Having published two best-selling memoirs (The Moon’s a Balloon, Bring On the Empty Horses), David Niven’s been at his Cap Ferrat abode on the Riviera writing again. “I was totally stuck the other day,” he reports, “so I wandered up to the old Somerset Maugham villa for inspiration. He used to write in a small summerhouse on the grounds—I thought I’d whiff the wonderful aroma and that might give me inspiration.” When Niven got up the road, he found “a couple of houses are being built on the estate, but the little summerhouse is still there.” Niven’s anticipation, though, soon turned to deeper blockage. “I walked in, and found it was being used as a lavatory by the Algerian workers.”
Yul Be Sorry
Ingrid Bergman, who’s 6′ when shod, concedes that “My height has always presented a problem for actors.” In her current A Matter of Time, co-starring Liza Minnelli, Charles Boyer plays a scene with Ingrid in which he pretty much stays in a chair, which is a far cry from yesteryear. “When Charles and I acted in Gaslight and Arch of Triumph,” Bergman recalls, “he had to stand on a box for our scenes together.” Not all her leading men so adapted. Yul Brynner once told her, “Ingrid, I’m not getting on any box—I intend to show the whole world what a great big horse you are.” For that gallantry, Brynner came up empty at the 1956 Academy Awards, while Ingrid took home an Oscar for their vehicle Anastasia.
No Gravy Train
Maybe it was his decades on the “chitlin’ circuit,” but Redd Foxx, 53, just can’t shake the habit of thinking poor. Even today, with three homes, 13 cars and a new contract with ABC, Foxx seems unable to close a deal until he has euchred something extra—say, 200 pairs of pantyhose or a refrigerator for hard-up friends. Penury has left vestigial emotional poverty as well. Since his 19-year marriage failed even as Sanford and Son succeeded, the childless comedian has filled his life with animals—at last count seven dogs and two monkeys. But pets have brought anguish, too. Foxx wails, “My cockatoo died, my 18-year-old German shepherd collapsed, now my Great Dane is missing. Somebody poisoned my Saint Bernard on Christmas. I just don’t know what the hell is happening. It was better when I was just mediocre.”
Too Hot to Handle
“The best thing about CB radio is that it’s anonymous—it’s the cruising instrument of the 1970s,” analyzes actress Candy (American Graffiti) Clark, 28. Candy has been tuning in on traffic around Yuba City, Calif. with the “ears” she was issued for her current filming of Citizen’s Band. “When I first got my CB, I got on and chirped, This is Electra,’ ” her handle in the script. “Nobody answered. I tried a couple more times, and nobody answered. I finally said, ‘This is Linda Lovelace.’ Still nobody answered. I don’t know what’s the matter with me.” Maybe the problem is Yuba City.
Angie Bowie’s entwined with a bloke on a new record jacket, but it’s not husband David. The collaboration is between Mrs. Bowie, 26, and 37-year-old British actor-director Roy Martin. In addition to singing, the two plan a theater workshop and share an answering service. “We are a triumvirate of friends,” coos Angie. “David knows that no matter what relationships I form, they couldn’t alter my permanent love for him. I’d stop if I thought I was hurting him. But I know I’m not.” Chips in Martin, “David is far more worried about my relationship with his son, Zowie, who’s 5½ going on 21. You see, when we were in France, where David was working, I took the boy to see the red-light district of Paris.”
•Andy Williams’ 45th year has been traumatic. His ex-wife, Claudine Longet, has been indicted for manslaughter, and he’s decided to liquidate some of his considerable business holdings (“I’m sick of accountants”). For companionship, Andy’s taken up with Laurie Wright, a pert 21-year-old music student he met in Hawaii. But he’ll be back at Claudine’s side when her trial opens in January.
•Though a mini-generation of parents have edgily watched their kids blow their dough on LPs and concerts by Jefferson Starship (né Airplane), would they buy the lead singer’s rationale for the group’s longevity? “They come at least in part,” figures Grace Slick, “because they like an old familiar voice—it’s like calling Mom long-distance.”