Praise the Lord and Pass
Back in Israel for the first time since her coronation as Miss Universe, Rina Messinger, 20, brought blushes to the cheeks of Prime Minister Rabin and joyous tumult when she visited parliament. The only naysayers were a few of the nation’s intelligentsia who wondered aloud whether a woman should capitalize on her beauty. “God allotted certain people beauty and others brains,” replied Rina, an air force sergeant who’s living proof that eggheads can be zaftig (she’s studied aerodynamics at Tel Aviv U.). “Why is it more proper to compete on intelligence than on beauty, when both are allotted by God?”
He’ll Walk a Mile for a Smile
Omar, meet my friend Anwar. That was perhaps not the verbatim exchange, but to Gerald Ford’s surprise, Egyptian President Sadat had never met his country’s most famous actor before both were invited to the White House. Omar Sharif has been away from his native land on the movie and bridge circuit for a dozen years. “Anyway,” says Omar, continuing the story, “Sadat made me swear I’d go back—and his wife put me on one of her charity committees.” Not that Sharif, 44, resents repatriation. “At home, they say extravagant things to their friends—’You light up our sky,’ lovely things like that. And they stay friends for always.” And in the West? “Well, when you have no money you have no friends.” Sharif figures he’s grossed maybe $5 million since leaving Alexandria, but “after taxes, all I’ve got to show for it is a Paris apartment, my horses and a bank debt of $150,000.”
No one’s written a song about August in Budapest, but that’s where the remake of The Prince and the Pauper has thrust Raquel Welch. She’s also somehow been put a bit on the defensive. “The truth is, I’m not a terribly sexy person unless I’m emotionally involved,” Raquel feels compelled to concede. “I suppose I disappoint a lot of people when they meet me. They’ve read about this great sex symbol, and they expect extraordinary things of me. But what can I do? I mean, I can’t just stand there undulating, can I?”
When Yul Brynner tours with a play, he’s the production number. Last year, while on the road with Odyssey, for example, he demanded that local impresarios provide not only king-size beds (one mattress) and Touch-Tone phones with 13-foot cords, but special cereal and Medaglia d’Oro coffee, “one dozen brown eggs—under no circumstances white,” etc. In St. Louis recently for a restaging of The King and I, Yul was put up not in a commercial hotel but in a guest house on the estate of Budweiser beer baron August Busch. The persnickety Brynner probably was not so imperious as to demand such favorite brews as Heineken’s dark instead of the house hops.
•In this Bicentennial year Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney have reunited for concerts in London and Los Angeles, and romance is abloom. Not between Bing, 74, and Rosemary, 48, but their kids Harry Crosby, 18, and Maria Clooney, 19. Well, if not romance, two or three dates.
•While he has been reluctantly retired, cantankerous old Congressman Wayne Hays is not exactly resigned to seeing ex-secretary Liz Ray sifting movie offers and being the cynosure of capital cocktail parties. The Hays one-liner that keeps resurfacing goes: “Hell hath no fury like a prostitute with a press agent.”
•Bianca Jagger, who’s never been one to hide her light beneath a Rolling Stone, has been telling chums that she’s become non grata with Princess Margaret. As Bianca explains it, she eschewed the de rigueur curtsy at a recent bash and just smothered Her Royal Highness with a hug. According to Bianca, she never got the word that Margaret’s just plain Meg only back at the old commune.