The Panther Pickled
The brief Parisian civil ceremony that gave funnyman Peter Sellers his new actress wife Lynne (“Everything is a blissful blur”) Frederick has also created his fourth mother-in-law. “I will never, ever talk to him,” vows Lynne’s outraged mum, Iris, a London casting director who did not attend the wedding. “There is the age difference”—Sellers is 51; Lynne is 22—”but, more important,” she fumes on, “there is Mr. Sellers’ track record. He has three failed marriages behind him [Anne Hayes, Britt Ekland, Miranda Quarry]. Three women can’t be that wrong.”
All but snubbed by this year’s Academy Award nominations, King Kong is now under fire for its preannounced special Oscar for “achievement in visual effects.” Charging producer Dino De Laurentiis with strong-ape tactics, special visual effects committeeman Jim Danforth has resigned from the Academy and returned his own Oscar nomination plaques for The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. “The photography is bad, the design of the shots is poor and the lighting doesn’t match the elements,” judges Danforth. “King Kong is a piece of junk.”
Say Goodnight, George
“I think the story of Burns and Allen would make an excellent movie,” muses George Burns, 81. “Any good actress could play Gracie.” Like who? “Madeline Kahn would be good.” As for himself, “I think George Segal could do it. The guy must learn to smoke a cigar and use his left hand. Rich Little uses his right hand. But I’m not going to tell him. Actually, sometimes I get so confused I think I’m Rich Little. Sometimes the girls think so, too—until about 10 o’clock.”
As Garth Gimble, the wife-beating PR man on Mary Hartman, comedian Martin Mull came to a bizarre end impaled on a Christmas tree. But his real comeuppance happened last month. While walking with singer Tom Waits on a Manhattan street, Mull, 33, was jostled by three prostitutes who filched his wallet. “It was quicker than the Karl Maiden ad on TV,” Mull says. “We ran for the police. It was like being on the set of S.W.A.T.” The clerk on the desk at the local precinct was less than sympathetic. “Garth, I thought you knew how to handle women,” he cracked, while entering Mull’s loss of $488.
Gloria in Extremis
Nine months after she arrived in L.A. to shoot her new ABC sitcrime, Dog and Cat, ex-model Kim Basinger, 23, already figures to go further than even Charlie’s Angels ever tread. “I love to be sexy,” Kim breathes. “People want a woman to act like a woman.” Her “J.Z.” character “is a real liberal chick who is into bikinis and doing her own thing on the beach,” she continues. “Gloria what’s-her-face would just hate me.” Let’s see, is that Steinem or Vanderbilt?
When it comes to promoting its new line of CB radios, General Electric has decided to be as subtle as an 18-wheeler with the hammer down. Who better to push the rig on TV than ratchet-jaw Howard Cosell? Yet Humble Howard is already having trouble with his new CB handle, “Straight Talk.” Asked about his waiver from ABC Sports to make a commercial, Howard huffs, “That’s a private deal with GE.” Then what’s it worth in green stamps? “That’s an invasion of privacy.” 10-4 and out.
•While working at his New York City law firm, David Eisenhower, 29, may also be taking some political soundings. He and his wife, Julie Eisenhower, are reportedly househunting in Pennsylvania’s artsy-craftsy Bucks County, where local pols speculate he’s preparing for a congressional race in 1978.
•It’s as if Charlotte Ford defected to GM. The pretty 20-year-old running the front desk at the just-opened Marriott Inn in Houston is none other than Beverly Hilton (as in the Beverly Hilton), granddaughter of Conrad, the competition.
•The President has enshrined the Lowly Legume as an American political icon, but now First Brother Billy Carter, 39, confesses that he just can’t stomach peanuts. If he eats too many, Billy allows, he swells up and breaks into “hives and sweats.”