November 04, 1985 12:00 PM

FOR SALE—ONE USED AUTOMAKER, SLIGHTLY RECONDITIONED: When John De Lorean was in Detroit to promote his new autobiography, aptly titled De Lorean, radio talk-show host J.P. McCarthy went nose-to-nose with him and asked if he’d ever had a face-lift. De Lorean mumbled something about “jaw reconstruction 18 or 19 years ago…and I had my nose reamed out. I’ve taken a lot of flak for that, but it’s no big thing. If you killed everybody who had cosmetic surgery, there’d be bodies all over the street. Especially in Washington, D.C.”

MAYBE IT WAS THE ORDER OF HIS GARTERS: At a dinner honoring Hart to Hart producer Leonard Goldberg and his wife, Wendy, Robert Wagner reminisced about the inequities he had to endure as a rising star. When he made Prince Valiant in 1954, Wagner said, “They cut my hair with bangs across the front. Then they put body stockings on my legs, and finally I had garter belts to hold the things up. I was walking across the lot and ran into Dean Martin. He talked to me for a half hour before he realized I wasn’t Jane Wyman.

PUTTING FOOD FOR THOUGHT ON THE TABLE: MIT professor Franco Modigliani, who won the 1985 Nobel prize in economics for his analyses of individual savings and financial markets, admits that on a personal level he isn’t particularly proficient in either area. While his grasp is firm “when it comes to broad strategy,” he usually lets his wife, Serena, handle the family finances. “She frequently makes the decisions,” he told the Boston Herald. “Sometimes I make my own and I regret it.” As for investments, Modigliani added, “I occasionally make money, only when it’s a complete mistake.”

AGE, I DO ABOAR THEE: Miss Piggy was in Toronto to say that the Muppets have just finished taping their forthcoming 30th birthday special for CBS. She got huffy, however, when a reporter reasonably assumed that she was nearing the big three-o herself. “Kermit may be 30, but moi most certainly am not!” Piggy stoutly maintains that she joined the show later, “as a child star, only to fall in love with an older, much older, frog. I now consider the matter closed.”

SORT OF A CRASH COURSE: The producers didn’t know it, but while they were filming 1978’s Superman in England, their Man of Steel was stealing off the set and taking to the air in a glider. It was “strictly illegal,” Christopher Reeve admitted in London’s Sunday Times, “because of the insurance the film company was paying out for me.” An aficionado since 1976, Reeve found a gliding club near the studio “and I’d sneak there whenever I got the chance. Of course, looking back, it was totally irresponsible of me. But at the time I saw it as good background—good research for the project at hand.”

SHE WANTED TO BE DEAD CERTAIN: Although it was only two weekends ago that he was seen as Hercule Poirot in CBS’ 13 at Dinner, Peter Ustinov has already finished another Agatha Christie TV movie—Dead Man’s Folly. This time he shares the screen with Jean Stapleton, but still Ustinov can’t put his 13 at Dinner co-star, perfectionist Faye Dunaway, out of mind. “When Faye was to play dead,” he says, “she lay absolutely still. Then, when the scene was over, she asked to do it again. She wasn’t satisfied with her performance.’

IT’S OBVIOUSLY A CONSPIRACY: The Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Artists (AGLA) honored Jack Riley for his poignant portrayal of a gay character on TV’s Night Court. Riley was grateful for the acknowledgment. “On The Bob Newhart Show,” he said, “I played Mr. Carlin—an extremely paranoid, socially maladjusted character. Not one of them ever thanked me.”

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