young leaves the solitude of his 800-acre ranch in Northern California to go public. He surfaced with wife Pegi at Manhattan’s Ritz rock club in the wee hours to hear the Danny Shea band. Arriving after most of the night owls had left, Neil joined the Shea-men, including Gilda Radner’s hubby, G.E. Smith, and onetime Bob Dylan sidekick Rob Stoner, in a sentimental jam session commemorating the recent death of the great blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield.
The Patti-Rich Show
Nancy and Ronald Reagan will have to put up with ribbing—and punk rock—if they catch daughter Patti Davis’ stint on NBC’s Midnight Special scheduled for March 20. Hostessing the show, Patti, 28, will introduce a couple of bands, including X, an ear-splitting New Wave group. For middle-of-the-road tastes like her own, Davis will warble two songs that she’s written, Dark Side of Night and Crying over You. But she’ll leave them laughing—comic Rich Little will be on hand to do a presidential takeoff.