John Stark
April 15, 1985 12:00 PM

NOT FIT TO BE TIED: Hyperactive health nut Richard Simmons is really into his work. Like totally, as they say out West. He admits that he’s been celibate for the last five years and doubts he’ll ever settle down with anyone. “I have nothing to offer one person,” Simmons says. Weekends, however, can be lonely. Simmons says he spends them calling fans who write him letters.

TAKEN FOR GRANT-ED: For F. Murray Abraham, 45, who won this year’s Best Actor Oscar for Amadeus, fame has arrived. Or has it? Just before Oscar night, Abraham visited his agent. The receptionist asked, “Who are you?” Suddenly brought down to earth, Abraham deadpanned, “Cary Grant.” Asked the receptionist, “How do you spell that, Mr. Grant?”

SHE BURST ON THE SCENE: At weddings, some women clutch bouquets. Not Andrea Evans of the ABC soap One Life to Live. To play the show’s resident blond sex symbol, Tina Clayton, she’s made to wear some of the tightest outfits on TV. In fact, Evans sometimes has to lie on the floor just to zip up her jeans. In an episode last week, she attended a friend’s wedding in a super-snug dress that buttoned up the front. While the scene was being taped, Evans’ dress finally cried uncle: The buttons popped, causing her breasts to be partly exposed. But, hey, Evans is a trouper. Since it’s expensive to stop taping, she immediately grabbed her oversize purse and clutched it to her bosom. Only fans with a quick eye—or a stop-action VCR—will ever know what happened.

HE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY: “I hope to be doing what George Burns is doing when I’m 80,” Tony Orlando told his audience at Harrah’s Reno. Orlando said he just passed Burns at Los Angeles International Airport, where the 89-year-old comedian was shuffling down a walkway by himself, lugging a suitcase. Recalled Orlando: “I said, ‘Hello.’ He said, ‘How are you, Tony my boy?’ I asked how he was, and he said, ‘Fine, I’m booked.’ ”

SPOUTING OFF: Michael (A.D.) Wilding, 32, remembers being on the set of Cleopatra, which starred his mom, Elizabeth Taylor, and her then boyfriend, Richard Burton. Recalls Wilding, who was 9 at the time: “It was insane. There were all these reporters and photographers. They tried to climb over the walls of the villa where my mother and Richard Burton were staying, even when we put cut glass on top of the walls. But for a kid it was fun. They let me stand down below and turn the hoses on the reporters.”

THE WAY THEY MAY BE: Fans of The Way We Were, the 1973 Barbra Streisand-Robert Redford weeper, have been praying for a sequel. Well, it seems Redford may be ready, too. He told the Salt Lake City Deseret News: “I guess it’s a possibility. I’m the least enthusiastic about it. You could do something in this you couldn’t do [in other films]. You could have Barbra and me be our own ages, 12 years later. And you could use the original film for flashbacks. There’s a whole movie [footage cut from the first film] in somebody’s vault.” In other words, it’s a Natural.

OFF THE CUFF: Pity Raymond (Cotton Comes to Harlem) St. Jacques, who suffered untold humiliation at an antiapartheid rally in front of the South African embassy in Washington, D.C. last month. “I couldn’t remember all the lyrics to We Shall Overcome and I had to hum them,” the actor says sheepishly. But that’s hardly the worst of it. “The cops didn’t know what to do with me. When they arrested me they couldn’t get the handcuffs on because I was wearing a fur coat and about $30,000 worth of jewelry, including a $16,000 gold watch. I also had a two-carat diamond ring.” That gem almost became a jailhouse rock.

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