ALSO SPOKE J.R.
He’s no Hell’s Angel, but Larry Hagman—followed by Easy Rider star Peter Fonda—expertly steered a 1987 Harley-Davidson Softail through the crowd at the opening-night party for Manhattan’s Harley-Davidson Cafe. “I’ve been riding for 40 years and never had an accident,” says Hagman, 62, whose love of two-wheeled transport began with a Vespa motor scooter and slowly built up to his own 700-pound Softail. “They’re cheaper than Rolls-Royces, although I have one of those too,” says Hagman, who will wheel into an NBC movie series, Staying Afloat, beginning Nov. 26. As for passing the test to qualify as a true biker—taking a motorcycle apart and putting it back together—Hagman says, “Honey, I don’t even know how to fix a toothpick.”
A GOOD SKATE
One of Dorothy Hamill’s first executive decisions when she bought the Ice Capades last June was to abolish the dreaded weekly weigh-ins for the skaters. “When I first joined the show in 1976,” says Hamill, 37, “I’d get fined $1 to $4 for every pound I was over my designated weight.” Hamill, who now stars in the Capades at 118 pounds—two less than when she won the gold medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics—remembers when the pressure of dieting put her on thin ice. “I overate constantly, and it became a vicious cycle of worrying, eating, being fined and worrying again. The weigh-ins encourage neurotic behavior. I saw people starving themselves and using laxatives. In the past girls were fired for being overweight, and I wouldn’t have said they were fat. That won’t happen on this show. If you don’t eat. you’ll faint.”
A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND
Elizabeth Taylor is making lots of scents these days. Her fragrance White Diamonds was so successful that she has added three more, one of them called Diamonds and Rubies. Why even her dog, Sugar, has enjoyed a whiff of success. The white Maltese appears in print ads for the fragrances, shot by fashion photographer Bruce Weber. “Sugar was in the shoot because she wouldn’t gel off my lap,” says Taylor, 61. “So finally they just draped a ruby-and-diamond necklace around her neck.” As for why she chose to hawk perfume instead of designer togs, Liz explains, “I’ve always been on the worst-dressed lists, so I prefer fragrances.”
WHO NEEDS A ROLE HE CAN SINK HIS TEETH INTO?
“I was looking for something to get me out of that Dracula thing,” says English actor Gary Oldman, 35, who starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 horror hit, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. “You do films for whatever reason—like maybe you’ve got a big bill or you’re paying a mortgage.” Oldman’s latest film is the darkly comic thriller Romeo Is Bleeding, due out Valentine’s Day. “I did Track 29 all those years ago, and I still don’t know what that movie’s about. What’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead about? One woman on opening night came up to Tom Stoppard [who wrote the play and later directed the movie version starring Oldman] and said, ‘What is your play about?’ And he said, ‘It is about to make me very rich.’ ”