Bite the Bullitt
“Everything between my wife and me is just fine,” insists Steve McQueen, who may be feeling the stress of four months away from Ali MacGraw—and the rumors buzzing of marital problems. He’s living at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel while shooting Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, and Ali is supposedly “remodeling” their house at Trancas Beach. By the time they get back together, Ali may not recognize Steve anyway. Sprouting a full beard, shoulder-length hair and rimless spectacles (all for his movie role), McQueen has been riding his bike unmolested through crowds of tourists who mistake him for just another Hollywood weirdo.
Princess and the Pauper
For the first time since her marriage sundered, Britain’s Princess Margaret has returned publicly to her once and future beau, Roddy Llewellyn. Roddy, 28, left his Wiltshire communards to join Margaret, 46, at her favorite Scottish retreat in Peebleshire. Neighbors saw the happy couple “everywhere together,” even at a local wool mill where Margaret bought Roddy two sweaters—one yellow, and a blue one, she said, “to match your eyes.” Roddy’s chums are now chuckling, “It was all a smokescreen. They never really parted, and everything is the same as it was.”
Day for Night
When acerbic Kansan Robert Dole joined the GOP ticket, one of his assignments was to zing Grits and Fritz in the media with one-liners. But so far Dole’s TV image would make a test pattern look exciting. “He’s a great campaigner, but he’s best at night,” complains one Dole aide. “At noon, when prime-time news is made, he’s not funny.” What’s the solution? “We could get him up an hour earlier,” the staffer muses. “Or maybe we’ll keep the lights on all night, like in a hen house, so he’ll produce at any hour.”
Sympathy for the Devil
Because his autobiography replays his liaisons dangereuses with Bardot, Deneuve and Fonda, to name only three, French director Roger Vadim leeringly titled it Memoirs of the Devil. “But sometimes I act like an angel,” he insists. Vadim remembers one night with Bardot in a Roman hotel room when Ursula Andress stormed in after a spat with her lover. “There was only this huge double bed, and it was very hot, so we slept completely nude, Brigitte on my right and Ursula on my left. No,” Vadim sighs, “nothing happened, not even a little kiss. But I’ve often asked myself how many men could have resisted such temptation.”
With Onassis and Hunt and Getty and Hughes all gone, only Greek shipping zillionaire Stavros Niarchos remains as the last—and loneliest—tycoon. At 65 and five times married, Niarchos is nevertheless trying again. He’s paid $6 million for a 36-room Swiss chateau on Lake Geneva as the honeymoon cottage for his anticipated sixth wife. She is Marie-Gabriella of Savoy, 36, an aristocratic beauty whose earlier suitors included the Shah of Iran, Juan Carlos of Spain and her now-estranged husband, financier Robert de Balkany. The history of tragedy in Niarchos’ life—two of his previous wives died suddenly—is of no concern to Marie-Gabriella. “Nothing will happen to the princess,” affirms one acquaintance. “She’s known as ‘The Iron Lady.’ ”
•The only person not appropriately dazzled by Robert Redford’s visit to Plains, Ga. this month was Jimmy Carter’s 78-year-old mom. Snapped Miss Lillian, “I wish it had been Paul Newman.”
•Desi Arnaz has finally thought of a name for the sequel to his autobiography, A Book. He’s calling volume two Another Book.
•Audiences aren’t bored with The Carol Burnett Show, now in its 10th season on CBS. But what about the star? “I don’t know the reason for the success of my series,” claims Carol. “When a good movie is on, I watch it instead.”