"Acting is the perfect profession for me," says Meryl Streep, "because I get bored easily. I have a very short attention span." Even so, she is dividing her attention these days between histrionics and her other vocation: motherhood. Twenty-two-month-old Henry has brought her an appreciation of "what a wonderful, exasperating, involving profession it can be." Still, superfame—which has engulfed her now that she has followed Kramer vs. Kramer with The French Lieutenant's Woman—makes her wonder about her future growth as a thespian. "I am a mimic," she explains. "I ape gesture. The source of what I do is observation. But since I became famous, I can't watch people—because they're watching me."
Thank You, Mr. President
It happened as former President Ford was winding up the private tour he was giving President Reagan of the new Gerald Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich., a building worthy of any ex-President. Ford was still glowing when a reporter following the pair asked, "Mr. President, what were your impressions?" Sighed Jerry dreamily: "I'm overwhelmed." Then he realized the question was not for him. "Oh, excuse me," he mumbled. Reagan, who had been on the point of responding himself, recovered quickly and graciously. He patted Ford on the shoulder—and stayed mum.
So many "old" (read former) athletes are going into showbiz that nobody blinked when erstwhile decathlon champ Bruce Jenner vaulted in to fill the void on CHiPs caused by Erik Estrada's quibbles with the producers. Now Erik's expected back, and though Bruce may stay, don't count on him to go Hollywood. He hadn't read in Variety, for example, about Estrada being close to settling his differences with the show. "I don't subscribe to that stuff," he said. "I get SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and all that good stuff still. I've been thinking about getting the Hollywood Reporter or something, but I haven't gone that far—yet."
The Road Back
In the fall a Senator's life isn't all touch football. Moving the family back from Lowell, Mass. after the summer Congressional recess, Sen. Paul Tsongas sent his wife, Nikki, ahead by plane with Katina, 4, and their baby daughter, Molly, 3 months. Tsongas himself packed daughter Ashley, 7, and the family dog and cat into their 1980 car. It broke down five times, stretching the nine-hour trip to 16, and had to be towed the last 70 miles, from Baltimore to Alexandria, Va. Moaned Ashley, "I wish I'd gone with Mommy!" This is a glamor job?
•Convicted of slaying her Scarsdale Diet Doctor lover, schoolmarm Jean Harris has plenty of time on her hands in a Westchester County jail, and her old academic connections have helped her fill it. One thing she wanted for the fall semester was a subscription to Harvard Magazine, and she got it, gratis, from the university.
•When you're an actor and a politician you've got to worry about votes, but then you've got to worry about ratings too. Running for president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ed Asner phoned New England chapter president Ed Higgins to ask for his support. "Funny," said Higgins when he answered the phone, "I'm watching Lou Grant." Said Asner, "Never mind—I'll call back."