A standoff between Bob Geldof’s Band Aid group and the Marxist Ethiopian government has been settled. Geldof had been furious because some $900,000 worth of food, blankets and medical supplies were confiscated at gunpoint from the Band Aid ship, which was docked at the port of Assad. Ethiopian officials were unhappy because the supplies were bound—contrary to a pact with Band Aid—for the famine-stricken province of Eritrea, where secessionist rebels have been waging a civil war. The group had been quietly supplying the area with aid for some time anyway. But, concedes a Band Aid spokesman, “This time we got caught with our pants down.” Now, the Ethiopian government has agreed to release the supplies, and Band Aid will oversee their distribution.
Shelley Long and Bette Midler, who fight over the same lover in Outrageous Fortune, are off-camera rivals as well—or at least their agents are. The dispute is over (what else?) who gets top billing. The Solomon-like compromise: Half of the film prints, TV ads, posters and press releases will show Long’s name first; on the other half, Midler gets first mention. Curiously, Midler asked for fourth billing—following Danny De Vito, Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater—in Ruthless People, opening next month.
Just before Meryl Streep gave birth to her third child, Grace Gummer, in New York, the actress vowed to take a year off to play mother. But Streep had such a good time co-starring with Jack Nicholson in Heartburn (opening July 18) that when the offer came to co-star with Nicholson again in William Kennedy’s Pulitzer prizewinning 1983 novel, Ironweed, she jumped at it. After years of classy roles. Streep will do a character new to the Vassar grad: a hobo.
“I’m expecting a little Libra in September,” reports Dhaima, Philip Michael Thomas’ off-and-on girlfriend. Neither party will confirm he’s the daddy-to-be….
Backstage pass: Air Supply’s Graham Russell, 36, will wed actress-model Jodi Varble, 21, on June 7. They met in 1982 after Jodi won concert tickets on a radio call-in show and got to meet the group….
Divorcing: Joan Crawford’s daughter (and Mommie Dearest author) Christina and her husband of 10 years, producer David Koontz.
Outrageous rocker Ozzy Osboume plays a Jerry Falwell-like antirock crusader in a Halloween feature, Trick or Treat. For his cameo role, Osboume slicks back his hair and preaches against the evils of rock music.
Pierce Brosnan, who is apparently set to take over James Bond duties from Roger Moore, is perfect for the part except for one detail, says Michael Caine. Co-starring with Brosnan in the movie adaptation of Frederick Forsyth’s best-selling thriller Fourth Protocol, Caine noted of the lean 6’1″ actor: “He’d be great if he would gain a little more weight on the shoulders.”
L.A. producer-director Wilbur Stark has a movie in development perfect for daughter Koo, Prince Andrew’s ex-flame. Based on an Ingmar Bergman script titled Erotica, the movie is about a king, queen, prince and a whore. “It’s slightly shocking, but there will be no mass nudity,” says Stark, 63. “It will hardly be R-rated in this country.” But Dad is no believer in nepotism and bypassed his actress daughter in favor of unknowns.
Following a month of closed circuit TV coverage, live (and mercifully limited) nationwide airing of Senate proceedings begins next week. Observers note a rise in the number of blow dryers (Is there a better way to hide bald spots?) roaring in the Senate wings as well a proliferation of red neckties—which just happen to photograph beautifully on television.
One of the highlights of the new London musical, Time, is a pre-recorded 3-D film image of Sir Laurence Olivier’s head that’s projected over the stage. Olivier, who plays a God-like character called Akash, was recruited by producer Dave Clark, 43, former leader of the ’60s group The Dave Clark Five. “I didn’t know Larry,” says Clark. “But for someone 78 to take a chance with an old rock’n’roller like me is incredible.”