Thirty million viewers saw down-home baritone Charlie Rich bumble through the recent Country Music Awards on CBS—during which he torched the awards card (for entertainer-of-the-year John Denver) with his lighter. Rich had arrived at the ceremonies in such poor shape that crew members had to force black coffee into him for two hours. Then, after his televised gaffes, Rich was asked backstage by a female disc jockey to autograph her dress. Instead, she claims, he jabbed her chest with a pen and knocked her against a wall; she may yet sue. Then, two days later, Rich’s wife of 24 years, Margaret Ann, filed for divorce. Sadly, it’s been only 19 months since Rich, 42, was named the CMA’s top male vocalist for 1974, and colleagues thought he had finally beaten pills and booze.
In The No
Viking Press’s newest editor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, has become the addressee of some 150 manuscripts and proposals a week. Truth is, many of the submissions are mailed in by autograph seekers hoping for a personally signed rejection slip from the lady famous for her gracious and whimsical handwritten missives. But only the more promising projects actually reach her desk. Indeed, warns Jackie, “I hope everyone doesn’t expect a nice little note.”
The first rock group to smash their instruments at concert’s end, the Who have also cooperated in busting up a hotel suite or three while on tour. Now drummer Keith Moon seems to be going solo. When Moon, 28, was evicted this summer from the $150,000, antique-filled Benedict Canyon home he rented from Robert Q. Lewis, a ’50s TV celebrity now an L.A. radio commentator, Lewis found such havoc—including human excrement in the living room—that he won a $7,500 legal settlement. But as Moon’s deadline for paying the judgment neared, the drummer bombed off to Europe. There, after landing at Prestwick airport in Scotland, Moon threw a fit and smashed up an airline ticket computer. Declares Lewis: “a no-good like Moon must be stamped out—he gives the whole industry a bad name.”
Her recent romantic bust-up with Art Fisher (ex-director of the Cher show) was not the reason Sally Struthers backed out of their plans “to have matching tattoos—little butterflies or flowers or something—etched on hidden parts of our bodies.” What actually changed her mind, says All in the Family’s flakey fourth banana, was the fact that “because I’m a celebrity, morticians will treat me as special when I die. I mean, I won’t be another body. They’d certainly take note of something as different as a tattoo, and they might start talking.”
Father Knows EST
Though his TV cop Joe Forrester has no problems communicating, for a while the Bridges between Lloyd, 62, and son Jeff, 25, were drawn over troubled waters. No more. Lloyd credits their recent rapprochement to Jeff’s Erhard Seminar Training. Claims Bridges père, one of EST’s messages is “that if you can’t get along with your parents, you can’t get along with anyone.” Lloyd insists Jeff, star of the new Western spoof Hearts of the West, did all the changing. “My wife and I,” he says with a Robert Youngish grin, “are the same way we’ve always been—caring, understanding, wise.”
•Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz boasts that he’s tacked up in his bathroom the tacky old poster of two men and a woman, each before a urinal, with the caption “Stand Up For Equality.” Oh well, his Italian joke about the Pope bombed, too.
•Marcello Mastroianni and his wife of 25 years, Flora, didn’t write the book on open marriage—they live it. His flamboyant sidelines have included Catherine Deneuve and Faye Dunaway, but when they both are in town, Marcello and Flora share a Roman villa. And when the referendum on whither divorce came up in Italy, Flora took a stronger stand. “It is marriage,” said Signora Mastroianni, “that should be abolished.”