October 26, 1998 12:00 PM

Terms of Engagement

Model Claudia Schiffer and David Copperfield are still vowing to take their vows


She’s frustrated with her modeling career. Her Fashion Cafe connection has fizzled. So is it time for Claudia Schiffer to finally settle down and marry that nice magician who gave her a five-carat diamond engagement ring…almost five years ago? Hard to tell. “Of course, I’ll get married,” Schiffer, 28, said this month at the Milan fashion shows. But when asked about her marathon courtship with David Copper-field, 42, Schiffer turned sphinxlike: “I’m not saying anything,” she offered. Over the years, the couple cited hectic schedules as a reason for not tying the knot. They still do, though Schiffer recently told Italian reporters “I’d really like to change my life.”

Those who scoff at the relationship face the wrath of Copperfield. He filed a $30 million defamation suit last year against the publishers and distributors of Paris Match after the magazine claimed, according to the suit, that Schiffer was “an employee, hired and paid for by Mr. Copperfield” to give the illusion that she was his fiancée. “The true facts are as follows: Ms. Schiffer and plaintiff have a genuine romantic relationship and plan to marry,” Copper-field’s attorneys said in court papers (much of that lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, was thrown out on a technicality). The couple met in October 1993, when Schiffer was hired to appear at a gala featuring Copperfield. They became engaged the following January. And so it goes. And goes. “Claudia and David are still very much engaged,” his spokeswoman said Oct. 9, “but still don’t have a wedding date.”

Assisted Loving

It may be selling by the boatload—and helping scientists win Nobel Prizes—but Viagra isn’t exactly the kind of product that inspires lots of celebrity endorsements. Singer Julio Iglesias confessed in a recent interview that he has taken the over-the-hill pill. “I’ve taken it twice,” he told the French magazine L’Express. “The first time it gave me a headache. The second time it didn’t activate very much. I make love better than I did in the past. But only in my head.” Iglesias said he doesn’t like mood-altering substances in general—”I don’t take drugs. I hate that stuff”—and his own personal history would seem to belie the need for any chemical boost. Iglesias, 55, father of three grown kids, is expecting his second child with his longtime companion, Dutch model Miranda Rijnsburger, 33.

A Polished Stone

Film critics, following their basic instincts, once routinely dismissed Sharon Stone’s acting ability. Not so with her new film The Mighty, in which her role as a single mom caring for a dying child has been hailed by many reviewers. It’s a long way from Stone’s days uncrossing her legs onscreen. “The people I play are generally a little operatic,” she told PEOPLE. “It was nice to play someone who had a more subtle approach to life.”

The Prole Truth

Only a few years ago TV was brimming with sitcoms about underachieving, over-caffeinated college grads. Now the Joe Sixpack humor of The Honey-mooners, retrofitted for shows like The Drew Carey Show and Cosby, is all over prime time, with brand-new programs about working stiffs. (As usual, blue-collar folk have been hit with layoffs: Fox’s bartender comedy Costello was pink-slipped last week after four episodes.) A look at these shows begs the question: What would Ralph think?

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Moscow, We Have a Problem

Marooned cosmonauts. Junk hurtling earthward. For much of 1997 the Russian space station Mir seemed ready to self-destruct. Not that Russians like to be reminded—especially by an American movie like Armageddon, which opened there last month. Some parliament members, like Alexei Mitrofanov, are so enraged at the portrayal of a vodka-swilling cosmonaut on a ramshackle Mir that they want the film banned. “Let them show it in America, not in Russia,” stormed Mitrofanov, who hopes that “violations of the licensing legislation” will provide an excuse to yank Armageddon.

March of Zorro

Antonio Banderas (with wife Melanie Griffith) outshone local politicians and added star power to New York’s annual Hispanic Day Parade on Oct. 11.

Paging Dr. Williams…

Robin Williams likes to play doctor. In What Dreams May Come, he does it for the fourth time in eight years (not counting his small role as an ex-shrink in 199l’s Dead Again). He’ll be putting on the white coat later this year in Patch Adams (left), in which he plays a middle-aged med school student. Here’s the chart of his medical history:

Awakenings (1990)

Name: Dr. Malcolm Sayer (based on author Dr. Oliver Sacks)

Specialty: neurology

Bedside manner: Shy and withdrawn, he emerges from his shell as he tries to thaw his mentally frozen patients. “I’m not very good with people,” he admits.

Nine Months (1995)

Name: Dr. Kosevich

Specialty: obstetrics

Bedside manner: Bouncing, bumbling and bursting with spoonerisms. Tells woman in labor, “I’m a little nervous. This is my first delivery. You want Anastasia, no?”

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Name: Sean McGuire

Specialty: psychotherapy

Bedside manner: Tetchy and tough—he slams Will Hunting (Matt Damon) against a wall for making a crack about his dead wife—but with a heart of Oprah (he and Damon share a big bear hug at the end).

What Dreams May Come (1998)

Name: Dr. Chris Nielsen

Specialty: pediatrics

Bedside manner: As cute as Mrs. Doubt-fire, with a touch of hocus-pocus. (Does a bunny hop with a young patient and cures her migraine by having her put her hand over her mouth and breathe.)



Actor Robert Duvall loved his local restaurant in the Virginia countryside so much that he bought it. The Rail Stop, the only eatery in The Plains, Va. (pop. 268), cost Duvall $230,000 and is just minutes from his 200-acre farm. “I just loved the chef,” Duvall says of Tom Kee, whose dinner menu offers dishes like duck and rabbit stew. Kee and Duvall will expand the restaurant, which now has a model train running around the room, by adding 40 seats, and Kee says breakfast will be “a little more continental,” with espresso, oatmeal and muffins.

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