Talia Shire was busy on the set of Rocky III when she was told she had an "emergency phone call" in her mobile dressing room. Curious, since there's no phone in her Winnebago, Talia returned to find a Dixie cup on a wire hanging in the window. Picking it up, she heard the unmistakable voice of Burt Young coming from another trailer. Asked her co-star, "Would you accept an obscene phone call—collect?"
A Swallow in the Sky
Although he now works for Nike running shoes as a marketing VP, the Carter administration's Secretary of Transportation, Neil Goldschmidt, hasn't forgotten his old professional secrets. When a fellow passenger felt queasy on a rocky prop-plane flight from Washington to Lewisburg, W.Va., Goldschmidt came to the rescue with a valuable bit of air-transport expertise. "I've traveled thousands of miles in the last year, and it's the only thing that saves me," he said—and whipped from his briefcase a bottle of Maalox.
Beating a Dead Horse
About 40 people picketed a brassy Hollywood screening of the abridged version of the $36 million Western epic Heaven's Gate. Representing the American Humane Association, the protesters claimed that horses were cruelly treated—one, they said, was blown apart in a battle scene—and that a cockfight was illegally staged by director Michael Cimino. They needn't have bothered. After the new version bowed, Variety aptly headlined, "Gate Creaks Open to Disastrous Biz." Even in Johnson County, Wyo., where the film takes place, it closed after one week of a scheduled month-long engagement.
For letter-writing practice, Memphis English teacher Melanie Semore had her seventh-and eighth-graders write 152 celebrities, asking them to send objects from their trash cans. Forty-eight celebs replied. David Brinkley and the Washington Post's Katharine Graham said their wastebaskets were empty, and Henry Ford II professed to be too busy. But Sen. Howard Baker complied, enclosing the packing material from a photo lens he'd just bought. So did Pat Boone (a brochure for Calvin Klein makeup), Jimmy Connors (an empty soda can) and David Rockefeller (a list of predicted 1981 earthquakes). The governor of Tennessee sent a message reminding him to call the governor of Delaware. Film critic Judith Crist, defining trash her way, enclosed a subscription card for Rona Barrett's Hollywood. But the most puzzling definitions of trash came from Johnny Carson, Bob Hope and Ella Fitzgerald: They all dispatched autographed photos.
Diana Ross, according to a New York liquor store that sells her $45-a-pop champagne, dispatches the dough in envelopes with her likeness printed on them. Mel Brooks, on the other hand, is right on the money. To promote his History of the World, Part I, Brooks plans to give out Roman coins bearing his own not-quite-classical features. The coins, made of dark chocolate, will weigh a half pound each. And Larry Hagman, whose calling cards have long been $100 bills bearing his countenance, has just ordered up a batch of fake $1,000s. Why? Explains Larry: "Inflation."
•The lovable Gore Vidal, promoting his new novel Creation in London, put in a word about America's First Family: "There's a lot to be said for being nouveau riche, and the Reagans mean to say it all."
•After playing the conniving Lisa Colman on As the World Turns for 21 years, Eileen Fulton concedes, "I can't really hide my age." Still, Fulton, who's 50ish, demanded in her latest CBS contract that the character she plays, no matter what she has to go through on the soap, never becomes a grandma.