June 11, 1984 12:00 PM

Kathleen Turner, who charmed audiences with her comic performance as a romance novelist in Romancing the Stone, won’t get many yucks in her new film, Crimes of Passion, co-starring Anthony Perkins and John (Footloose) Laughlin. Turner plays a dual role: By day she’s a dress designer, by night a woman mysteriously obsessed with sexual games. For her lewd nightlife scenes, Turner dons a platinum blond wig, and what she does in her blond persona has tongues wagging on the set. According to one insider, “The film is very explicit and fairly kinky. There are handcuffs in a couple of [sex] scenes. I’d be surprised if the movie doesn’t get an X rating.”

Newcomer Zach Galligan, 20, who plays Billy in Steven Spielberg’s Gremlins, says his close encounters with those evil creatures weren’t nearly as nerve-racking as his kissing scene with co-star Phoebe Cates, 20. “It was awkward—like kissing your sister,” says Zach. “We both were nervous but decided we could deal with the pressure. Then we saw that Steven Spielberg was on the set. It was the first time we had met him. That really made us nervous.” Meanwhile, according to reliable gremlins in Hawaii, Spielberg and George Lucas were building sand castles, making home videos and noshing at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, apparently celebrating their latest hit collaboration, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Steven and George wore matching straw boaters for their respective companions: Amy Irving and Linda Ronstadt, who, by the way, was sporting a short new ‘do.

The fitness craze has taken wing. This month Eastern and Western airlines both introduce a 10-minute audio exercise tape featuring aerobics expert Gilda Marx, who will be leading passengers through their paces in their seats. Never mind about the lack of leg room. The exercises include shoulder rolls, arm stretches, heel and toe raises and ankle rotations. Looks like Jane Fonda—a former Marx client—will have to go standby.

Model-turned-actress Susan Blakely, who portrayed Frances Farmer last year in the CBS movie Will There Really Be a Morning?, is slated to star in a two-hour pilot for a possible network series called Lady Be Good. Blakely will play a glamorous master thief who is sprung from jail to help the government fight bad guys in Washington, D.C., where filming begins soon. “I’ve played a lot of hookers, addicts and nymphomaniacs,” says Blakely, 35, of her movie and TV career. “It’s about time I finally get to play a character who looks good. If I don’t do it soon, it may be too late.”

So much for rumors that Paul Newman will be hanging up his racing helmet soon. It seems that Newman, 59, recently installed about $35,000 worth of Nautilus equipment at his Connecticut home to keep himself fit for the course. According to a Nautilus sales rep, “Newman wants to condition himself as a race-car driver—to improve his endurance and strength.”

Before ABC pulled the plug on its five-year-old series Hart to Hart, the show’s producers tried their own brand of resuscitation. Columbia Pictures-TV and its parent company, Coca-Cola, offered to pump an additional $1 million into the production, with no increase in the licensing fee to the network. The money was earmarked for hiring top-name guest stars (Sophia Loren had been mentioned) to bolster the ratings, and Coca-Cola promised an added $1 million for ABC’s ad budget. But the network declined. The producers have been shopping the syndication market in the slim hope that Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers can continue their sleuthing on the nation’s independent stations.

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