October 10, 1988 12:00 PM

WIG WHAM: Things got a little hairy on the set of Steel Magnolias, the movie with Dolly Parton, Sally Field and Jessica Lange about small-town Louisiana women and the beauty parlor they frequent. When director Herbert Ross asked Parton, who portrays the salon’s owner, how much time it normally took her to do her hair, the ever-bewigged Dolly replied, “How the hell should I know? I’m never there.”

CALL ME TANIA: Director Paul Schrader wishes that Patty Hearst, his newly released movie about the kidnapped heiress, was just the same old song and dance. “Patty Hearst is the stuff of American folklore, no different than Billy the Kid or Al Capone, both of whom were media stars,” says Schrader. “To be honest, I think the subject matter is probably better suited to a musical.” Patti LuPone, where are you?

DES BARRES IS OPEN: Legendary rock groupie Pamela Des Barres, author of the tryst-and-shout autobiography I’m with the Band (now a best-selling paperback), gives new meaning to the term hero worship. “If I had been around 2,000 years ago, I would definitely have been a Jesus groupie. I don’t mean sexually, but his power and charisma would have drawn me in,” says Pamela, whose book has been bought for the movies by Ally Sheedy. Any other figures from the past with whom she would have liked to have spent quality time? “I certainly would have been all over Mozart. He was open to a lot of wild things. I would have been attracted to his majesty and brilliance—the same things that attracted me to Mick Jagger.”

MAD DOGS AND CALIFORNIANS: Tracey Ullman, the British comic chameleon who has won fame and fortune in America for The Tracey Ullman Show, is critical of some fellow English defectors washing ashore in Los Angeles. “A lot come out here, look for big bucks, start cricket teams, get skin cancer and go home,” Tracey told London’s Sunday Times Magazine. “It’s very easy to [ridicule] Californians, but I’ve found little groups and pockets that are so real, so genuine. I can’t stand those Brits who come out here, stick up their noses and say, ‘My dear, the script’s awful, of course, but the money…’ ”

GOING APE: Caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, who has drawn thousands of theater and screen personalities in his 65-year career, says that the only complaint he ever received on a drawing came from Candid Camera’s Allen Funt, after CBS commissioned a portrait of its star in 1963. “He’s the last guy in the world you would expect to be upset,” says Hirschfeld. “After I drew him, CBS called me back and said Funt said I’d made him look like an ape. I said I had nothing to do with that. That was God’s work.”

TALK BALK: ABC’s Barbara Walters may get celebrities to answer the most intimate questions on her TV specials, but don’t expect Walters to reveal her deepest secrets. “I’m not good at answering other people’s questions,” she says. “I could never answer any of the questions that I ask my guests. I write them down and then think, ‘Nobody will answer this,’ and then they do and I think, ‘/could never.’ ”

IMMUNE STRUCK: When singer-actress Lorna Luft and half-sister Liza Minnelli stage a mini-family reunion, rest assured they’ll talk shop. “Liza and I are going to Paris in November to vacation and to shop,” says Lorna. “We’ve never been on vacation together before, so, honey, all I can say is, here we come—Paris better have its shots.”

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