Man for All Seasons
From 1962’s Sherry to last year’s December 1963 perennial popster Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons have blasted through a decade and a half of hits—but now it’s stop the music. “I want to do more sophisticated things, like Barry Manilow and Neil Sedaka,” explains Valli of his decision to go completely solo at 40, following one last tour with the group this summer. The split, Valli assures, “has nothing to do with personalities—I love these guys,” nor with the hearing problems he feared would end his career. Two recent operations arrested the middle ear disease he’d had since childhood, improving his left ear to 97 percent and bringing the right from 20 to 35 percent. Of the new Valliless Seasons, Frankie says, “I’ll be thrilled when they’re working.” No doubt. Valli will be monitoring his beloved guys from a newly acquired $350,000 L.A. pad. He still owns 50 percent of them.
Milk Bar Only
The French blonde Marie-Christine Barrault was up for a best actress Oscar as Cousin, Cousine’s winningly indiscreet adulteress, but in real life she seldom socializes—and when she does is a prudish party-poop. “Can you imagine?” the convent-educated 30-year-old asks, holding up a photo of actress Karen Black breastfeeding her baby at a recent Hollywood soiree. “Right in front of everybody!” As for taking care of business, Marie-Christine says, “I would like very much to do one American film, I think. But one is all. I don’t wish to become an American girl. I want to stay a French girl.”
“They say the Vice-Presidency is a meaningless job,” intoned Walter Mondale. “Not at all. Every morning the President and I get exactly the same briefings from the CIA. Of course, he gets his from Admiral Turner, and I get mine from Ted Sorensen.” Such mots (some ghosted by funnyman Art Buchwald) put the Veep No. 1 on the laughmeter at this year’s Washington Gridiron roast. As proof that the Vice-Presidency is “the most important office in the land,” Mondale offered, “I stayed with the Queen in Buckingham Palace—the President stayed with a beer distributor in Clinton, Mass.” But the First Banana of the land was back to close the show noting, “You’ve heard some foreign policy remarks tonight by the acting Vice-President. The Republicans have said,” Carter continued, “that my foreign policy is a disaster.” The President paused, then added, “Well, I thought we needed to have some continuity.”
A A Cleaned-up Act
Even by the rock-around-the-clock standards of showbiz, Sammy Davis became a credit to his pace. But finally the nonstop shows, manic partying, booze, bimbos, grass and cocaine began to take the edge off his act. “For the first time in my life I felt really scared,” he admits. “My life and everything I’d worked for was disintegrating in front of my eyes.” That was four years ago. Now he says he’s come through it all including “two bad marriages, some gigantic ego trips and a certain U.S. President I once supported. I’d like to say I did it my way—but that line, I believe, belongs to someone else.”
•The word around the Supreme Court is that Chief Justice Warren Burger, 69, is eyeing an appointment as permanent resident scholar at William and Mary law school in Williamsburg, Va. As to why he would step down, Burger is already eligible to retire at full pay, and as another elder colleague notes, “He’s working for nothing.”
•May God bless you and give you more children,” ended the telegram from one African population explosion to another. Or was it just a case of one-upmanship? After all, Uganda’s “Big Daddy” Idi Amin, who claims to have 32 children, was congratulating his equally notorious colleague, “Emperor” Jean-Bédel Bokassa, 56, of the Central African Empire on the birth of merely his 30th child.
•”I’m too dull, square and protestant, in the philosophical not religious sense, to be a big popular figure. I’m not a public drunk. I’ve only had one wife. My kids aren’t runaways. People don’t find a big public flaw in me, and they seem to need that from anyone who’s had success and attention.” Well, it’s not a Cinerama-size flaw, but will smugness do for Charlton Heston?