After being sidelined with his TV series since 1968, Flipper has resurfaced in the big leagues as the mascot of the Miami Dolphins. But he’ll have competition in the Orange Bowl end zone. The team has also hired a galaxy of cheerleaders called the Starbrites. While Flipper may flip over co-stars Patty Hagans and Connie Blalock, their boss—June Taylor, the old Jackie Gleason choreographer—warns that they’ll practice hard. She won’t have just a bunch of “jigglers.”
Victor Mature, on location in New York, is still, at 62, the incredible “hunk.” He has been lured back for another cameo, this time with Sophia Loren in the movie Firepower (despite the embarrassment of his 1976 bomb, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood). Explains Mature: “How can anyone stay in retirement when asked to play with Sophia? Plus, Michael Winner is a great director.” Fine, but don’t Winner’s credits include Won Ton Ton?
When the Democrats in Georgia’s sixth congressional district (just south of Atlanta) turn out for a primary, they do it whole hog. Betty Talmadge has six opponents, two of whom are expected to outpoll her. So, to fill her campaign piggy bank, the ex-wife of Sen. Herman Talmadge invited Georgians (at $25 to $200 a head) down home to Lovejoy to enjoy some barbecued pig. Though she won’t talk about Hummon and their divorce, a prime bone of contention between the couple was businesswoman Betty’s refusal to turn over $756,000 she received for the sale of land the senator had put in her name. Meanwhile details of his real estate shenanigans disclosed in the divorce transcript are being explored by the Senate Ethics Committee and the IRS, meaning that Betty might not be the only Talmadge facing a trial by political fire.
When Alana Collins divorced George Hamilton in 1976, custody of son Ashley, now 3, was readily resolved in her favor, but the old man got ample visitation, as in this dinner reunion at Beverly Hills’ Mr. Chow restaurant. Yet what Alana dug in over—aside from $2,500 a month—was some career help. She wanted George to star with her in a TV pilot based on their domestic disarray. “If you do this for me, I’ll make it worth your while,” she said. Okay, agreed George, but with the shooting over, he has doubts about the deal. “You get a choice—alimony or the slammer,” shrugs Hamilton, jocularly. “So I think of this as going to the slammer.”
The first round of the world chess championship in the Philippines ended in a draw. When émigré challenger Viktor Korchnoi sought to play under the Swiss flag, champion Anatoly Karpov and the Soviet camp said nyet. The Russians pointed out that Korchnoi, who fled the U.S.S.R in 1976, was not a Swiss citizen. They suggested he appear under a white standard stamped “Stateless.” Officials ultimately ruled neither player could show the colors. Except, as Korchnoi did, on the eve of the match with hospitable Filipino Amelia Braly.
First, Andrew Young; now, Marlon Brando. The actor, joining an Indian protest powwow in the very shadow of the White House, declaimed: “We’re the last nation on earth to give up our colonial control of a people.” What brought some 2,000 Indians to town (40 had walked from San Francisco to the capital) was proposed legislation that would cancel all past treaties and, they claim, make vast areas held by the federal government in trust for the tribes more readily available to private development. Soon Brando will go more directly public with his case, overseeing and starring in a 14-part series for ABC that the network hopes will be the Indian Roots.