First Tango in Palm Springs
They had been Hollywood roomies when one was a $75-a-week contract player at Universal and the other was the struggling new stud in town. “You’re allowed one reminiscence,” said the former when they brushed their 50ish bulks against each other recently for the first time in years. “I’ll tell you what I remember,” said the latter. “We went to Palm Springs in your old Buick and wound up with a lot of girls. There was one I really liked—and you took her away from me.” The ex-contract player glowed at the memory. “After all,” said Tony Curtis, “I must be one of the few fellows who ever took a girl away from Marlon Brando.”
Piece of the Rock
“The program is terrible, terrible—that’s probably why it’s so successful.” That’s no effete TV critic talking, but Rock Hudson assessing his own NBC hit, MacMillan. No longer able to keep a loyal tongue after six seasons and perhaps no longer needing to at 51, Rock blurts: “Television is a monster that eats everything and everybody. When they wanted the show to go to two hours, I said, ‘Why two hours? The thing doesn’t hold up for 90 minutes.’ ”
There was this producer building a dream on a TV pilot aimed at CBS, and so he signed up this angelic actress who played Laurie on The Partridge Family. In the meantime the kid marries William Morris agent Lenny Hirshan and gets booked into a soft-core feature titled First Love. “Are you really taking your clothes off in that movie?” asked the TV producer apoplectically. “No, of course not,” 24-year-old Susan Dey reassured, demurely. “They’re being taken off of me.”
One woman will research South American literature, another social welfare in the Soviet Union, and the third surely will ask why only three of this year’s 21 Fellows accepted by Washington’s Wood-row Wilson International Center for Scholars are women. While taking a breather from the lecture circuit (though she’ll still edit Ms.), Gloria Steinem plans to write “feminist political theory” under her grant (“It’s difficult to write without some kind of isolation,” she has found). How goes feminism? “For seven years the movement has been pronounced dead at 3 p.m. every Tuesday,” Steinem observes. “On the contrary, the movement has the support of more of the population than ever before.”
In Vegas, the rule is if it moves, bet on it. The legalized bookies may never have tried to sit through an Oscars-cast, but they’ve already posted a line on the March 28 awards, with Network ahead in the early action. The two favorites for best actor—William Holden (6-to-5) and the late Peter Finch (8-to-5)—both come from that satire on TV, as does the top actress pick, Faye Dunaway (7-to-5). Liv (Face to Face) Ullmann is the outside second choice at 2-to-1. Across-the-line Network bettors have made Ned Beatty the best supporting actor pick at 8-to-5, a nose ahead of Laurence (Marathon Man) Olivier at 9-to-5. Jodie Foster, 14, is favored as best supporting actress for Taxi Driver, which also produced the third choice for best actor, Robert DeNiro (3-to-1). Behind him is Sylvester Stallone (4-to-1) of Rocky, the second-favorite picture and stable of contenders like Talia Shire (3-to-1 for actress) and Burgess Meredith (3-to-1 for supporting actor).
•”I never saw anyone so bullheadedly bent on being happy all the time. She was always singing and humming to herself. Her joie de vivre drove me quietly berserk,” grumbles Hollywood hairdresser George Masters of—who else?—ex-client Doris Day.
•When brother Jimmy walked with their evangelist sister, Ruth Stapleton, he had a religious experience. So ol’ Billy Carter, who brags of putting away “six or seven” beers on working days and up to a case on holidays, sought out Sis to see if faith could heal a hangover. “She didn’t do a very good job of it,” Billy reports. “But three beers did.”
•No way he’ll pop for a new trenchcoat, even though next season Peter Falk will have the sweetest deal in TV history: $2,000,000 for four episodes as the shambling shamus, Columbo.