February 01, 1988 12:00 PM

WINFREY TRIP TO HOLLYWOOD: Anyone who laughs, cries and hollers as much as Oprah Winfrey does on her TV show merits some diversions. Which is why the talk show titan has come to rely on Rodeo Drive’s finest shops. In a speech to the Hollywood Radio and Television Society at a Beverly Hills hotel, Oprah boasted about her rise from humble roots to a fame that’s allowed her to earn a “black belt” in shopping. “Back in Chicago [her show’s home base], when you’re on your rise to financial success, people say, ‘Go, honey, Go!’ and when you get there, they say, ‘She’s gone Hollywood,’ ” she said. “I’ve got news for you. I’ve gone Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Fortunately, though, my feet are still on the ground—they’re just wearing better shoes.”

COULDN’T GRANT HIS WISH: Marty Ingels, a specialist in matching celebs with advertisers, says he is never surprised anymore by the stars who approach him. Except maybe once. “Cary Grant came to my house a year and a half ago, looking to do commercials. I was mortified,” says Ingels. (Grant, who died in November 1986, was on the board of Fabergé cosmetics but never appeared in the company’s ads.) “But would you believe we couldn’t find a single company in America that wanted him?” Ingels says money—and Grant would have rated at least a million dollars—wasn’t the problem. “When these companies went to the demographics,” explains Marty, “they discovered nobody identified with Cary Grant. He was too erudite, too sophisticated. Rolls-Royce, after all, doesn’t advertise on TV.”

HAIRSUTE: Robin Williams, who’s finally scored a direct hit with Good Morning, Vietnam, hasn’t forgotten some of his earlier screen casualties. Williams said he made a mistake in choosing Club Paradise, the 1986 romantic comedy about an American hotel owner in the Caribbean. “I don’t think I’m a romantic straight-man lead,” Williams told the San Francisco Chronicle. “You don’t get a guy who’s got enough fur to be in Quest for Fire and put him in a swimsuit.”

THE TED OFFENSIVE: Nightline’s Ted Koppel, that champion of objective inquiry, is allowed an editorial here and there. During a recent speech in Miami Beach, Koppel hit Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White with an eight-letter snub. Her autobiography, he said, “is an oxymoron if there ever was one.” Never the wordthrift, he used the same term later on to describe Soviet journalists. About guests, he said: “The toughest shows are not the ones where there’s yelling and screaming. They’re a piece of cake. The most difficult is if you’re interviewing some 14-year-old, and when the camera light goes on, you see absolute terror set in.” The solution? “Be very gentle and never book a 14-year-old unless you have another guest.”

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: One of the world’s foremost sopranos, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, lives in a house divaded. She recently admitted to London’s Observer that the saddest part of her stardom is that her two children, Antonia, 12, and Thomas, 9, are averse to arias. “The children hate music because they know that if I’m singing, it means separation,” noted Kiri. “Music is this monster which comes into their lives and takes me away from them. I think most children of professional musical families feel this—unless they’re almost brainwashed.”

BOTHERS BROTHERS: Advice columnist Dr. Joyce Brothers apparently doesn’t mind taking house calls. In fact the doctor has kept her number listed in the Manhattan directory despite her fame. “Of course I do,” she says. “My job is to help people. When they call, they’re really in serious trouble. Only once have I had a prank call. Last year someone woke me up at 4 in the morning and told me he called on a bet,” she says. “I told him it was unfair and then heard him shout to his friends, ‘Yeah, it’s Dr. Joyce Brothers—and boy is she pissed!’ ”

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