By People Staff
April 20, 1981 12:00 PM

Mickey Hath Charms

Working on the movie The Devil and Max Devlin was a wearisome and frazzling experience, says composer Marvin Hamlisch. At one point he felt totally unappreciated and wanted someone from Walt Disney Productions “to say that I was terrific.” Soon, he reports, “a messenger brought a framed caricature of me at the piano, sweat pouring off my forehead, with Mickey Mouse leaning over the piano bench and saying, ‘Hey, it’s not so bad—appreciate all your hard work.’ ” Says Hamlisch: “It worked. How can you be mad at Mickey Mouse?”

That Man Upstairs

While some Administration staffers are living it up at the pricey ($110 a night) Jefferson Hotel in Washington, White House chief of staff Jim Baker has found more spartan temporary quarters. He, wife Susan and their 3-year-old daughter, Mary Bonner, are staying at a Christian Fellowship Home while waiting to move into their new house on tony Foxhall Road. Susan, an Evangelical Christian, spends much of her time in Bible study while Baker is cracking the whip at the White House. The lodgings may be cozier (and around $3,000 a month cheaper) than a hotel, but Baker can’t eat at the home because breakfast is too late (he’s in the office by 7:20 a.m.) and dinner too early (he leaves work at 8:30 p.m.). But one bow has been made to his position: He’s had a White House hot line installed in his bedroom. Before that, calls came to a basement switchboard and someone had to scurry upstairs and summon him to an extension in the hallway.

Complainant Come Lately

It’s been a rough year, legally, for Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione. Moral Majority founder Rev. Jerry Falwell has sued him for printing an interview he said he never authorized, a former Miss Wyoming won $15.5 million in libel damages over a piece of fiction about a promiscuous Miss Wyoming, and model Isabel Ardigo reportedly brought a $10 million defamation suit. Now 1979 Pet of the Year Cheryl Rixon has asked $5 million in compensation for prizes she says weren’t delivered as promised—including a $75,000 custom-built Diamante automobile, a motorcycle, a whirlpool tub and something she could really use—three legal sessions with Marvin Mitchelson. But why only $5 million? “After everybody else collects their damages,” says Cheryl, “that’s about all he’s going to have left.”

Tell Me a Riddle

Secretary of State Alexander Haig, on his lightning pass through the Middle East (23½ hours each allotted, with military precision, to Cairo, Jerusalem, Amman and Riyadh), met his Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Kamal Hassan Ali, who is also a general. “Why,” Haig asked Ali, “do you suppose our administrations are paying so much for a general’s head?” Haig had his own answer ready: “I’ll tell you why. Because generals never had to use their heads during their time in the army, so now they’re fresh and new.”

And Briefly…

Nastassia Kinski, whose affair with Roman Polanski was over by the time they finished Tess, compares the two experiences this way: “As a director, he was 10 times more wonderful than as a lover”…Roddy Llewellyn, 33, who was holidaying in Mustique with Britain’s Princess Margaret, 50, even before her divorce from Lord Snowdon, is engaged to 32-year-old Tania Soskin, a free-lance writer. Meg is said to have given her blessing…And at Covent Garden the Royal Ballet has an opening for a flaky ballerina. The company reportedly has offered Gelsey Kirkland, booted last December from the American Ballet Theatre for erratic attendance, a job replacing Lynn Seymour, who quit to run off with a rock band.