September 01, 1980 12:00 PM

Strange Ones in the Night

Farrah Fawcett’s stage debut with Dennis (Breaking Away) Christopher in Butterflies Are Free at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter, Fla. brought out some odd critters as well as some admiring critics. One heckler near the stage chanted Farrah’s lines along with her, sotto voce, and at one point the cast onstage was treated to a female flasher. A greatly bothered Burt kept his cool until after the curtain calls, then came out of the wings to give the fans what for. “If you expect professional theater,” he scolded, “we need professional audiences.”

Burning Cole

Pete Townshend of The Who regards rock writing as a reflection of current history and thinks the old pop wasn’t, though he considers Cole Porter one of his heroes. “He’s my favorite songwriter of that period,” says Townshend of the composer of 24 Broadway musicals and 19 films including 1960’s Can-Can. “He sat in the South of France snorting coke, eating caviar and occasionally writing another tune,” reports Townshend. “He had very little to do with reality, and as such, Porter would never have survived 10 minutes as a rock writer.”

Plat du Jour

For 10 long years British actress Lesley-Anne (Upstairs, Downstairs) Down had been faithful to writer Bruce Robinson, her live-in pal. Then, suddenly, while filming Sphinx in Cairo, she tied the knot with the assistant director, Henrique Gabriel. Why? “Sometimes,” explained Lesley-Anne coolly, “I fancy eggs and chips and sometimes I fancy steak and tomatoes. That day I fancied Henrique.”

All Out of Magic

The entertainment at the annual convention of the National Muzzle-loading Riflemen’s Association was to be a screening of Charlton Heston’s latest film, The Mountain Men. For added drama, the screen was set up outdoors high in the rugged Sangre de Cristo mountains of southern Colorado, at La Veta. Heston himself was there for glad-handing. But when winds howling down from the 9,382-foot pass blew the screen to tatters, Heston took to the PA system, and even in defeat, the hero of all those epics spake in heroic cadences. “Nature speaks loudly in these parts,” he boomed, “and even if I’d had the staff with which I parted the Red Sea, we’d still be in trouble here tonight.”

Blue Brother

Laid-back John Belushi says he’s a “pretty boring guy most of the time,” but he doesn’t mind if the press calls him a “drug-crazed anarchist,” as long as “it brings them into the theaters and makes them happy.” The one thing he does resent is “if people write things that hurt my wife, things like I’m a womanizer. Then I call them liars. I mean, where were all these women when I needed them? Before I was married?”


•Conductor Richard Hayman, ever the showman, leaped off a St. Louis stage while leading the city’s symphony orchestra in Gonna Fly Now (Rocky’s theme) and broke his ankle upon landing. The next night, heroically back at work, he was asked about conducting with one leg in a cast and replied: “To tell you the truth, I’d rather use a baton.”

•If she really had to make a living, Princess Anne has thoughtfully confessed to the British press, “Perhaps the thing I might do best is be a long-distance truck driver.” (Of course she said “lorry driver.”) The equestrienne princess, who already has a heavy-vehicle license for hauling horse trailers, says she likes driving big loads and would find it a “challenging” and “independent” kind of life. And she’d never have to wear a tiara.

•Pearl Bailey has made the dean’s list at Georgetown University, where she’ll be a junior this fall, but only after switching her major from French to comparative religion.

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