October 25, 1976 12:00 PM

Caan’s future Spartan

James Caan’s own dreams of gridiron glory were dashed early on at Michigan State. “I played freshman ball but they sent me home in a box,” he recalls. Now, with the addition of his 2-month-old son Scott, his dreams of glory may be fulfilled. “I hope Scott will be 6’1″ and weigh 210,” says Caan, himself a wiry 5’11” and 165. His offspring is currently less than 2’0″ and about 10 pounds. “I’d like him to be either a free safety or a quarterback,” says the proud papa, who adds, perhaps thinking of the hands needed for those positions, “or a violinist.”

Pat points, Jim jabs

The best donnybrook in New York this fall was the all-Irish TV debate between Conservative-Republican Sen. James L. Buckley (left) and Democratic challenger Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Sample exchange, Jim to Pat: “You lack the guts to say what you mean.” Pat to Jim: “Don’t talk guts with me, Buckley.” Even going away Buckley backhanded Pat: “He’s a very witty fellow—but entertainment is not the work of Congress.”

Tatum’s last tango?

They made the Depression pay off in Paper Moon, and now Tatum and Ryan O’Neal (and director Peter Bogdanovich) are turning the clock back two decades more in their upcoming film Nickelodeon. Ryan, 35, plays an unsuccessful attorney who becomes a film director, while Tatum, 12, is a kid who gets rich renting rattlesnakes and ostriches to the studios. While the two danced on the set, rumors flew that Tatum would retire from filmdom. Not worth a plugged nickel, pooh-poohed one observer, “She retires and unretires with each picture.”

Caroline campaigns

Every Kennedy campaign is a family affair, so naturally Caroline Kennedy, 19 next month, was all decked out in name tag and button to help reelect Uncle Ted (her cousin Joe Ill, 24, is campaign manager). The folks in working-class Somerville, where Caroline was a guest at a coffee party, might have thought the Radcliffe freshman was patronizing them with the Chinese characters on her name tag. Ah, no. She had just arrived from Boston’s Chinatown, where Caroline wanted to make sure everyone knew who she was.

Watery, but not grave

For Brenda Vaccaro (left) and Olivia de Havilland, it was all in a day’s work. In four minutes 4,000 gallons of water cascaded upon the set of Airport ’77, in which they play passengers on a plane that has crash-landed in the drink. “I almost lost a lung,” reports Brenda, “and nearly died of pneumonia.” And Olivia? “All that got swept away,” the old trouper reports, “was an eyelash.”

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