People Staff
December 24, 1979 12:00 PM

“Showbiz is my hobby,” reads Carol Burnett’s newest T-shirt, and the irony of the message is obvious. Ever since she went public with her account of daughter Carrie’s battle with drugs (Oct. 1), Burnett has put her career on hold while waging a deeply felt parental crusade.

“We are not drug experts,” Burnett says of herself and husband Joe Hamilton. “But we are experts in relating our inadequacies, in telling parents, ‘You are not alone. There is hope.’ ” For the Hamiltons the best source of hope has been the Houston-based Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP), where Carrie is recovering from the effects of a pharmacopoeia of drugs from speed to cocaine. Using techniques similar to those of Alcoholics Anonymous, the eight-year-old PDAP now has applicants from all over the country. After Burnett endorsed the program in PEOPLE and later on talk shows, she says, “The kids all but dropped out of the sky in parachutes. A man from San Francisco got his daughter into the program the very night he read the magazine. Now she’s going to the same school as Carrie. They’re best friends.”

Currently, Burnett is raising money to establish a Los Angeles chapter of PDAP. The guest list for one fund-raising dinner at the Hamiltons’ Beverly Hills home included Lucille Ball, Lloyd Bridges, Sally Field and Henry Mancini. So far Carol has deposited some $30,000 in a special PDAP bank account and has also started a campaign against the sale of drug paraphernalia in record stores and boutiques. One clothing store manager removed the offending merchandise after hearing Burnett on the radio, then wrote her a note of thanks for raising his consciousness. She sent him a bouquet of roses—”to sniff instead.”

Carrie, the catalyst for her mother’s involvement, is now 16 and a high school junior in Houston. She will come home briefly for Christmas, then return for good when the LA chapter of PDAP opens its doors in February. Mom will celebrate the new year by co-starring in Plaza Suite with Burt Reynolds at his Jupiter, Fla. dinner theater, and is scheduled to make a movie next spring. “This started out as the worst year of my life,” marvels Carol. “Now it’s ending up as the best.”

“Yeah, we survived it,” says Beverly Johnson. Last summer she and fiancé Mike Hoover (Feb. 12) trekked 400 miles around Antarctica in 10 weeks. They scaled a 9,000-foot peak, fell into crevasses, climbed aboard icebergs and battled 130-mph winds. “If we could stand up,” recalls Beverly, “it was a traveling day.” Since returning from the bottom of the world, mountaineers Johnson, 32, and Hoover, 36, have spent most of their time at the top—filming a TV spot on Devils Tower in Wyoming and working as stuntwoman and cameraman on an NBC movie, High Ice. Commuting between a log cabin in Wyoming and a house in Eagle Rock, Calif., the couple’s next trip may be to the altar, but the date is still up in the air.

“I lived the title to its fullest,” says Miss America 1979. “You name it, I did it.” Kylene Barker (March 26) logged 350,000 miles, made 228 personal appearances and earned an estimated $100,000. After passing on her rhinestone tiara last fall, Kylene, 24, married businessman Jim Brandon, 32, moved into a five-bedroom house in Palm Beach, Fla. and opened an elegant women’s clothing store called D. Kylene (“Danice is my first name, and I always thought I. Magnin sounded good”). Children are a possibility someday, as are cooking lessons for Kylene. “I told her she had to learn to make vichyssoise,” sniffs Brandon. “She hasn’t done it yet.”

Two years and nine days after being sent to a Florida prison for a $5 robbery, Terry Jean Moore (May 21) was released last August. With her was Precious, the 5-month-old daughter (by a married prison guard who subsequently resigned) whom Terry had fought to keep by her side. Today Terry, 23, lives with her grandparents in Orlando, where she works nights at a car rental firm so she can be with Precious during the day. She is considering offers for the movie rights to her story.

Mechanic Ralph Moody and entrepreneur Mike Shetley announced the news with appropriate fanfare: their four-cylinder Moodymobile (May 21) could travel 84 miles on a gallon of diesel fuel. That was about all the two could agree on, however, and their partnership was soon running on empty. In July Shetley, 37, submitted his own Shetleymobile, which he claims can average 110 miles per gallon, to the Environmental Protection Agency for testing. The car actually got 52 mpg, but flunked two out of three emissions tests. A later version met the EPA’s 1979 standards, but not those of 1980. Meanwhile Moody, 61, and his son, Ralph, are refining their own gas and diesel engines. “We know we can get by the EPA right now,” says the elder Moody, “but we just want to see where we’re going. We’ve got people sitting here to buy what we’re selling.”

While spending two months in a West German prison for possession of cocaine (July 30), director Stan Dragoti started an anti-drug novel. Now he is trying to finish it and he has also returned to TV, directing a Ford commercial. The end of his marriage to Cheryl Tiegs still weighs on him. He has dated other women, including model Jackie Cohen (right), but none steadily. “Stan’s not happy,” reports pal Bob Kaufman. “He is searching for something that only he can find. I hope he finds it soon.”

Arthur Ashe (Sept. 17) was 36 and the seventh-ranking male tennis player in the world when he suffered a heart attack last July. Recovering slowly, he is still on daily medication, avoids strenuous exercise and may yet need a coronary bypass operation to head off another attack. Ashe, who is under contract to ABC, is taking broadcasting lessons and anticipating a plunge into politics. “I want to help Andrew Young adjust to private citizenship,” he says, “and Ted Kennedy run for President.”

It was to be the third marriage for both of them, so Lee Radziwill and San Francisco hotelier Newton Cope planned a quiet ceremony at a friend’s apartment on Telegraph Hill (May 14). Then Lee, 46, and Cope, 57, got cold feet with just one hour to spare and left baffled friends sipping champagne alone. Though Cope (“It’s been a lackluster year for me”) still sees Radziwill occasionally, marriage seems out of the question. “Geographically,” he laments, “it’s almost impossible for us. She has her life on the East Coast and I have mine here.”

“I need a man,” growled disco singer Grace Jones in her biggest hit. Now she has two, thanks to the arrival last month of a 5-pound boy named Paul, who has imposed some tranquillity on the tempestuous two-year relationship (April 23) between Jones and artist-photographer Jean-Paul Goude. “I get along better with Grace now. It seems like the baby is bringing us together,” reports Jean-Paul, though he still occasionally retreats to his own Manhattan apartment. As for the infant, says Goude, “It’s ugly and completely white. Everybody thinks Grace stole it.”

As the National Football League’s first top draft choice in 20 years to snub the NFL in favor of Canada, for a reported million-dollar contract (Aug. 6), All-America linebacker Tom Cousineau had something to prove. Last fall he proved it. After helping the Montreal Alouettes into the Grey Cup (Canada’s Super Bowl), Cousineau was named defensive player of the game, winning a trophy and a new car. Unfortunately, his team lost the game.

Among the children who took to the streets in Joliet, III. last Halloween, one trickor-treater stood out: 5-year-old Donnie Wartenberg, alias Spider-Man, who went from house to house pushing a cart containing the cylinder of oxygen that is his connection to life.

Born with a host of congenital defects that resulted in the loss of one lung, Donnie (July 16) had spent all but four months of his life in Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Then last September the little boy came home, where Winnie the Pooh sheets and Mickey Mouse pillowcases in his bedroom offer a striking contrast to the battery of equipment that helps keep him alive.

Tutored every school day, Donnie also participates in kindergarten class by audio hookup. He pledges allegiance to a tiny flag his mother holds, sings America the Beautiful and brightly answers “here” to the roll call. Afternoons, he loves to ride in the family van, sometimes stopping at Brown’s Chicken to visit his three sisters, who work there, and nibble fried mushrooms.

While Donnie has adjusted well to living at home, he still must have round-the-clock nursing. (Doctors hope that by adolescence he will be able to breathe on his own.) Delighted to have Donnie back, his five brothers and sisters always slip into his room to kiss him good-night. “I have a sign on the door that says ‘Keep out,’ ” says Betty Wartenberg, who isn’t really complaining, “and not one of them reads it.”

Last April Janet Sickels of Redvale, Colo. gave birth, three months prematurely, to a 39-ounce girl who had grown in her abdomen instead of her womb (May 28). The infant’s survival chances were slim, but Miracle Stacie Sickels has beaten the odds. She now weighs 12 pounds and is thriving on a diet of formula and baby food. Says Mrs. Sickels: “We’re still nervous because we almost didn’t get her, but she’s going to be okay.”

“We met on the set and played lovers,” says Season Hubley of the TV docudrama in which she was Priscilla Presley to Kurt Russell’s Elvis (Feb. 19). “Actually we had nothing in common. I think he is so off-the-wall sometimes that I just stand and stare at him.” Despite her misgivings and Russell’s dour view of marriage (“I wouldn’t wish that on anyone”), the unlikely couple were married in April. Russell, 28, has parlayed his stunning portrayal of Elvis into another TV movie and a big-screen comedy, Used Cars, to be released next year. Hubley, 27, has retired temporarily to await the arrival of their baby in February. The Russells apparently have something in common.

For four months, long after official efforts to locate their downed plane were suspended, Lisa Teifer (March 12) continued to search for her boyfriend and her brother. They had disappeared on a Christmas flight near Lake Placid, N.Y. Teifer’s quest ended only when seven feet of snow melted and the wreckage was uncovered. The men appeared to have died instantly. Lisa, 23, has stayed on in Lake Placid and taken a job with a public relations firm for the Winter Olympics. “This will be a painful Christmas,” says her mother, “but we hope if we get through this, things will be better.”

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