THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER: Joan Van Ark, who plays Valene on Knots Landing, says that she has pleaded with the show's writers to "get me out of the house." Complains Joan: "I mean, I spent a year finding the twins, then another year changing their diapers and taking care of them. I love them, they're cute, but I can't take it anymore. I need a career!" That is the opposite of songbird Anne Murray's problem. Murray, in London touting her new album, Something To Talk About, says she's taking the summer off to spend time with her family in Nova Scotia. Enthuses Anne: "I get to be a housewife for two months. I'll cook three meals a day, and I get to clean toilets." Some fun.
SO, HOW'S THE WEATHER? Growing Pains' Alan Thicke was in Florida, recently, taking in the sun and balmy temperatures—something he didn't see much of growing up in Kirkland Lake, Ont. "I come from almost 2,000 miles north of here, where your nose hairs freeze together for 11 months of the year. You were attractive there if you didn't have a runny nose. But the town I was born in is proudest of having the deepest shaft in North America. Whoever believes that has never done business in Hollywood."
LONG LIVE PRINCESS DI'S GRAND-MOTHER-IN-LAW: Readers of London's Daily Mirror sounded off on their least favorite royal and, surprisingly, the glittering Princess Diana ranked among the top of those least liked. No. 1 on the list in a recent poll by the splashy tabloid was Princess Margaret, who was followed by Princess Anne. Tied for third were Diana and her father-in-law, Prince Philip. Then came Prince Andrew, Princess Michael, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth and, finally, the Queen Mother. Di's peer group may finally be tiring of Her Royal Trendiness: Twelve percent of women between 15 and 34 (Diana is 24) put her at the top of their least-liked list.
VICE GUYS FINISH FIRST: When he turned up to film an episode of Miami Vice last year, G. Gordon Liddy, 55, took along wife Frances, who was greeted by Don Johnson with a friendly kiss. Not long ago, reports the Watergate tough guy, a large photograph of Johnson arrived at the Liddys' Maryland home. It was signed "To Fran, with warmest wishes to you and yours, Love, Don Johnson" and prominently placed on the piano. Jokes a bugged Liddy: "We've been married almost 29 years, and there is no picture of me on the piano."
CATCHY, CATCHY: Among the milestones not allowed to pass unobserved this year was Tony Orlando's 25th anniversary in show business. The celebration took place at Harrah's in Atlantic City, where Orlando, 42, was appearing and where Spanish firecracker Charo turned up to deliver her telling testimonial: "Tony and I have been friends for a very long time. I met him when my cuchi, cuchi was just a little kitchy, kitchy."
STEADY AS THEY GO: Tony Rizzoli, who plays a small-time hood in Brian De Palma's new movie, Wise Guys, has one scene in which he gives a pedicure to that 340-pound wrestling-animal-turned-actor, Captain Lou Albano. Notes Rizzoli: "It didn't scare me to be working with a film great like De Palma. It didn't scare me to work with live lobsters. It didn't even scare me to work at night in Newark." So what did scare him? "It scared the hell out of me to clip Albano's toenails. I knew that if I accidentally cut any of his toes, I'd be dead meat."
IT WORKS EVERY TIME: Actor-producer Michael Douglas is a true ladies' man, in the most honorable sense of the term. "They're the better sex," he told a London interviewer. "I find it easier to get on with women than with men. And if things are not working out on the set and everthing else fails, I will look them up and down and flirt with them."