‘Course, they knew she liked older men—she’s been living with actor-scriptwriter Bruce Robinson since she was 16. And they knew she replaced Maud Adams in The Pink Panther Strikes Again following a flap over who would bare their bazooms. But delectable Lesley-Anne Down (Georgina in Upstairs, Downstairs) still says moguls shouldn’t get ideas. “I was promised lots of lovely big film parts by American producers if I went to bed with them,” the British lovely, 23, reports. “Believe me, the casting couch is no myth. But it’s not for me. I couldn’t sleep with a man unless I found him attractive.” But, she laments, “many ambitious, untalented girls do.”
On the 10-year-old Carol Burnett Show, TV’s longest-running variety offering, the star’s producer-spouse Joe Hamilton has gotten a rep for chewing up writers like a Cuisinart. “It gets to the point where writers simply run out of ideas for skits,” counters Hamilton. “And what else can be done?” Maybe nothing, but years ago as producer of The Garry Moore Show he handed out one pink slip he’s still trying to live down. “I had to fire him because in 13 weeks he came up with a total of one sketch,” says Hamilton of a young man who spent his working time doodling his own nightclub material—and then went out to become Woody Allen.
Could that be—gasp!—Ann Landers skulking out of a hard-core double bill of Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones? Yup. In San Francisco, the intrepid columnist, 58, was cajoled into casing her first skin flicks by hosts from a convention of dermatologists as fieldwork. “It was so boring,” Landers sniffed afterward. “If Linda Lovelace had even one small pimple I surely would have noticed it.”
Bonnie & Clod
His career skidding perilously like the getaway cars he drove in his one big hit 10 years ago, the potato-faced actor began the evening by knocking back a few at a Manhattan gin mill. Then he lurched into a taxi to a literary pour and, spotting the most celebrated guest, he advanced unsteadily, loudly muttering an embarrassing and brazen proposition to the woman who towered over him. While the scandalized crowd gasped, Jacqueline Onassis gracefully dampened the ardor of Michael J. Pollard.
Nancy Dowd, the 31-year-old Smith College alumna who penned the black-and-very-blue hockey flick Slap Shot, wanted her pop to meet the movie’s lead foulmouth. “Dad, this is Paul Newman,” said Nancy. Whereupon Dowd père, showing he’d been more involved building a prospering machine tool business, stuck out his hand to George Roy Hill, director of the movie.
•Buttonholed by a bedazzled 6-year-old who wanted to know how long it would take for her, too, to become a superstar skater, Ice Capades headliner Dorothy Hamill smilingly replied that she had practiced eight hours a day for 15 years. The first-grader mulled the regimen over with a frown, then brightened. “Instead of that, how can I get the short and sassy look?”
•”It’s always nice to be back in New York,” Johnny Carson’s wife, Joanna, told a reporter during a recent homecoming from her royal L.A. seclusion. “You meet the challenges of everyday life.” But when she was mistaken for his penultimate spouse—Joanne—Joanna chortled, “Let’s get one thing straight. I’m the third and last Mrs. Carson, and I’m at least seven inches taller than the last one.”
•Was it love and not money—the $150,000 CBS “Love Doubles Match” for the fall—that led Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert to a recent dinner tête-à-tête? They may team up again for the match (against Björn Borg and Mariana Simionescu) and, locker rooms buzz, off-court as well.
•He’s the Vegas-line second choice to cop his second Oscar for Network (numero uno was 1953’s Stalag 17), but William Holden’s not exactly sweating it. When The Bridge on the River Kwai came along in 1957, Holden held up Columbia for 10 percent of the gross, payable at $50,000 a year, which means that Holden could keep collecting checks until he’s 107.