The bad vibes from JFK’s Sinatra connection notwithstanding, politicians are still piping music artists aboard their bandwagons. The Allman Brothers and the Marshall Tucker Band are backing Jimmy Carter with benefit concerts; Linda Ronstadt will sing for Mo Udall; and Harry Chapin, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton support Fred Harris. On the GOP side, Gerald Ford has yet to sign on any singers, but Ronald Reagan hopes to land Pat Boone. George Wallace, according to an aide, claims “a major part of the country music” crowd but is eschewing other musical bags. “Now I’m not saying that all of them are on it,” the staffer frets, “but many of these rock’n’roll people are hawking drugs and want liberalized marijuana and free love.”
Her box office ain’t what it used to be, but Elizabeth Taylor is still guestess with the mostess on the Hollywood scene. So why, according to a newly leaking report, is the welcome mat no longer out at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion West? Seems that Hef had given Liz a tour through his maze of gardens and Bunny-strewn rooms, then turned to her proudly for an opinion. Snapped Elizabeth: “It’s crap!”
Tennessee Stalking Horse
Friends who heard that esteemed British actor Anthony Quayle has spent the last six months in Tennessee “think I’m out of my head,” he admits. The 62-year-old star—whose credits include Broadway’s Sleuth, an Oscar nomination for Anne of a Thousand Days and an Emmy for TV’s QB VII—has been in Knoxville helping the University of Tennessee start a professional theater troupe that is now playing Washington’s Kennedy Center and will eventually tour the Midwest. “My agent says, ‘What the hell is the matter with you?’ ” acknowledges Quayle. “But I say, ‘Don’t tell me about any offer—this film or that play—I don’t want to know.’ This is what I think my life is mainly about. To create a movement. If I find the theater won’t grow here, then I’ll say, that’s it. Cut.”
When he received a New York Film Critics Award for Nashville, director Robert Altman—and the audience—had to endure a windy presentation speech by novelist Kurt Vonnegut (whose campus favorite, Breakfast of Champions, will be filmed by Altman). The drift was a putdown of the director’s inaudible soundtracks (e.g., “I had to buy a hearing aid for McCabe & Mrs. Miller”), so on finally gaining the podium, Altman countered, “I didn’t understand what he said—but the kids will love it.”
•Feminist spokesperson Gloria Steinem, 41, has often commuted from New York to Washington to lobby for equal rights. Now there’s pleasure as well as business—she’s dating J. Stanley Pottinger, 35, a divorced father of three, a fellow Ohioan (he’s from Dayton, she from Toledo) and head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
•Naked bodies are part and parcel of his new and first X-rated film—Inserts, a saga about a skin-flick director—and Richard (Jaws) Dreyfuss professes to be opposed to the double standard by which actresses are required to bare more than actors. Dreyfuss, however, won’t himself take up the cause frontally. “I’m just a Jewish kid from Brooklyn,” he excuses, “who’s a chicken at heart.” Or wherever.
•”People have been exposed to so much raunchiness,” laments dancer Sally Rand, 71, that her own act seems “nothing with what’s available today.” She gives the back of her fan, also, to all “those people who sleep around helter-skelter. I think it’s much more fun,” she finds, “to go to bed with friends.”
•Lord Olivier and Catherine Deneuve did it. So did Joe Namath and Candice Bergen, and, horrors, Bob Hope and Anita Bryant. But Carol Burnett refuses to appear in any TV commercials, even spurning recently a million-dollar feeler from a food company.