September 08, 1986 12:00 PM

SOUNDS LIKE HEARTBURN: Don’t give Meryl Streep a subscription to Ladies’ Home Journal, at least not for a while. The August issue of LHJ had a cover story on Streep, much to her dismay. In describing Streep’s “magnificent home in rustic Salisbury, Connecticut,” the article said, “Many Salisburians haven’t seen the films for which she now commands $3.5 million apiece: The town doesn’t have a single movie theater, only half the area has cable TV…most of the locals are farmers without the time for, or interest in, watching anyone’s movies on TV.” Streep, who never gave an interview to the magazine, responded with a letter to the local Lakeville Journal. Among her points: “My family and I treasure the discretion and hospitality shown us by this community more than we can say. The disrespect shown us by lazy, sloppy and incorrect Ladies’ Home Journalism is typical of a medium that is continuously debased by its own greed.” Jan Goodwin, LHJ’s executive editor, defended the article when the newspaper asked for an explanation. The piece, she said, was a profile, not an interview. Anyway, she added, “we happen to be very fond of her.” Oh.

AND A PIZZA IN EVERY POT: Democrat Jane Byrne, former mayor of Chicago, wants to be mayor again. But if not, she can always be a pizza pitch-woman. Right now she’s doing radio commercials for Pizza Hut. In one, she says, “I could think of no finer way to serve the people of Chicago…. Well, there may be one other way.” Mayor Harold Washington, who defeated Byrne in the primary last time out and who will probably face her again in 1987, seems delighted that Byrne has found a job away from politics. “She has a fantastic career ahead of her as an advertising spokesperson,” says Washington. “I wish her a lot of luck in that field.” An awful lot.

HE COULD TRY DRESSING LESS CONSPICUOUSLY: Linda (The Exorcist) Blair, who had her own pharmaceutical-related run-ins with authority, says she understands what Boy George is going through. Linda, propelled into the limelight at the tender age of 14, believes his problem is coping with his celebrity status. “There’s no escape,” she says. “Boy George got terribly bored. What could he do? He couldn’t play miniature golf; he couldn’t go shopping; he couldn’t take a cruise. It’s not his fault—it just happens. People don’t know what to do with themselves, so they want to party.”

A PYTHON IN THE OPERA HOUSE: The English National Opera is about to unleash a version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado that is sure to upset a few doily carts here and there. For one thing, former Monty Python madman Eric Idle will make his operatic debut as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner. For another, British director Jonathan (Long Day’s Journey Into Night) Miller’s production is set in England in the ’30s, not in Japan. “I think it’s going to be like the Marx Brothers in England,” Idle told the London Standard. Idle is still occasionally besieged by college students who watch Python reruns. “They come up to you on the street and repeat a whole sketch, which can get a bit tedious,” he said. “I usually say something very rude, which they think is a brilliant joke, and they fall about laughing.”

CROSSOVER DREAMS: Former lightweight boxing champion Ray (Boom Boom) Mancini, trying to become a contender in showbiz, was involved in the TV equivalent of a preliminary bout. For a forthcoming Dick Clark special, he and Tristan (General Hospital) Rogers, comedian Lonnie Shorr and Jeff (Taxi) Conaway dressed up as female backup singers for rockabilly great Carl Perkins. Mancini, 25, in a black knit, low-cut dress and lots of makeup, was startled by his dishy new appearance. “The problem was,” he joked later, “I started to like the way I looked.” But not enough to ask himself out.

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