Chatter

updated 02/25/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/25/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

Plenty of Moss
Mick Jagger, in New York City for the release of a new Rolling Stones album, hopped into a taxi on Central Park West, settled down and gave a relaxed interview to a curious cabbie. No, the lady who had just bade him a fond curbside farewell was not Jerry Hall, his current flame. No, he was not buying an apartment building on West 17th Street as the cabbie had heard somewhere. Then, too soon for the driver, they were at the Atlantic Records headquarters in Rockefeller Center. Mick handed the cabbie $3 and asked for 20 cents change on a fare of $2.30. "He could at least have told me to keep the change," the cabbie grumbled. But, then, Mick didn't go to the London School of Economics for nothing.

Prince Charming
There's been the bad-mouthing of Marlon Brando: He gets paid too much for too little, like Superman ($3.7 million) and Apocalypse Now ($2 million). Plus percentages. Then there's the other side to Brando: He's just filmed an additional scene in his new movie, The Formula ($2.7 million), for free. Producer-writer Steve Sha-gan says Brando requested the scene, in which he would rescue a frog from a swimming pool. "He wanted," declared Shagan, "to raise the matter of ecological consciousness." Come again? "He saved the frog from dying in a chlorinated pool because he wanted the people who use chlorine to realize how deadly the stuff is," reports Shagan. "The whole thing turned out to be real fun." Isn't that a croak?

Now Tongscam
With Abscam and Brilab all over the front pages, Korean moneyman Tongsun Park, of Koreagate fame, offers this bit of heartburn for politicians with palpitating consciences: There was something special about his Washington parties in the influence-peddling early '70s—he tape-recorded those evenings. "I thought it was a good idea," he reminisced in Seoul recently, "to give the guest of honor a cassette maybe five years later as a memento." Park isn't saying where his originals are—but he's talking about writing a book.

Wynberg and Roses
Why was Henry Wynberg, erstwhile auto salesman and Liz Taylor boyfriend (1973-75), pulling the files on her in the Motion Picture Academy's Hollywood library? Let author Kitty Kelly {Jackie Oh!) explain, sort of: Kelly was in the library researching her biography of Liz when she bumped into Wynberg, who was also asking for clips. She wondered whether she had stumbled on an invaluable source or a kiss-and-tell competitor. "He wouldn't say if he was writing a book," Kelly recalls, "but he asked me to look for a drawing for him—of Taylor, Richard Burton and Wynberg together." And why did he ask Kelly to help? "I don't think he recognized me," she says. "He thought I was a secretary."

Makeup Magic
Lesley-Anne Down's classic beauty is an illusion—or so she says. "I have good bone structure, but without makeup the effect is not brilliant," the 25-year-old actress confides. A distinct minority in putting Lesley-Anne down, she goes on: For one recent role on British TV, "It took them two hours to make me look 16—and 20 minutes to make me look 55."

Zbig Secret
The cable from the White House to National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was marked "Top Secret—Eyes Only." But a bemused Zbig couldn't resist sharing the secret with reporters flying home with him from his recent Asian tour. The message was the transcript of a phone call between President Carter and Pakistani strongman Mohammad Zia ul-Haq. "Mr. Brzezinski is a highly intelligent and cultured man," Zia was quoted as saying. "Thank you for sending him." Carter's reply: "You may keep him if you wish and I will take back the $400 million"—a reference to the foreign aid package that Zia had criticized as being "peanuts." (Who said Carter has no sense of humor?) Zia's reply was no deal.

Furthermore

•Janet Guthrie, the first woman to race in the Indy 500, has a highly effective way of handling MCDs (male chauvinist drivers) who scoff that she isn't strong enough for big-time auto racing. "I drive the car," she points out. "I don't carry it."

•Scott Armstrong just isn't a household name yet, like Watergate sleuth Bob Woodward's previous partner, Carl Bernstein. Armstrong recalls wryly that a fan at a recent autograph session for the best-selling The Brethren, which he co-wrote with Woodward, asked if it was "Steen or Stine," then produced a copy of All the President's Men. "I couldn't disappoint him," grins Armstrong. "So I signed it 'Carl Bernstrong.' "

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