THE VAN THAT GOT AWAY: Don't ask Van Johnson, who replaced Gene Barry in the Broadway musical La Cage aux Folles, to spend a night on the town. That's for other stars. Johnson's a real drag, as it were. "I wear my pajamas to the theater so I won't be tempted to go out after the show," he says. "I go straight home to my bubble bath and then I read a book in bed."
BREAKIN' UP'S NOT HARD TO DO: Tim Conway still gets asked what it was he used to do to make his cohorts laugh on the old Carol Burnett Show. "Usually they were short on time," he explains. "It was necessary to say your line and get out. I felt it was an opportunity to do five minutes so they would have trouble in the editing room putting the show together." Conway's most popular victim was Harvey Korman, with whom he's co-starring in the new film The Longshot. "Harvey was easy to break up. I guess we have the kind of relationship that George Burns and Jack Benny had; I say 'hello' to Harvey and he falls down. So it was difficult in the sketches to look at each other. We figured two guys our ages should get jobs rather than walk around in frog outfits."
IF LOOKS COULD KILL: Ex-Eagle Glenn (The Heat Is On) Frey, 36, is proof the baby boomers are coming of age. Says Frey: "I look at pictures of myself in the old days wearing hair down to my shoulders and think, 'How did I ever get a date looking like that?' " Adds Frey, "I wonder if anybody ever told Twisted Sister how extremely unattractive they are."
FLY ME TO THE MOON: Harry Belafonte, appearing in L.A. at an Artists and Athletes Against Apartheid benefit, was asked what he would have become if he hadn't been an entertainer. "I would have gone into space research," he replied. "I want to know what's out there. It couldn't be a whole lot worse than what goes on here."
HOME ON THE RANGE: You'll never find Victor Banerjee of A Passage to India in a motion picture home for elderly stars. "I will retire in 15 years and live in my home in the mountains in Mussoorie," he told London's Sunday Express. "It is my heaven. I have only one other neighbor 8,000 feet up. I can see the Himalayan range, and I cannot feel important or great when I see these mountains and the butterflies and the flowers. I shall spend my time trying to answer the only important questions in life—why are we here? What is the purpose of life?"
SEASONINGS GREETINGS: Jill St. John, 44, is busy preparing recipes for a once-a-month cooking sequence on Good Morning America, for which she'll commute to New York from her home in Aspen. "I grow all of my own herbs and vegetables there," she says. "Just at the right moment I can race off and pick a fresh herb for the pot. Many's the time I've returned to L.A. with a suitcase full of herbs and vegetables. I hope I'm not breaking any state laws. Just imagine reading, 'She was busted for broccoli!' "
A STAR IS WORN: Until recently Teresa Brewer, 53, whose 1950s hits include Music! Music! Music! and Let Me Go, Lover! could only watch helplessly as her star faded. Brewer's star along Hollywood's Walk of Fame is located near a bus stop and receives heavy foot traffic. In fact, her name had been shortened to Teresa Brew, perhaps by a heavy object somebody dropped on her star. The nonprofit Hollywood Historic Trust, which puts the stars into the sidewalk, has no money to maintain them. When members of the Teresa Brewer Fan Club heard about this, they raised $1,200 to repair the damaged star. Historic Trust says this is a first and hopes devotees of other entertainers immortalized in cement, but tarnished by time, will provide the funds to keep them shining.