When Merv isn't busy talking to Ann Turkel on the phone, he's putting together a new TV series, starring Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabon What's it about? Says Eva, "We promised Merv we were not going to talk about it, if that's possible for us." Less closed-mouthed sources say the Gabors will play members of the Hungarian royal family who have fallen on hard times and have to work as—yikes!—maids. The show is called, appropriately enough, Two Hungarian Maids, and shooting is scheduled to begin in November...Meanwhile, Eva is planning to join her old Green Acres sidekick Eddie Albert in the Broadway revival of You Can't Take It With You when Colleen Dewhurst leaves the show next week—if she can fit it into her schedule.
Good news for Helen Reddy: She gets to keep the diamond tiara she purchased for her royal command performance in 1980. That's just one provision of the out-of-court settlement reached by lawyers for Reddy and Jeff Wald, who went through a messy divorce last year. Reddy and Wald have also agreed to split the proceeds from the sale of their Brentwood mansion (valued at around $3 million) and the use of their Lake Tahoe retreat (worth another $1 million or so). As for son Jordan, 10, whose fate was the most heated issue in the War of the Walds, Helen and Jeff have agreed to share custody, alternating on a weekly basis with weekends and holidays "to be worked out." That may be wishful thinking.
An erroneous report that John Travolta would be playing a series of nightclub dates has brought his representatives a flood of frenzied phone calls. "People were coming out of the woodwork," says publicist Amy Kimmelman, who represents John in L.A. "But he has no plans to go on the road." The original report had John touring to get in character for his next film, Fire, in which he will play a rock singer. The announcement reportedly came from the film's producer, Keith Barish; since then, sources say, Travolta simply changed his mind about the road show. Kimmelman calls the whole thing "a misunderstanding."
In The Muppets Take Manhattan, adventure No. 3 from Miss Piggy and the gang, Kermit becomes a big Broadway producer. Just wrapped in New York and scheduled for release next summer, the movie includes a scene in Broadway's most famous eatery, Sardi's, during which owner Vincent Sardi honored Kermit by placing his caricature on the wall. Miss Piggy wasn't in the scene, and that's not the wurst of it. Noted Kermit, "I had them take the frog's legs off the menu for the occasion, but there was nothing I could do about the pork chops."
Thanks to L.A. fitness guru Hans Buhringer, even the most modest sunbather will soon be able to get an all-over tan. Buhringer has invented a bathing suit that is creating a stir six months before it hits the stores. Called the Unsuit, Buhringer's swimwear is made of a specially woven cotton fabric that lets the sun shine in. Already, claims Hans, he has received $3.3 million worth of orders. Ann Turkel, Buhringer's girlfriend (and the ex-wife of actor Richard Harris), is his partner in the venture. Says she, "He has the ideas, and I have the connections. I can just call up Merv Griffin and tell him I want to be on the show."