July 18, 1988 12:00 PM

HERRING AID: While visiting a new fish market in Cornwall, England, Princess Diana, who celebrated her 27th birthday July 1, confessed she had craved fish when she was pregnant. “I love fish, particularly kippers [smoked herring],” she said. “I ate them all the time when I was pregnant. They made the house stink, and everyone was pleased when William was born.”

HIS ART ISN’T IN IT: Movie director Sidney (The Morning After) Lumet is not a guy given to highfalutin artistic pronouncements. “Most people make movies because they have to make a living, and sometimes art comes out of it,” Lumet said during a New York University seminar on cinema as the art of the 20th century. “You work for yourself. You hope you have one commercial hit so you can get the money for the next three flops. Who cares if my work will be there in the 21st century? I’ll be happy if it runs four weeks.”

BACK IN THE SADDLE: Barbara Walters believes in the power of the positive note. “Eleven years ago, when I left NBC to go to ABC, everything fell apart,” she said at the Women of Enterprise Awards in New York as she recalled nasty stories about her hefty $5 million 5-year contract and Gilda Radner’s Baba Wawa parodies on Saturday Night Live. “I just thought it was all over for me. I would come back to my dressing room and cry,” said Walters. Then she received a note from a supporter who’d taken his own share of licks from the media. The note said, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” It was signed John Wayne.

THE SECOND TIME AROUND: Although Eddie Murphy enjoyed working with director John Landis in Trading Places, the pair fared poorly on their second date. Eddie’s relationship with Landis—handpicked by the comedian to direct his current hit, Coming to America—was “not too cool” this time around, says Murphy. “We had some personal stuff, but I didn’t punch him.” Murphy wouldn’t elaborate, but, when asked whether he’d ever work with Landis again, he said simply, “No.” Landis’ office said the director had no comment.

RAISING THE ROOF: Actress Laura Johnson and her husband, Harry Hamlin, have a prime-time conflict. ABC has picked up her new show, HeartBeat, on which she plays Dr. Eve Autry, but has scheduled it for Thursday nights opposite Harry’s L.A. Law series on NBC. Johnson says that the secret to maintaining domestic bliss, under the circumstances, lies in keeping priorities in order. “Right now, we’re remodeling a house,” she says, “so of all the things we have to argue about, it certainly won’t be about our TV shows.”

WOULDN’T JUNOT HE’D SAY THAT: Former Famous Husband Philippe Junot has just published reminiscences about his life, including some not-so-nice bits about his ex, Princess Caroline of Monaco. She “needed to be admired and spoiled by all the men she met,” he writes in a self-serving excerpt published in the Italian magazine Gente. “She loved me in her way, but my affection was not enough to make her happy.” Junot, an ex-playboy since marrying Danish model Nina Wendelboe Larsen last year (their first child is due soon), says that, in the end, he “became convinced that Caroline used me; she just married me to be able to get away from her parents without making a scandal.”

QUIET ON THE SET: When 5-year-old Dawn Downing filmed Willow in England last summer (she played Mims), she was charmed by producer George Lucas, and vice versa. She was seated on his lap one day, serenading him with the song “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tail, when Lucas’ girlfriend chimed in. “My song!” said Dawn, nudging Lucas so he would make his girlfriend stop. Linda Ronstadt sweetly obliged.

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