April 20, 1987 12:00 PM

AFRAID OF THE DARK: It isn’t any old formal function in Hollywood that can bring Burt Reynolds to put on a tux, but that he did for the Friars Club of California’s salute to Liza Minnelli. “She’s the only reason I’d put up with this,” said Reynolds, at the center of an explosion of flashbulbs. “It gets harder every year. When we get a black-tie invitation, it makes me break out in hives.” Later he said of the guest of honor, “When she sings a cheery song, it’s like a pep rally, and when she sings a torch song, somewhere a hummingbird just dies.” No sighting of hives were reported.

THE WINNER, BY A NOSE: Pop singer Linda Ronstadt thinks she may have a long-lost cousin—or some such relative—in dashing Timothy Dalton, the latest James Bond. “He has the same nose and the same family features,” she told London’s Daily Mail. Not much to go on except that the singer’s great-great-grandfather was British sea captain Henry Dalton, who sailed from England to America. “We still have a family portrait of him, and he has a very distinctive bridge to his nose,” said Linda. “When I saw a picture of this English guy called Timothy Dalton, I saw the nose, and I thought, That’s it. That’s the Dalton nose.’ ” Timothy’s agent says the actor will look into it. Dalton’s only known connection with the sea is his passion for fishing.

LITTLE SHOPS OF HORROR: Scary thought, perhaps, but Ozzy Osbourne is being seriously courted as a movie star. Though he’s had only one bit part—as a minister in the horror flick Trick or Treat—Ozzy says he is deluged with scripts, but picking his next role cautiously. “I don’t want to be predictable and star in Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 25,” he says. “You should see some of the stuff they send me. It’s hysterical. I was just sent one called Beast of the Shopping Mall, where I would leap out from an air duct and shoppers go off screaming—sort of a human Jaws at your neighborhood shopping center.” Just when you thought it was safe to go to the movies.

LIGHTEN UP, DAD: Maybe because he’s their dad, Joe Jackson is a tougher critic of his famous singing brood than most. Despite the fact that his daughter Janet’s album, Control, spawned five Top 10 hits and a Grammy nomination, Joe says what Janet really wants to do is act. “She’s a better actress than a singer,” he says. “I told her that what she needs to do is work on her singing.”

DOUBLE INDIGNITIES: Even though she departed The Colbys before Fallon (Emma Samms) encountered aliens in this season’s cliff-hanger, Barbara Stanwyck had already decided the struggling serial was something from another planet. In a Los Angeles Times interview, Stanwyck ended her silence about her exit from the show, or “that turkey” as she put it. According to Barbara what she was doing “wasn’t acting. It was just the same scene every week, in a different dress. I mean, you open your mouth, and what comes out is not dialogue! I don’t have very much integrity, but I have enough integrity that I got out.”

THE WORD IS MIGHTIER THAN THE PENNS: This won’t exactly startle you, but ex-Beatle George Harrison, whose movie company produced the Sean Penn/Madonna debacle, Shanghai Surprise, wasn’t wild about the picture, either. “It’s pointless to pretend that we didn’t have any problems,” Harrison admitted to the London newspaper Today. “Let’s just say that Madonna and Sean could have been much better if they’d not been hounded by the press and hounded by their own minds…I’m not trying to be nasty. She’s probably got a lot in her that she hasn’t discovered yet, but she has to realize you can be a fabulous person and be humble as well.” Harrison knows something about being famous. “It’s been a good life,” he added. “If you’re going to be born and be in a rock ‘n’ roll band, you may as well be in the Beatles.”

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