December 19, 1977 12:00 PM

Olé Walter

It was a case of more media diplomacy for CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite, 61. In Madrid to hand out awards for the American Society of Travel Agents, Cronkite found himself on the dance floor surrounded by exotic beauties. “Naturally I stepped forward and lent myself to a samba,” says Walter, but he found the floor too crowded to cut his best rug. And which dance is that? “Well,” confessed the newsman gamely, “I do a marvelous two-step to any music.”

Mickey’s Worthless

That’s Mickey Rooney all right, decked out in yellow tights, purple waistcoat and fright wig for his current role as the Scrooge-like Walter Worthless in Humbug, an entertainment Mickey wrote and stars in. The play runs at Chicago’s Drury Lane Theater until Dec. 19, after which Rooney, 57, faces his annual holiday dilemma: with seven ex-wives and nine children, where does he go first on Christmas?

Liz sends love

That wasn’t the University of Texas’ “Hook ’em, Horns” sign Liz Taylor was making, but “I love you” in the sign language of the deaf. Liz was the star speaker at Washington, D.C.’s Gallaudet College, the national college for the deaf, and delighted her audience with a few signs learned in advance. And interpreter Bill Pugin? He’s relaying Liz’s message of love: “I think the whole world should learn it.”

Marcello’s ladies

In Rome, actor Marcello Mastroianni, 53, is double-dating these days, and both the girls are his. The bedenimed bellezza he is leading by the hand is Chiara, 5, his daughter by actress Catherine Deneuve, while trailing behind is elder daughter Barbara, 25, a costume designer. (Her mother is Flora Carabella, Marcello’s wife of 27 years.) Why all the smiles? Because, says Barbara, “We’re greedy for pizza,” and Papa orders “big plates,” Neapolitan style.

Call him ‘Cody’

Folksinger Buffy Sainte-Marie, 36, likes to be thought of as “a space-age Indian.” (She’s really a Cree.) To prove it, she flew into New York recently aboard a Concorde from Paris with her 16-month-old son. Married to a Sioux, Sheldon Wolfchild, the fiery ’60s antiwar singer regularly appears on Sesame Street with her son, Dakota Starblanket Wolfchild. That’s quite a mouthful for preschoolers, so Big Bird just calls him “Cody” on the show.

DeNiro goes ape

The three wise monkeys fooling around during a film break in the Thailand jungle are barely recognizable as actors Robert DeNiro (left), Christopher Walk-en and John Savage. The threesome are in GI uniforms for their roles in The Deer Hunter as three Pennsylvania steelworker buddies captured by the Viet Cong. When the cameras rolled, DeNiro got a chance to prove his derring-do. Among the stunts he insisted on performing himself: dangling from a helicopter during a rescue scene and wielding a flamethrower.

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