Young space enthusiasts are in for a treat: Astronaut Sally Ride, who has been to E.T. territory and back, is writing a children's book about the great beyond.
On the May 4 Love Boat, Linda (Happy Days) Purl plays a woman who dresses up as a man in order to win a job from a sexist business executive played by Andrew Stevens. "It's no problem to walk like a man," says Purl, who was once married to Desi Arnaz Jr., "but you have to get up pretty early to talk like one." How's that again? Explains Purl: "When you want to sound like a man, you have to do it in the morning when your voice is husky." Fortunately or unfortunately, Purl got to tape her scenes in the a.m.
Mommie Dearest author Christina Crawford, whose grim recollections of her mother, Joan, could have put the wire hanger industry out of business, is organizing a support group for adults suffering the aftereffects of child abuse. Crawford is planning a newsletter, a computerized referral listing of self-help groups and a toll-free crisis hotline for victims. Says Crawford, who is calling her organization Survivors Network, "The population for this is in the tens of millions."
Jane Badler, the wicked alien Diana of the defunct series V, will return to NBC as another villainess in Covenant. Badler and Michelle Phillips, playing twins in the pilot, possess supernatural powers. At first Badler wasn't thrilled about portraying another heavy, but she knows where her bread is buttered. Literally. Badler, who as Diana ate rats and parrots, says, "At least now I get to eat normal food."
Julia Nickson, who makes her film debut opposite Sly Stallone in the soon-to-be-released Rambo: First Blood Part II, wasn't afraid to give Stallone some lip. Nickson plays a Vietnamese intelligence agent who helps Rambo locate American POWs in Vietnam. Though a romantic attraction develops between them, they weren't even supposed to kiss. But, says Nickson, "Every time Sly was in a good mood, I'd ask him if we could sneak in a little kiss in one of the scenes." Julia finally got her wish but reports, "It was quite sanitary and boring." What's more, soon after their smooch, Nickson collapses in Sly's arms and dies. Let that be a lesson to all actresses who audition for Rambo III.
Clayton Rohner, 24, who makes his film debut in Just One of the Guys, released last week, plays a high school senior who's a fan of soul great James Brown. Before Rohner taped a prom scene in which he shows off some pretty fancy footwork, Brown spent three days on the set giving him lessons. But it seems that Brown gave Rohner more pointers about living than dancing. Says Rohner: "Brown told me the three most important things in life are God, humanity and teaching the children. Then he looked at his wife and asked, 'By the way, can we get to the bank by three?' "
When an agent spied Tricia Leigh Fisher at a hockey game and asked her to audition for a movie, she thought it was a come-on. "I took his card and gave it to my mom," says Tricia, daughter of Connie Stevens and Eddie Fisher. But Mom checked the guy out and okayed the audition. Tricia promptly landed the role of Burt Reynolds' daughter in the new film Stick. (She replaced Shana Rodman, who was dropped from the picture last fall.) Tricia wasn't alone in her excitement. She says, "My mom gave me a note to give to Burt. It said, 'Look at my beautiful baby.' "