NOT THE WRITE STUFF
After collaborating for two years with Zsa Zsa Gabor, 70, on her memoirs, syndicated columnist Ira Blumenthal was recently fired by the Hungarian glamourpuss. Now he plans to combine material he gathered from Gabor with anecdotes about the nerve-racking partnership for a book of his own titled Not Writing Zsa Zsa. Says Blumenthal: “Zsa Zsa is very, very demanding. Here’s a woman who controlled Conrad Hilton and George Sanders, so who’s Blumenthal? It seemed she wanted me to be her assistant, valet, escort, consort, dog walker, secretary and driver.” The relationship ended when he went to Palm Beach to work and found Gabor focused on flowers, polo, decorating—everything but the book. Blumenthal says she told him that he needed to interview her more. He said he had enough tapes: “They’ve started to repeat themselves.” According to Gabor, the procrastination was on Blumenthal’s part. “I never fired him,” says Zsa Zsa. “I just wanted to scare him, to hurry him up a bit. I love him—he’s my best friend.”
THE WAY THEY WEREN’T
Joanna Cassidy and Dabney Coleman, who scandalized America in NBC’s too-hip-for-prime-time series Buffalo Bill, will be paired again in director John Boorman’s feature Where the Heart Is, Coleman will be up to his old sexist ways as a demolition contractor who spares one old house only to stick his spoiled children in it to fend for themselves. But Cassidy, who played a sassy director to Coleman’s TV host in Buffalo Bill, will be subservient as Coleman’s wife. “The woman I play—her husband is her career,” says Joanna, adding, “Dabney’s at his most wonderful with a hard hat on. blowing up buildings, blowing up his family.”
BENNY LOVES ALICE
L.A. Law’s mentally disabled office boy, Benny, played by Larry Drake, will have another go at love in an episode titled “America the Beautiful,” airing next month. Amanda (Made in Heaven) Plummer will play developmentally disabled Alice Hackett, who is introduced to Benny by her dad, one of the firm’s wealthiest clients. Particularly true to life is the scene in which Alice talks her chauffeur into letting her take Benny on a drive around the Dodger Stadium parking lot. The shaky wheelwork came naturally: Plummer, who grew up in New York City, doesn’t drive that often. Meanwhile, the marriage of Susan Ruttan’s character, Roxanne, is about to end. “She only married for financial comfort,” says the show’s publicist, Lark Zonka.