December 18, 1989 12:00 PM


It wasn’t personal, mind you, just method acting run amok. On the New York set of A wakenings, in which Robin Williams plays a psychiatrist and Robert De Niro a catatonic patient, a staged tussle between the two took a turn for the worse when Williams’s elbow met De Niro’s nose. “Everyone heard it crack,” recalls one observer. An X-ray revealed his proboscis was broken. That night, at Liza Minnelli and Mark Gero’s 1Oth-anniversary party, the actor took his swollen schnoz in stride. “You look more Italian than ever,” cracked one friend. Bob has no hard feelings for his raging bull of a co-star.


After CBS aired an episode of Designing Women concerning wife abuse, the Domestic Violence Division of the L.A. City Attorney’s office asked for a dozen taped copies to show to men brought in on charges of abuse. “They must believe it’s a telling 22 minutes,” says Dixie Carter, who credits executive producer and writer Linda Blood-worth-Thomason and the performance of co-star Jean Smart. “It would take a hard case not to be affected by it.”


In two outings as Agent 007, dour-faced Timothy Dalton has failed to bond with U.S. audiences, prompting rumors that Pierce Brosnan is back in contention for the role. Brosnan, a friend of Dalton’s, was set to succeed Roger Moore as James Bond in 1986, but he couldn’t wriggle out of the contract for his Remington Steele television series. “My mind would be open if the possibility came up again,” says Brosnan, who is heading off to Nigeria next month to begin filming the drama Mister Johnson. “It’s like running for President—once you decide you can do the job, it’s very hard to dissuade yourself.”

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