September 24, 1979 12:00 PM

Baby Louise is growing up

Her conception in a petri dish made medical history, but in all other ways, Britain’s Louise Joy Brown is an ordinary, puckish, squirmy toddler. The first “test-tube baby” is with her parents, John and Leslie Brown, on a 12-city tour of the U.S. to plug their book, Our Miracle Called Louise. On Donahue, Louise mugged and shrugged until Phil, unused to insubordination in his guests, seemed befuddled. No stranger to the limelight, the baby logged nearly 30,000 miles in personal appearances before she was 9 months old and has already met the world’s second “test-tube baby,” a wee Scot named Alastair Montgomery, born in January. On this trip, 14-month-old Louise is broadening her horizons with a tour of American wonders: the World Trade Center, Niagara Falls and Elvis Presley’s grave.

Rubinstein survives

The solitary figure strolling Venice’s Piazza San Marco was pianist Arthur Rubinstein, 92, in town to accept a music award and catch a premiere showing of a documentary film, Rubinstein in Venice. As it turned out, the film was never screened (because Rubinstein had been unable to see it beforehand), but he did enjoy the awards ceremony at La Fenice Theater. After a concert featuring Anna Moffo, he picked up the green sash and Grand Cross of Merit of the Republic, and later the Life in Music award—a 13½”-tall, gold-and-enamel-trimmed cup. Shrugged the virtuoso, who retired two years ago: “They gave it to me because I am the only one still alive.”

The Borge bounce

Musician-comedian Victor Borge is no stranger to kid stuff: He has done 10 segments for Sesame Street and will guest on The Muppet Show this fall. So while visiting Chicago recently to flack a month of concerts, the 70-year-old grandfather of five spotted some children playing in Seneca Park and decided to horse around. “May I join you?” he asked one bemused child who had left his steed unhitched—and then without further ado rustled the mount for a brief ride.

Dustin’s breather

In his new flick, Kramer vs. Kramer, Dustin Hoffman plays a husband whose wife takes off to find herself. The script might hit close to home: Hoffman is rumored to be splitting from his wife, dancer-actress Anne (Manhattan) Byrne. Catching the summer’s last days in Cannes, he took a break with companion Barra Gable, a denizen of a neighboring town. She’s not necessarily his new lady. “Dustin’s a constant flirt,” says a friend, who suggests that may be the reason for his marital woes.

Pooch smooch

In his upcoming movie Oh Heavenly Dog (his second since defecting from Saturday Night Live in 1976), Chevy Chase plays a detective who is murdered and comes back in the form of a canine to dog his killer. His alter ego is played by Benji, who smooched with Chase at an L.A. press conference. (Chevy is killed off in the first half hour, after which he serves as Benji’s voice-over.) The comedian will soon pop up in no less than three other movies, including Saturday Matinee, which he co-authored. So you see, Belushi, Radner, Murray and gang, every dog will have his day.

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