“Why he’d harbor such worries at this stage goodness knows,” ponders actress Britt Ekland of ex-husband Peter Sellers, who recently warned her that he’ll take her to court if she excerpts his old love letters in her forthcoming autobiography. “We wrote long and very intimate letters,” sighs the Swedish starlet. “I’ve kept them all, along with letters from my other lovers [who include Rod Stewart and Lou Adler]. They’re part of my life. I can’t ignore them, and I’m sure any other woman would feel the same.” Besides, figures Britt, “Only last week Peter was complaining he’d been left out of Sophia Loren’s new book. He seemed hurt that she hadn’t mentioned their friendship. Surely mentioning him in my book will make up for it.”
So what’s become of David Bowie, once the sequined king of androgyne rock? “I’m learning to be happy,” claims Bowie, who’s lately eschewed the kinetic touring life to pursue his acting career via the upcoming Just a Gigolo. “I go to bed at night instead of 5 a.m. and get up in the morning instead of halfway through the day,” he says. “I’m painting pictures nobody wants to buy, but I love it. I’ve grown my [once orange] hair back to mouse-brown. I’m even practicing walking down the street. I used to be paranoid about it.” It all helps to show, says the all-of-32-year-old Bowie, “that an aging rock star doesn’t have to opt out of life. When I’m 50, I’ll prove it.”
Struts and Frets
Herewith a brief seminar of actors on acting. George C. (Hardcore) Scott, focusing on the ego-battering aspects of the trade, thinks, “It should carry a government warning: ‘Acting can damage your psychological health.’ It is very difficult. It is very dangerous. It is destructive.” As for the physical side, says Glenda (The Class of Miss MacMichael) Jackson, “When I see these actresses who’ve pumped all that stuff into their faces to hide the lines, it’s sad. After all, we’ve earned these lines. It’s the only way you can prove you’re alive.” Roger (The Wild Geese) Moore, however, takes the subject more lightheartedly. “I have my three expressions,” says Roger. “No. 1, eyebrows raised; No. 2, eyebrows lowered; No. 3, crossed eyes when the villain grabs me by the kidney stone [an ailment for which he was recently hospitalized]. I may not be as good as Olivier,” concedes Moore, “but I’m taller.”
Whom you root for can be more important than where your roots are—or so found Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who was roundly booed by an audience of 8,000 in his hometown, Shreveport, La., when Country & Western singer Larry Gatlin brought him onstage during a concert. Bradshaw’s apparent sin: thumping the local favorites, the Dallas Cowboys, in the Superbowl. “I was shocked, I was stunned, I was very hurt,” Bradshaw said later. “I realize this is a Cowboys’ town, but gosh, it’s only football. Everywhere I go I talk up Shreveport, Louisiana,” he added. “This is my home. But man, I just couldn’t believe it.” As for Gatlin, he says he’ll never play Shreveport again.
If you’re Jewish and black—like, say, Sammy Davis Jr.—perhaps you can get away with ethnic jokes about those two groups. But if you’re not, and are the wife of a newly elected U.S. senator to boot, it’s another story—as Elizabeth Taylor Warner has learned. While receiving an award from Harlem Dowling Children’s Services in New York, a predominantly black community-service organization, Liz awkwardly tried to cover for an absent Sammy Davis by telling a joke she said Sammy had provided her. “What do you get,” she asked, “when you cross a black and a Jew?” Her answer: “A janitor who owns his own apartment building.” Some people laughed.
Getting the Message
Media guru Marshall McLuhan so enjoyed appearing in Annie Hall that he immediately began hustling for another part. He spent weeks nagging the producer-director of the soon-to-be-released The Third Walker (starring William Shatner and Colleen Dewhurst), but to no avail. When the budget-conscious moviemaker found that a dozen or so takes were required to wrap McLuhan’s bit part in the Woody Allen film, the 67-year-old professor was nixed for all but a couple of off-camera lines. “I’m sorry, Dad,” explained the producer-director, his daughter Teri, 32. “I just can’t afford you.”