updated 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

Belatedly (he's 44), Dudley Moore is now making like a male sex symbol—and enjoying it immensely. Since the bust-up of his second marriage to Tuesday Weld, he reports that "these days I prefer one-night stands, or one-week stands if you like. Floating from woman to woman is fine by me. In the film, the character is worried about middle age. I'm not." Moore also had a slightly different rating for his co-star Bo Derek from the 10 he gave her in the movie. Of their nude love scene he opined, "I think it was a natural performance from her. She delivered the right sort of blandness."

Make Room for Mommy
In order to pitch its upcoming daytime talk show to local station managers, NBC Entertainment President Brandon Tartikoff went on closed circuit with its host, zany comic David Letterman. David immediately put everyone at ease by declaring that his 90-minute spot—scheduled for late spring—will be a combination of Donahue, The Dating Game, Little House on the Prairie, Make Room for Daddy and pro wrestling. Then he expanded: "I'll include my real mother; since my father passed away seven years ago, he'll have a less active role." Superfluously, Tartikoff spelled it out a little clearer: "It'll be an irreverent show...with a capital 'R.' "

The Last Chord
There's nothing like a song to set the mood. With Carol Connors, one such song was With You I'm Born Again—currently on the charts and moving upward—which she wrote a year ago as a rhapsody to her new romance with Robert (I Spy) Culp. But Carol awoke one morning recently with a new song running through her head, the lyric insisting I Want to Be the First to Say Goodbye. Love had fled, but Culp was not the first to know. "I got so involved with writing the song with Marvin Hamlisch," says Connors, "that I didn't tell Robert till the next day."

Being Somewhere Else
Being There, in which Peter Sellers plays a moronic gardener who rises to the eminence of presidential adviser by uttering the platitudes he has gleaned from years of watching television, is doing lively business. But are the audiences getting it? Jerzy Kosinski, who wrote it, thinks they're not. He thinks they're laughing with instead of at the Sellers character. "Sellers," he says darkly, "gives a medically correct portrayal of what your children are going to be like—restrictive, nonverbal, passive." But he sees the audiences who are flocking to the movie as similarly "the children of television—passive, uneventful to themselves," just like its upwardly mobile dimwit. "They worship the movie for the wrong reasons," mourns Kosinski. "The TV box is full of ideas; the viewer is empty."

War and Peace
The Iranian and Afghanistani crises are having an impact at the movie box office—or so finds Breaking A way director Peter Yates. He figures one reason his $2.4 million sleeper has become such a profit spinner ($15.5 million gross) is that it gives otherwise beleaguered Americans a chance to feel proud. (Columbia Pictures, on the other hand, explains that its costly 1941 is bombing because a parody of patriotism couldn't have come at a worse time.) Yates is also feeling pretty proud of his movie for an unrelated reason. Long a critic of inflated movie budgets, he's thrilled at a Paris headline that proclaimed Breaking Away the "best movie of the year—and the cheapest."


•Meryl Streep would not balk at playing unsympathetic characters. She says she would have tried out for the Broadway lead of Evita except that she was pregnant. But there are some roles that put her off. She was offered a part in the planned remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, with Jack Nicholson. "Jack kept reminding me that there would be a lot of nude scenes, so I said, 'Right, but I expect you to be equally sexually explicit,' " she related. "He wasn't so keen on that."

•Who was the tall, bearded dude in the broad-brimmed hat who told Liza Minnelli and Diana Ross to keep going and "Sing me a home run"? First they finished pounding out a duet at the farewell to Studio 54 owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, who headed the next day for the federal slammer for tax evasion. Then Liza huddled with Diana and, after getting the word, cried unbelievingly into the open mike: "That was Reggie Jackson?"

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