Necks craned in astonishment at Hollywood's swanky Palm Restaurant. There, breaking bread together in a startling scene, were Welcome Back, Kotter's once feuding co-stars Gabe Kaplan and Marcia Strassman (PEOPLE, Nov. 6). Gabe had initiated the rapprochement by calling up Marcia (he had to hunt all over town for her number) and suggesting they hash out their problems. Afterward they kissed goodnight. Next day on the set they giggled at each other and Marcia sat on Gabe's lap. "This is a nice man," bubbled Strassman of her former foe. "We are friends and could have been friends the whole time. That is what hurts the most." "At least we found each other now," chimes in Gabe. The problem, Marcia explains, was that "we'd both been duped by someone high up in the production company who was totally into manipulation." That could be Kotter's executive producer Jimmy Komack, who has reacted to the truce by carrying around a stuffed Snoopy on the set.
Pianist Arthur Rubinstein, 91, will be among the culturati at Washington's Kennedy Center Honors Night on December 3. But who'll be on his arm? Nela Rubinstein, 69, his wife of 46 years, or his British companion and secretary Annabella White-stone, late-30ish, who's been touring Europe with the maestro since summer while Nela stews in their Marbella hideaway? Rubinstein left her behind, he says, because "All the time my wife kept telling me what not to do: 'Arthur, don't eat this, don't smoke, you must rest!' I am fed up. To get as old as I am," Rubinstein continues, "one must drink a glass of whiskey every morning, smoke a long cigar and chase beautiful girls."
"I'm interested only in the one-tenth of the business that the public actually sees—the music played onstage," states Jethro Tull's frenetic flutist, Ian Anderson, 31. "The other nine-tenths terrify me—scandal, drugs, publicists, pushy young executives. I mean, I don't even know about drugs. I have never smoked a joint in my life." Atypical Anderson—who's just finishing a U.S. tour—insists he'd rather spend his earnings on "a couple of cows" for his Buckinghamshire farm than on having "crates of champagne or grouse flown in" to his hotel room. Anderson does admit to one bizarre habit on the road. "I study marine biology," he confesses. "Just for kicks, of course."
Soul on Ice
David Soul didn't play a fast-moving Hutch on Starsky and Hutch for three years for nothing. Celebrating backstage at L.A.'s Roxy with good chum and harmonica player Norton Buffalo, Soul heard that Buffalo's custom-made nifty chromatic mouth harp had been ripped off. Soul dashed out onto the Sunset Strip, buttonholing people who fit the culprit's description, then finally waved down a cop. Forty-five minutes later, Buffalo's harmonica—and Soul's wind—was back.
•Officially, the U.S. Navy is steaming full ahead with its new policy of allowing women sailors to serve on ships at sea. Pregnancies, for instance, will be treated as a medical rather than a moral problem. But unofficially, the top brass is worried. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Thomas B. Hay-ward recently dispatched a confidential memo to his commanders advising them that if the coed ships lead to any Operation Petticoat-style hijinks, the women will return to the beach, ASAP.
•Irish bog Richard (The Wild Geese) Harris used to soak up two bottles of vodka a day. But because he "kept falling asleep and forgetting things," he gave up alcohol nearly a year ago. Alas, the side effects linger on. "The other week I bumped into Robert Morley and told him I'd always wanted to work with him," confesses Harris. It was hardly a compliment. "He told me that we had already worked together in Cromwell."
•Leave it to political prankster Dick Tuck for the neatest explanation of why Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, 57, finally married his longtime roomie, Sally Quinn, 37. Bradlee, claims Tuck, once confidently told Quinn, "Yeah, baby, I'll marry you as soon as they name a Polish Pope."