By Susan Champlin Taylor
October 28, 1985 12:00 PM

Bruce Springsteen recently spent a private evening with members of L.A.’s Steelworkers Oldtimers Foundation, which runs a food bank that feeds families of that industry’s unemployed. Springsteen has donated $35,000 to the group during the past two years. The singer watched a performance of Lady Beth, a play by and about workers laid off from the nearby Bethlehem Steel factory. Later he joined in a Mexican dinner and dancing to jukebox offerings by Phil Collins, Lionel Richie, and his own band. A New Jersey native, Springsteen said he was surprised to discover during his L.A. tour stops he often was more familiar with the problems of Southern California steelworkers than were local residents. “When I was playing L.A., talking about the steel plants that have closed down there, people didn’t know what I was talking about,” says Springsteen. “They thought I was talking about Pittsburgh.” Anyone desperately seeking Madonna is going to have a harder time finding her. The Material Girl says that she and her actor husband, Sean Penn, will soon move from their Hollywood apartment, where too many fans have tracked them down, to a more “sequestered” location. The couple also is about to begin filming their first movie together, Blind Date. Richard Benjamin is the leading candidate to direct the film.

Husband and wife Simon (Falcon Crest) MacCorkindale and Susan (Straw Dogs) George will work together for the first time on Woden’s Day, a thriller about ancient Viking spirits who appear on earth with a bad attitude. Says Simon, “It’s a metaphysical horror story—the film, not our working together.”…

Actor-director John (Death of a Salesman) Malkovich is developing a script based on Anne Tyler’s best-selling novel The Accidental Tourist. “All her work is great,” he says. “But I like this one best.”…

Tanning phenomenon George Hamilton has popped up at a couple of Hollywood functions with ex-wife Alana Stewart, who married and was divorced from Rod Stewart after her divorce from Hamilton (got that?). Alana insists that her appearances with Hamilton do not constitute a reunion in the making.

Two decades of scribbling gossip and movie reviews have certainly taught Rex Reed, 47, how to deliver a usable quote. “I’ve always been intrigued by murder,” says Reed, who has written a novel about a celebrity homicide, Personal Effects, due in February. “I’d like to be a part of one in real life, but not as the victim.” Reed won’t name anyone he’d like to shoot, garrote, pummel or bludgeon but notes that “There are a lot of people who wouldn’t be missed—Arafat, theater critic John Simon, Otto Preminger, Frank Sinatra.” What did Reed learn while writing his book? “It’s given me new respect for people who in the past have been easy to put down—Sidney Sheldon, Judith Krantz, Jackie Collins. I have a new understanding about how hard it is to write it down.” Also, no doubt, of what’s it’s worth once you do: Publishing and TV rights for Personal Effects have brought in nearly $1 million so far. Says Reed, “While I would have liked to have written a sensitive novel about a young boy growing up in the 1940s in Mississippi, people wanted gossip.” P.S.: Who does Rex think is the best interview? “Nobody is better than a has-been. They’ll tell you everything. They want revenge and they’ll tell you all the dirt. They have nothing to lose.”