Dallas to Doughnuts
The question in Dallas-crazed Great Britain was: Who shot J.R. Ewing? One British bookie, William Hill, collected more than $240,000 in bets until newspaper stories fingered the cowboy lover of J.R.’s long-suffering wife. Hill stopped taking any more money, but the firm isn’t paying off yet. “This is a fictional series and it can be changed at any time” was the businesslike explanation. Jolly right. Dallas producers plan to shoot the scene several ways with different suspects. That way neither the cast nor their agents will know who pulled the trigger until about three weeks into the fall season. For Britons the odds stand like this: Dusty Farlow, the cowboy, a 6-4 favorite; J.R.’s sister-in-law Kristin, 4-1; his cheated business associate Vaughn Leland, 4-1; his mother, 6-1; his wife, Sue Ellen, 25-1. Attempted suicide got a bit of play too.
Art Carney was chatting with one of Blondie’s traveling crew on location in Texas, where the actor and the rock group were shooting Roadie. He was reminiscing that his first film had also been a musical. “It was called Pot O’Gold and we made it in 1941,” Carney said. “Far out, man!” breathed the roadie, wide-eyed. “They were making dope movies back then?”
The driver of the Jeep-like vehicle that carried the Pope on a recent trip through Turin has wry memories of the trip. The escort police were yelling at him to keep moving, but John Paul II wanted to stop frequently to greet the multitudes. “At one point there was so much noise that to make me understand he wanted to get down and bless a young woman, he gave me a knee in the kidneys,” recalls the chauffeur, Fiat factory foreman Francesco Frasso. “I was pretty surprised…but we understood each other right away.”
Heaven forfend that Jane Fonda should read this, but fellow actress Valerie Perrine has no use for women’s lib. “I don’t think we should be treated equal,” the buxom star explains. “We should be treated special, with special privileges. Because, after all, it’s women who bear the children. We should be respected, cared for, pampered.” The way the childless actress sees it—from her opulent hillside home overlooking Los Angeles—women can get whatever they want. “Look at me,” she argues. “I’ve never married. There isn’t a man in my life. I’ve accomplished everything independently, and anyone with ambition can.” How? “Go to night school.”
More than 500 fans turned out at a Manhattan discount bookstore for the launching of Leonard Bernstein’s set of nine Beethoven symphonies, recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic. Some 125 people paid $49.99 for the weighty collection, which the silver-maned maestro was delighted to autograph. “Charming,” was the composer-conductor’s verdict on the session. “My first two customers were nuns—my biggest fans.” But he called his reception tame compared with some in Europe. “In Munich,” he recalled, “they once had to spirit me away to the airport on the back of a motorcycle.”
•With the disco craze waning, Isaac Hayes—whose Shaft theme helped start the epidemic—now confesses he never much liked the sound anyway. “Most disco is sterile,” he says disdainfully. “It’s a loud thump and a lyric that makes no sense. But it served a purpose: The would-be wallflowers and the guys with two left feet could get out and dance.”
•Carrie Fisher reflected on her five months at England’s Elstree Studios making The Empire Strikes Back: “It was a bit grueling. You were like one of the best-paid hostages in the world, sitting there for hours and never knowing when they were going to film.”