Archie Bunker’s Place may be having a bumpy third year on the airwaves, but Carroll O’Connor, 57, is confident that his latest project will get off the ground. As principal owner of the new Interstate Airlines, whose primary route is Burbank to Las Vegas, O’Connor took to the cockpit of one of his three turbojets during a lift-off party at Burbank Airport. Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson, guesting on Carroll’s show, was also on hand. Cracked one onlooker: “I heard Reggie was here to throw out the first plane.”
For Timothy Hutton, 21, the Oscar winner of Ordinary People, the opening of his new movie Taps made this “my best Christmas ever. I had my family here,” says Hutton, “and it was their first Hollywood premiere.” Mother Maryline Adams and sister Heidi joined Tim’s Ordinary People co-star Judd Hirsch and date Cahlia Giblan (left) at the premiere and after-party. On Hut-ton’s arm was Rosanna Arquette, 22, who played his wife in last month’s TV movie A Long Way Home. Off-screen, insisted Tim, it’s “nothing serious.”
The Lord High Cannon
Amply endowed with a menacing scowl and 260-odd pounds to back it up, actor William Conrad looked every inch an emperor while filming a forthcoming British TV production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Light opera does not come naturally to the man whose voice previously was heard as TV’s Cannon (1971-76) and radio’s Marshal Dillon (1952-61). But Conrad, 61 and married to Chet Huntley’s widow, Tippy, knows what he likes: “If given the choice, I’d say that Japanese food is my favorite.”
“And I’m telling you I’m not going,” wails singer Jennifer Holliday in Michael Bennett’s Dreamgirls. But don’t believe it for a minute. The 21-year-old showstopper in Broadway’s new smash musical is going right to the top—and fast. She is cast as a chunky singer forced out of a Motown-style group like the Supremes. On opening night a star-studded audience gave Jennifer a standing ovation, mid-song. And at the Tavern on the Green party, she was hugged by Woman of the Year Lauren Bacall.
Ebersol & Wife
Having weathered two marriages, a string of broken engagements and a rumored romance with Ted Kennedy, McMillan & Wife star Susan Saint James, 35, has landed on her feet. Last November she married Saturday Night Live producer Dick Ebersol, 34, at her Hollywood Hills home, just two months after they met. Together here at a film premiere in L.A., the Ebersols will remain on separate coasts for a while, but, reassured the bride, “We’ll both be flying back and forth a lot.”
Son of ‘2001’
If Arthur C. Clarke, 64, has always seemed a bit out of this world, well, he has been. Since 1956 the reclusive sci-fi author has lived in Sri Lanka—thus the sarong. This week Clarke will read from the sequel to his book 2001: A Space Odyssey on ABC’s 20/20. But don’t hold your breath for the film sequel; MGM (which produced Kubrick’s classic) says nothing’s in the works.