As Cleveland goes, so goes the nation—at least in Americathon, a movie comedy set in 1998. By then the U.S. is bankrupt and so hard up it schedules a 30-day telethon to raise greenbacks. Cast as a skid-row wino, John Carradine, 73, gets duded out in an Uncle Sam suit for a holiday. A veteran claiming more than 400 films, he found the role not at all taxing. "It was just an hour's work," he explains, "and what preparation do I need to play an old bum?"
A Mao jacket it's not, but when French designer Pierre Cardin, 56, shows this suit as part of his 200-piece collection in China this month he is hoping to start a petite revolution. The five-day invasion will be the first peek the Chinese have gotten of Western haute couture since the revolution. "Everything can change in a country where there is so much uniformity," says Cardin confidently. "When I went to Japan 22 years ago, they all wore kimonos."
Van & Vladimir
Van Cliburn worked hand in hand with Dody Ashkenazy and her pianist husband, Vladimir (right), to promote a benefit at New York's Carnegie Hall. In fact, $115,000 was raised to fund research on multiple sclerosis in the name of their cellist friend Jacqueline du Pré, 34, who had to retire after suffering the disease. Said Ashkenazy, who was the evening's soloist, "I consider myself privileged to have heard her in my life."
Maybe to his constituents Republican Sen. John Tower is a superman, but at 53 and 5'6", he's hardly competition for Christopher Reeve. Yet on a visit home to Texas, Tower was the lone star of a Dallas costume gala. After saving a damsel in distress, Dallas housewife Betty McKool, in a rather embarrassing vaudeville sketch, Tower found himself in the grip of her gratitude. When he finally got up, up and away, the senator leaped offstage and shot faster than a speeding bullet back to Washington, where colleague Bill Proxmire made a "Supertower" joke in a Banking Committee hearing. Tower buried his head and blushed cape red.
Donahue takes a station break
"With 88 inches of snow having fallen in Chicago, an outing on the Salt Grass Trail of Southern Texas was like going to heaven," proclaimed talk show host Phil Donahue. As a kid in Ohio, he often saddled up, but this time he rode over the muddy country roads to the frontier cattle trail in a black limousine. Donahue had been taping a week's shows in Houston, where he drew 2,800 a day to the Celebrity Circle Theatre, and only arrived for the R&R in time to turn a cold shoulder to the campfire.
Mom Gloria is never more than a phone call away from Jimmy Connors, 26, and she fretted about his playing in the heat at Puerto Rico's Tournament of Champions. Indeed, Jimbo was pressed to take Vitas Gerulaitis and the $100,000 top prize. But on hand to brush his sweaty brow was model Patti McGuire, now Connors' top-seeded playmate. "They've known each other more than a year," says the ever-watchful Gloria. "But they haven't been dating all that time."
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