‘Wunderkind’ at 60
Convoyed by his mother, Jennie, and sister, Shirley, Leonard Bernstein arrived at Virginia’s Wolf Trap Farm Park for a gala concert on his 60th birthday—and the program was a star-studded Bernstein retrospective, performed by everyone from Yehudi Menuhin to narrator Lauren Bacall. Said National Symphony conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, who impresarioed it all: “My idea of this evening is not a bottle of vodka or flowers. I want him to sit in a chair and hear our gift.” Said Lennie: “I am overwhelmed.”
In screen audiences’ getaway glimpse of the indestructible, steel-dentured villain, “Jaws” (Richard Kiel), in James Bond’s The Spy Who Loved Me, he was sharking across the Atlantic. Now to the delight of his children, Jennifer, VA, and Richard, 3, the 7’2″ Kiel carted them all to France as shooting began on the latest in the series, Moonraker. The only problem, carped Kiel, was that those deadly choppers still don’t fit.
No sweat for Dr. J
Right, that’s Dr. J getting sprayed. Julius Erving, the National Basketball Association’s $600,000-a-year Most Valuable Player, is making a dunk into a new game. The Doctor has turned actor and is starring in the film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, about an all-Pisces basketball team that wins through astrology. “I have to learn to live the life of my character,” finds the 6’7″ Erving, “to get facial expressions down and show changes in temperament.” His trouble, actually, was not so much in emoting as in working up a realistic pro game sweat, hence the makeup man’s spritz.
Gays and dolls
A mixed bag of songsters—Donna Summer, Cher and Jaye P. Morgan—showed up at a California fund raiser to give the gong to a controversial November referendum, the state’s latest Proposition—Six—which would “prohibit the hiring” and “require the firing” of gay teachers. Proclaimed Cher, championing a principle she’s not historically been so fastidious about: “I think it’s a total invasion of privacy—it’s an incredible issue that you have to prove your sexuality.” Where might it lead? Suppose hairdressers were the next ones forced to go straight? Judging from Donna’s and Cher’s kinky new coifs, there was an esthetic case to be made.
Lopez in the trap
It happened just nine weeks before, at a Pennsylvania tournament. She was Nancy Lopez, 21, the wonder from New Mexico, who in her rookie season on the pro golf tour has won a record $153,947. He was Tim Melton, 29, an unknown sportscaster from Harrisburg’s WHP-TV. He asked for an interview. Recalls Nancy: “It was love at first sight.” Exuberantly, Lopez posted the banns (the wedding will be April 14) on the Today show. How to inscribe the trophies? She’ll keep her own name, “but I’ll have Melton at the end.”
Bruce’s heir apparent
One advantage of his new job as West Coast co-host of NBC’s matinee talk show, America Alive!, is that it keeps Olympian Bruce Jenner, 29, mostly at home (except for the odd celeb tennis tourney) and in close touch with wife Chrystie, 30, and with Jenner junior too. At the office disco party in Beverly Hills to celebrate the program’s survival of one month, the ex-airline stewardess displayed her turn. Their next trip could be to the maternity ward, an event neither has previously attempted in the decathlon of life.