HOW ABOUT HOWARD THE CROCODILE? No one can blame Universal for trying to cut its losses on Howard the Duck, the unfortunate fowl that laid a $35 million egg for George Lucas. Already featured on some highly discriminating all-time-worst lists, filmland's most ignominious duck is making an undercover comeback Down Under as Howard, a New Breed of Hero. Maybe the studio is hoping the Australians have been too busy worrying about the America's Cup to keep an eye peeled for north-of-the-equator reviews. And just in case your average Aussie might prefer a movie about, say, a wallaby, the new poster for the film shows only a tiny Howard, off in a corner, looking like something you might slip onto the barbie.
WHEN SONNY GETS BLUE: Lorenzo Lamas is a marked man, and none too attractively at that, in the view of Falcon Crest co-star Jane Wyman. "My relationship with Jane off-camera has similarities with the relationship on-camera," says Lamas. "She gets on my case once in a while. The third year on the show I had a lot of problems. My dad had died, my marriage broke up. I spent four months on my Harley. Every time something went wrong, I rushed to a tattoo parlor." Lamas is proud of his tattoos, but remembers that Wyman recoiled when she first saw the tiger he had inscribed on his forearm. "Jane said, 'Why are you doing that?' " recalls Lorenzo. " 'You're an actor, not a biker.' " Lamas sees it differently. "Being a biker," he says, adding a memorable footnote to the thespian credo, "makes me a good actor."
THERE SHE GOES, MISS AMERICA: Candid Kellye Cash—Miss America 1987—says the hardest thing about her triumph has been convincing the public that "real people win Miss America." Explains the once and future Memphis State undergrad: "People just don't think I'm a real person. I walked into a restroom with my crown on and a lady looked at me and said, 'What are you doing?' I thought, 'Oh, that's right—me and the President, we don't go.' "
BEWARE OF THE ATOMIZER: When CBS wanted Edward Woodward of The Equalizer to enhance his unlikely sex-symbol status by losing a few pounds, they took infinite care not to offend. In the series, after all, Woodward's character, an irascible dispenser of justice, isn't wild about being told what to do. So the network took the roundabout approach. As the 56-year-old actor explained to the Washington Post, the elapsed time between "the Universal producer calling my agent in Los Angeles, my agent in Los Angeles calling my agent in England, my agent in England calling [my wife] Michele, and Michele telling me, was about six weeks. When she told me the whole chain of events, I got a bit angry. I said, 'What am I supposed to be, some kind of ogre?' " That isn't the only gripe Woodward's got with his job. There's the title. Sometimes people call him "the equivocator" or "the exterminator" or even—his favorite—"the emphasizer." "I hate the title," Woodward says grimly, "loathe it." Now if he'll just tell Michele, CBS should know it by April.
MUST BE SOME BLOCK: She made her fortune being outrageous, but Bette Midler—the woman who taught Disney Studios the meaning of "R"—keeps her work at home strictly PG. Midler is married to commodities trader and performance artist Martin von Haselberg and is the mother of 3-month-old Sophie. In an interview with the Washington Times, the Divine Ms. M said she planned to shield Sophie from her mom's raunchy stage performances. "I don't think my daughter is going to see any of it," she said, "by my choice." In Midler's opinion, separation of homebiz and showbiz makes sense. "My husband's never seen me work," she says. "My father never saw my work. And it's good, for the sake of normality. You know, it makes you more of a regular person. My husband relates to me as though I were some chick on the block."