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The Insider

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Crew members on the ABC/Disney movie Rodgers and Hammer stein’s Cinderella, starring Brandy in the title role and Whitney Houston as her fairy godmother, have begun sniping about the divalike behavior of Houston, an executive producer on the TV movie, which started filming last month in Los Angeles. Apparently she treats people on the set with far less respect than does her costar. I’m told both women have kept the crew waiting on more than one occasion, but the difference, says one source, is that Brandy, 18, apologizes for her tardiness and Houston, 33, does not. Houston’s rep says her client was “90 minutes late, once, because she didn’t feel well.” Sonja Norwood, Brandy’s mother and manager, says that Brandy has run late too, “but she always apologizes because she’s the kind of person who apologizes for everything, even when she misses a line.”…

Howard Stern can yap all he wants on the radio about the possibility that his deal to appear in Jane, a romantic comedy starring Melanie Griffith, may fall through. But my sources tell me differently. They say the raunchy radio host, who made his screen debut this year playing himself in Private Parts, based on his bestselling book, is almost certain to accept a minor role in Jane as a drug-crazed record executive. In any event, the film, directed by Lyndall Hobbs, Al Pacino’s ex-girlfriend, begins shooting next month….

Paramount is planning to rerelease its 1978 hit movie musical Grease in the spring as part of a special 20th-anniversary celebration, and it’s expected that the original film’s costars, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, will help the studio promote it. In the meantime, Newton-John, who waged a successful two-year-long battle with breast cancer, is currently in discussions with Imagine Entertainment’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to develop a half-hour sitcom in which she will star. No concept has been decided on yet….

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering whatever became of Heather Thomas, who played Lee Majors’s sexy sidekick in the 1980s TV series The Fall Guy and was pictured in one of the most popular pinup posters of all time. Well, she added writing to her acting credits, and Disney has just bought her most recent script, School Slut, a comedy about a high school girl wrongly accused of promiscuous behavior. Thomas tells me she had previously turned out some 40 scripts, “but this one they liked.” Her mother, however, was less approving. “When I told her the title,” Thomas says, “there was silence, and I knew she was thinking, ‘What am I going to tell my friends?’ So I said, ‘Just say it’s a teen movie, Mom.’ “…

Actor Christopher Law-ford (All My Children), son of Patricia Kennedy Lawford and the late Peter Law-ford, is seen on-camera kissing another man in the new independent feature Kiss Me, Guido. Lawford also executive produced the comedy, which focuses on an ideological collision between the gay community and the Italian-American community in the Bronx. In the film, Lawford plays a gay stage actor whose character receives a passionate kiss from the film’s straight star, played by Nick Scotti. Lawford, who says the scene “challenged me as an actor,” acknowledges that he may be the first man in the extended Kennedy clan to be romantically linked, even fictionally, with another man. But, Lawford reasons, “If you have to kiss a man, Nick Scotti’s not a bad man to kiss.”