By People Staff
January 12, 1981 12:00 PM

Cashing In CHiPs

Every year the Hollywood Women’s Press Club gives a Sour Apple Award to the showbiz personality “who most believes his own publicity,” but the 1980 winner, Erik Estrada, was the first to dignify the awards luncheon by showing up to accept. With current squeeze Beverly Sassoon (Vidal’s ex) in tow, Estrada not only eloquently thanked the assembled (“An award is an award”) but marched off with two of the door prizes—a weekend for two in Palm Springs and 25 sessions at a bodybuilding studio.


Pittsburgh Steeler defensive tackle Mean Joe Greene has a Clio award (advertising’s Oscar) for the commercial in which he gruffly accepts a Coke from a small fan (PEOPLE readers picked it as their favorite in the PEOPLE poll last March). Now NBC is planning to expand that vignette into a made-for-TV movie about a troubled boy and a tough jock with a heart of putty who sees him through some hard times. The network might sign Tommy Okon, the boy from the ad, and has already snagged Greene, 34, who says a film career is a “possibility,” although he allows “I’m not an actor.” That doesn’t bother network executive Edgar Scherick, who thinks Greene “should be able to play himself with no trouble. I mean, we’re not asking him to do Othello.”

Casting Stones

Former Ambassador to Italy Clare Boothe Luce thinks Ronald Reagan will make a good President because, she says, “He’s not just a movie star, but a grade-B movie star.” How’s that again? “For a grade-B movie star, two things are necessary: He’s got to have a good script, and he’s got to have a good supporting cast.”

Tom Terrific

Harvard law professor Arthur Miller was milling around backstage at Boston’s local Emmy taping when he bumped into emcee Tom Snyder, who was mumbling. “You’re talking to yourself,” said Miller. “I always talk to myself,” snapped the man who’s chatted up a thousand celebs on his Tomorrow show. “I’m the most interesting person to talk to that I know.”

Merry Widow

Peter Sellers died last July, but his 26-year-old widow, Lynne Frederick, is pulling her life together well. She spent the holidays at the Sellers’ Gstaad ski resort villa in the company of old beau David Frost, 41. (He reportedly got cold feet and fled years ago at the prospect of marriage.) This year they walked hand in hand through the streets of chic Gstaad and dined in dimly lit restaurants. Frost said he had telephoned Frederick when he heard of Sellers’ death and “offered to help in any way I can.” Frederick would not say whether romance and marriage were on her mind, or her agenda. “It will take me longer than five months to get over Peter’s death, but David is definitely a help,” she said. “That’s what friends are for at times like this.”


•”Life is not a popularity contest,” counters Barbra Streisand in response to talk about her bossiness. “I am not rude or unpleasant,” she goes on. “Maybe I’m a bit too blunt, but it does save time.”

•Actor Trevor Howard, 64, is making a movie in Ireland about a mad Russian who tries to fly with giant wings strapped to his arms. After 47 years in the business—and memorable roles in Sons and Lovers and The Third Man—Howard has no illusions. “Don’t ask me what the bloody hell the film is about,” he shouts. “I just speak the lines they give me and get back to the hotel as quick as I can.”

•Will Walter Matthau be stepping out of character to play a Supreme Court judge in First Monday in October? Nonsense, says the actor. “I’ve known a lot of judges who look and talk dumber than I do.”

•Charlotte and Anne Ford, the motor car heiresses, were launching their jointly written book, How to Love the Car in Your Life, at a New York party when Anne spilled a sisterly secret. When Charlotte’s car once suffered a flat tire, Anne squealed, “She couldn’t even find the spare.”