Arms and the Woman
Why were scores of people in Flint, Mich. staring at Miss America (1972) Laurie Lea Schaefer's underarm? No, the town hadn't gone weird. It seems that Schaefer had just finished a summer stock tour of The Rainmaker with Battlestar Galactica's heartthrob star who, as a parting gift, autographed her shirt (in the appropriate place) "Dirk Benedict—No Sweat." Schaefer raised her arm to a stage-door crowd, and Benedict's fans went wild.
Send Him Up
Poets hope for immortality through verse, composers through music; a TV personality may be able to achieve it through spinoffs. Take Mary Tyler Moore. Her seven-year series, which ended two years ago, spun off Rhoda and Phyllis, both now defunct, and Lou Grant, still alive and well. Now the word from Hollywood is that CBS is prepping a half-hour animated prime-time series for fall, based on—ready?—the Rhoda "character" Carlton, the unseen doorman who for the show's four years was only a tipsy voice emanating from an apartment intercom.
Whip Their Neck?
Although Jimmy Carter tried to tell it like it is in his energy speech, he did have to make one small modification—for the family audience. During the domestic summit, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson used a graphic metaphor to describe the U.S. energy dilemma. When Carter talked to newsmen soon after—with Rosalynn sitting nearby—he paraphrased Jackson's statement by saying that "our vital organs" were hanging over a fence and "our neighbor's got the knife." By the time the President went before the cameras, the original observation had been blue-penciled to "our neck is stretched over the fence and OPEC has the knife."
In her solo career, Liza Minnelli had made a point of never singing any of mom Judy Garland's hits—until recently. Then, at a child care center benefit in L.A., a moist-eyed Liza trilled through some half-dozen Garland classics, including The Trolley Song, Meet Me in St. Louis and The Boy Next Door. "I guess," explains Liza of her change in attitude, "I've finally arrived."
What to get, that's legal, for the celebrity who has everything? Well, in Hollywood people like William Shatner, Brooke Shields
, Sammy Davis Jr. and Barbie Benton have been calling Timothy Nicely's agency to rent a "pullet surprise"—an actor dressed as a chicken who'll arrive at your roost and cackle a message. (Screenwriter Kit Carson hired the clucker to wake his wife, Karen Black, and read her an affectionate poem.) For dessert, a current favorite is Baby Cakes Babs (her real name is Babs Yohai). Dressed as an oversize cake, she has sung and danced greetings to Fred Astaire, David Frost, Lily Tomlin and Jon Peters' business partner Mark Canton. For Canton, Baby Cakes was done up as a bagel, by special request. Peters' pal, explains Baby Cakes, "has a bagel fetish."
•Richard Viguerie, a businessman whose computers send out 80 million letters a year soliciting support for conservative causes, doesn't miss a trick in his sophisticated operation. He's added a unique machine that pastes stamps on crooked—to give recipients the impression, he hopes, that dedicated volunteers spent long nights sticking them on with weary imprecision.
•It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a—stork? Yes, Superman, alias Christopher Reeve, says his real-life Lois Lane, London model Gae Exton, is expecting his child come Christmas. Happily, they may be Mr. and Mrs. by then because she is also expecting a final divorce decree from British socialite David Iveson, who is awaiting trial on cocaine-smuggling charges. "But, married or not," smiles Reeve, "we welcome this baby."