Robert De Niro may have been happy to put on 60 pounds to play pugilist Jake La Motta in Raging Bull, but Shelley Long was not about to ruin her lissome figure for her scenes as a depressed, overweight house-slug in Irreconcilable Differences, her new movie with Ryan O’Neal. Even if she’d really wanted to pork up, she couldn’t have, since she had only 10 days to lose the weight again before resuming work on NBC’s Cheers. So, for her pudge scenes, Long donned a padded suit, inserted special “cheek pampers” designed by an L.A. dentist and greased her hair. “They still didn’t think I looked bad enough, so they put a cold sore on my lower lip,” she says. “This is not your basic glamour shot.” More glamorous is Long’s new romance on Cheers. Having broken up with bartender Sam (Ted Danson) at the end of last season, Long’s character, Diane Chambers, opens this season by bringing round to the bar a psychiatrist boyfriend (played by newcomer Kelsey Grammer). Long describes his character as “a male Diane, but even more exaggerated. He’s quite a stuffed shirt, but he does it with great style.”
On a recent Saturday afternoon, sun worshipers at a beach in Venice, Calif. were startled to find Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy striding through their midst. The two, dressed in bathing suits that matched their surfboards, were doing a scene for Piscopo’s upcoming HBO special. Every time they got near the water’s edge, however, Murphy turned heel and fled before the waves could catch him. “Eddie can’t stand the water,” laughed his manager. Murphy eventually went in up to his ankles and emerged exuberantly crying “Exhilarating!” Later the director told Murphy and Piscopo to get closer together for a shot. The two quickly linked hands. That’s how rumors get started.
Olympic high jumper Dwight Stones clears the bar with ease, but clearance from wife Linda is another matter. Photographer Christie Jenkins, a self-described “old fiancée” of Stones, was shooting him in a G-string and tank top for her 1985 calendar celebrating the buns of male celebrities. Jenkins says Stones’ wife insisted that the photo session be held in their garage rather than Jenkins’ studio so that she could keep an eye on the goingson. Other celebrities bringing up the rear: canceled TV host Alan Thicke in hockey shorts and Olympic gold medal winner Scott Hamilton in his skating pants, hands demurely clasped behind him.
Rocker Pat Benatar and husband Neil Geraldo, her lead guitarist, are expecting, but Pat isn’t ready to start crooning any lullabies yet. She just rushed into a Los Angeles studio to shoot four tough-looking videos from her album Painted Desert before she pops out of her black leather pants. Although Benatar was only two months preggers, her costumer reports, “We still had to let everything out a little.”
This week’s shaggy dog story: Rex Smith takes his pit bull terrier, whose extended moniker is Pal-o-mine Dupont Smith, with him every day to the set of Streethawk, the singer-actor’s new ABC series. “He’s not in any scenes yet,” reports Smith, “which is too bad because it’s about time he started earning his own food.” The dog has no union card but has been accompanying Rex to work (Pirates of Penzance, Solid Gold and Human Comedy) since Smith acquired him as a puppy four years ago. “He has better manners than half the people on the set,” Rex cracks.