Gelsey Kirkland was an emotional wreck after her romance with Mikhail Baryshnikov broke up a few years ago. Then last December she quit the American Ballet Theatre, where she had once starred with Misha, and dashed over to Stuttgart to dance Juliet with another Romeo. But Misha, who takes over as ABT's director in September, has gone out of his way to win back Gelsey's feet, if not necessarily her heart. They were recently seen arm in arm at a Broadway opening, and now an ABT spokesman reveals that Kirkland will return to the company this fall. And the romance? "Gelsey says they're only friends now," confides an intimate of both. "She's not stupid enough to mess with King Kong's girlfriend"—Jessica Lange, currently Misha's steady.
The Best of Times
Dried-out ex-husband Richard Burton may be looking a decade younger than his 54, but Liz Taylor seems content to age gracefully. "I am 48 now and I don't attempt to disguise my age or lie about it," she proclaims. "My 40s are the best time I have ever gone through, so to approach 50 doesn't worry me at all." Sen. John Warner's wife is also not overwhelmed with nostalgia for those headlined years (1964 to 1976) with Burton. "The idea that Richard and I were the acting royalty of the time," she says, "strikes me as amusing."
"It's a coup for a couple of Adelaide boys," trumpeted the headline in an Australian newspaper as native sons Rupert Murdoch, the publishing baron, and Robert Stigwood, the showbiz entrepreneur, cemented a movie deal. It calls for them to invest more than $10 million a year (but with "no specific limit") for the production of at least three movies a year Down Under. The new company's name, tentatively, is R and R Films, which stirs echoes of Abbott and Costello. So who is on first? A spokeswoman at Stigwood's Manhattan headquarters confessed she didn't know. "I imagine at this stage it stands for Robert and Rupert," she mused loyally. The situation was similar at Murdoch's New York base. "I guess," said an aide, "it's Rupert and Robert."
Jerry Lewis took along Angel, his Shih Tzu, when he flew to Hawaii for a muscular dystrophy benefit, but there was one little problem: Someone had forgotten to tell him that the island's antirabies quarantine law requires all canine tourists to spend their vacations in the pound. Unknowing, Lewis' aides carried Angel right past officials to the Kahala Hilton in Honolulu while Jerry stayed behind for an airport press conference. But, doggone, somebody snitched, and animal agents rushed to the hotel to whisk Angel off to the clink. The misunderstanding cost Lewis a $150 fine plus $2.40 a day for eight days in the kennel. Though incarcerated, Angel wasn't too lonely. Jerry visited her twice.
Novelist Erica Jong (Fear of Flying) celebrated the completion of her new book, Fannie, with a magnanimous gesture. She promised Molly Miranda, nearly 2, her daughter by author Jonathan Fast, a trip from their Connecticut home to Manhattan "to do anything you want to do." Precocious Molly evidently has a sharp ear for adults' conversation and suffers no congenital aerophobia. She snubbed zoos and toy stores in favor of going to see Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan, explaining to her nonplussed mom: "I want to see the people who still know how to fly."
Flight attendants on the Washington-New York shuttle are chuckling over this one; An alert stew reported that she spied the Greatest aboard and briskly asked, "Mr. Ali, please fasten your seat belt." Mr. Ali obviously didn't want to feel tied down. "Superman don't need no seat belt," he replied. The stew's tongue was as sharp as her eyes. "Superman don't need no plane either," she shot back.