At last Lieutenant Columbo has met his match. The encounter took place during a pro-am tournament on Marco Island, Fla. when a sawed-off, cigar-gnawing, 7-year-old “Columbo,” Brad Stackpoole, showed up on the first tee to grill Peter Falk, 50. The TV gumshoe (a 15-handicapper who, if truth be told, has murdered many golf courses) must have been rattled, for he immediately skulled his tee shot. It was the local country club manager and his wife, Columbo fans both, who cast their son Brad in the role, and though the little bogeyman didn’t pursue Peter further, the Falk team lost.
It was hard to believe that Robert Preston and Richard Burton would alternate as lago and Othello in a New York production of Shakespeare this spring (and indeed that’s been postponed). It is equally difficult to imagine the 59-year-old Preston playing Huck Finn. But, fishing for something new, he’s landed the role. Actually it’s a part within a part. In the Prince of Grand Street, which is due on Broadway next month, Preston is cast as an aging music man in the turn-of-the-century Yiddish theater. In a series of shtiks he appears as Romeo, Lincoln and Huck. After this, lago will be kid’s stuff.
Putting on the dog
Three years ago actor Darren McGavin was out of shape and in his doctor’s doghouse. “Get off your ass,” he was told. McGavin hopped to and now jogs three times a week on his Beverly Hills turf, often accompanied by his Dalmatian, Domino. Being something of a wag, McGavin, 55, ordered up a special set of sweats for their outings. Says the actor, who earned his spots in 23 movies and five TV series (the latest: The Night Stalker), “Domino can go faster than I, but he poops out after four miles. I can run another half.”
They can’t go home
Mstislav Rostropovich, 51, the renowned cellist and conductor, is a man without a country. Watching the news in his Paris apartment, Slava learned that he and his soprano wife, Galina Vishnevskaya, also 51, had been stripped of Soviet citizenship for “unpatriotic activity.” The couple, who have been traveling in the West for four years on Russian passports, were shocked to have to face the music. They called the move “a heartbreak.”
Farrah’s Major award
“I like myself best when I’m not smiling,” Farrah Fawcett-Majors, 31, declared at a convention of Midwest film exhibitors in Kansas City. But how could she resist? There were the movie men naming her—before her first featured picture was even released—the Legend of the ’70s. (Well, she did have one memorable role—Raquel Welch tried to seduce her in Myra Breckenridge.) The joyous surprise for Farrah, though, was the appearance of husband Lee Majors, 37, up from location work in Tampa, to present the plaque. “Now you know why I love him so much,” chirped Farrah.
Suzanne & company
Despite a $1 million contract with CBS and several upcoming movie roles, Suzanne Somers, 29, has not thrown in the towel that she wears as the dishy Chrissy on ABC’s Three’s Company. In fact, she’s negotiating to endorse a line of bath and bed linens—as well as cosmetics and a doll. The spinoffs of her top-rated show have Suzanne going like a top, but apparently not away from hubby Alan Hamel, 38, a Canadian talk show host who kept her whirling at Manhattan’s Studio 54. The only thing that’s stopped is Suzanne’s work on her novel, fittingly entitled Some Live More than Others.