Though he never joined the Friars Club or starred on stage or screen, Joe Torrenueva celebrated his 40th birthday this year at a surprise party thrown by the biggest names Hollywood has to offer. But then they owe him one. As proprietor of Torrenueva Hair Design on L.A.'s Sunset Strip, Joe has lowered just about every famous ear around. You name it—Robert Wagner, Martin Sheen, Tony Randall, Richard Gere—they all have had Joe's $80 haircut ($250 for a house call, $1,000 for out-of-state calls, which he makes about a dozen times a year). Though all those folks couldn't get to the party, 15-year customer Kirk Douglas did. "I offered to give Joe a haircut for his birthday but he ran off," Kirk kidded. John Forsythe also was there. "Quite simply, Joe has made me handsome beyond my wildest imaginings," the actor said with a belly laugh. Norman Lear gave another reason for the salute. "He's a therapist, a wise man," Norman said of Joe. An example of Joe's wisdom? "Well," Norman confides, "he told me to go into show business."
Talk about ingratitude. Jule Styne, who wrote the score for Funny Girl, Bells Are Ringing and a slew of other Broadway hits, has witnessed enough of it to sour him on female performers. "I don't know one for whom I've done something who has ever reciprocated," complains Jule. "Doris Day was a poor little girl with a baby, living in a trailer, and Sammy Cahn and I got her into Romance on the High Seas. She became a star and earned millions for herself. We never got a tie from her as a thank-you. Not a tie. She just forgot."
You don't know deprivation till you've been a Jewish kid on Christmas as that fat guy in the red suit answers letters and gift orders for all your pals. Well, cheer up, Bubeleh. Dan Bloom, 34, a former public-relations writer at the University of Alaska at Nome, decided two years ago to give Jewish kids a break. He introduced two characters named Bubbie and Zadie (which mean grandmother and grandfather in Yiddish) who promise to send Chanukah letters—though not gifts—to correspondents. Last year, Bloom's B&Z answered 2,000 letters. "Is whale meat kosher?" and "Do you live in an igloo?" worried children who noted that his address (Chanukah House, Box 84, Nome, Alaska 99762) was near the North Pole. A native of much-warmer Springfield, Mass., Bloom, a bachelor, has spent $2,000 so far this year on travel and ads. He hopes to make that money back—in the true Christmas spirit—with future marketing ideas. In the meantime, asked what he'd like from Bubbie and Zadie in return for his efforts, Dan replied, "A wife." Now that's a nice Jewish boy.
•The woman who just brought you Yentl found an interesting surprise while filming in Czechoslovakia. Record stores there carried albums with her songs, her voice and her picture on the cover. But they listed the artist's name as Barbra Streiszandova.
•While performing at a honeymoon resort in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, Henny Youngman found the great flaw in those tacky, heart-shaped beds. Try as he might to sleep alone on the one in his hotel room, his head kept falling off the curved heart's edge. Henny found two possible solutions. He called up room service and commanded, "Either send up another person or get me another bed."
•What's the alternative to a President who sucks jellybeans? Well, Washington Dossier magazine polled the pols and found the junk-food favorites of the two Democratic front-runners for the office. John Glenn munches chocolate bars. Walter Mondale likes saltines.