The cast of Dallas left for the SAG/AFTRA picket line before ever finding out who shot J.R. Before the strike, they had done parts of 10 different episodes, none complete. “We’d be handed pieces of blank script for certain scenes,” says Linda Gray, who plays J.R.’s wandering wife, Sue Ellen. “One day producer-director Leonard Katzman whispered to me on the set, ‘Give an evil look over there—just look evil.’ ‘At whom?” I asked. ‘I don’t even know what the evil look is for!’ ” Like a trouper, though, she looked malevolently into space. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
Colorado’s brainy Sen. Gary Hart, 42, has just been selected by Playgirl magazine as one of the 10 sexiest men in America. How come? Hart laughs it off. “I’ve been telling Coloradans for years that we are in an area of limited resources. The list shows the situation to be more desperate than I realized.”
After a bad day on the Lincolnshire set of Little Lord Fauntleroy, during which Sir Alec Guinness, by his own account, “fluffed four or five camera takes,” the tow-headed American star of the old classic, Ricky Schroder, came up and gave the actor a big kiss. “I think it was to reassure me and put me at my ease,” says the 66-year-old veteran of 40 films (and one Oscar, for The Bridge on the River Kwai) of the 10-year-old veteran of three. “I think he was saying, ‘It happens to all of us.’ ”
Val the Veggie
Turkey breast sandwiches are traditionally called Mae Wests, and at Lindy’s a Lucille Ball is salami and Swiss cheese on rye. But stars of the ’80s have trendier foods as their namesakes. For example, take the Vegetable Quiche Valerie Perrine at the East Side neighborhood eatery Swell’s in Manhattan. Perrine was dining there one night with her brother and bodyguard, but could find nothing on the menu for vegetarians. Fast-thinking co-owner Sandy Arcara offered the quiche, custom-cooked it and asked permission to name it after Valerie instead of bringing her the check. Perrine gave the nod. Will she collect royalties? Shrugs Arcara, still quick thinking, “Did the Earl of Sandwich get royalties on sandwiches?”
The Big Yellow One
Ted Shackelford, who plays bland, blond Gary Ewing on Knots Landing and Dallas, says sudden fame has made him a whiz at signing his autograph, always a difficult task. Since childhood he’s found his name cumbersome. “I’d have to go letter by letter,” Ted admits, “but now it just comes out automatically.” In the fall his character, influenced by the public’s infatuation with his ultracaddish TV brother J.R., will become a little more concupiscent and conniving, much to Shackelford’s delight. “You can stand there smiling for only so long,” he says, “without becoming boring.”
Flash in the Pan
Phyllis Diller, who like an ocean liner is in a more or less permanent state of physical overhaul, chatted with Atlanta dentist Ronald Goldstein on a flight home from Europe. In line for customs in New York, Goldstein explained a technique called composite resin bonding that layers liquid plastic on the teeth, making them pearly white. A week later Diller flew to Atlanta for a treatment. Goldstein called in his lab technicians on Sunday and finished the job in eight hours. Despite, or maybe because of, the $5,000 tab, Phyllis is all smiles.
Hamilton Jordan explained to a reporter in the pandemonium of Madison Square Garden where he gets the energy to run the President’s reelection campaign: “The thing that has kept me going for the past 10 months and will for the next three or four is the fear that Jimmy Carter might lose and on Nov. 5 say, ‘Okay, let’s get started on 1984.’ ”