“Generally, women are better than men—they have more character,” opines Lauren Bacall without revealing how much, if any, of hers was formed during marriages to Humphrey Bogart and Jason Robards. “I prefer men for some things, obviously, but women have a greater sense of honor and are more willing to take a chance with their lives,” continues Bacall, 53. “They are more open and decent in their relationship with a man. Men run all the time. I don’t know how they live with themselves, they are so preoccupied with being studs.”
Satirist Martin (America 2 Night) Mull was en route to a Dallas appearance, and reporters had assembled for the scheduled airport press conference. But no one balked when two well-dressed, middle-aged women—identifying themselves as the concert promoter’s aides—announced the conference was rescheduled and that they would drive Mull to his hotel. Only after the performer was in the car did the women reveal that they were impostors—fans who’d decided the only way to meet their idol was to kidnap him. A thoroughly amused Mull let himself be chauffeured around Dallas before being dropped at his hotel, and there never was a press conference.
Above the Battle
Virginia Democratic senatorial candidate Andrew Miller on why he doesn’t expect Republican opponent John Warner’s spouse—Elizabeth Taylor by name—to be an election issue: “I don’t think Mr. Warner intends to campaign against my wife, and I don’t intend to campaign against his.”
During a talk at Northwestern, alum Charlton Heston, 53, told the audience: “Acting is the oldest profession, no matter what claims are made by the other trade.” The first drama, Heston theorizes, “was a stirring account of a mastodon hunt, and the first actor was the man who could tell the story best. And he was paid with a choice cut.” But no cut for his agent (no doubt the third oldest profession)?
Happy Hustler Bobby Riggs, 60, recently came out the loser for a change—a large piece of change: $10,000. At the Monte Carlo Country Club, Iranian tennis player Arvan Nehmati, 30ish, conned the old pro into spotting him two games, then creamed him. “He could have given me three games,” sighs Riggs, who later learned that fun-loving “friends” had put Nehmati up to the bet. Concluded a disbelieving Bobby: “I’ve been hustled.”
“How could they have the gall!” exclaimed one incredulous journalist, who, along with 300 other foreign correspondents accredited to Bonn, had been invited to Soviet Ambassador Valentin Falin’s reception celebrating “the 10th anniversary of the suppression of counterrevolutionary forces in Czechoslovakia”—which was known in the West as the 1968 Soviet invasion. The answer is that no one had the gall except a political black humorist with a knack for forgery.
•”It’s just an act Johnny Carson and I have going,” says Tony Randall, 58. He admits he’s not the sesquipedalianist he often appears to be on the Tonight Show—he simply looks up a few polysyllabic jawbreakers before each appearance, prompts his host in advance, and then sits there smugly, a study in omphaloskepsis.
•While exiting a New York screening of Paramount’s new Days of Heaven, a certain dark-haired actor was pestered by a fan. “Al, Al, hi!” clamored the admirer. “You must have mistaken me for Al Pacino,” corrected a weary Dustin Hoffman. Pause. “I’m Robert De Niro.”