Tennille's Captain, Daryl Dragon, won't be a sitting duck when the next California earthquake rumbles on his doorstep. He's planning, he says, to build a tremor-sensitive balloon in the backyard of their $1.5 million Pacific Palisades home with a getaway ark attached. If the earth trembles, the balloon will inflate, Daryl and Toni will climb aboard, and they'll float skyward—with the balloon still tied to the earth by a rope. If the quake is minor, Daryl will pull the balloon back to earth. But if it's severe the two will soar away to safety. No plans so far to take a menagerie along.
Numerologists may find some fascination in Dustin Hoffman's Oscar opportunities. Just as he had been nominated three times to no avail—for The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy and Lenny—so had he thrice refused the plum Kramer vs. Kramer role. But when producer Stanley Jaffe and director Robert Benton finally offered him "full collaboration" in the movie, Hoffman—whose longing for artistic control is legend—said yes the fourth time around to the part that earned him his fourth nomination. Now he's Las Vegas' odds-on favorite to win the Best Actor Award. The Union Plaza Hotel's sports and race book has established him at 1-4 in the Oscar sweepstakes, ahead of Peter Sellers, 5-2; Al Pacino, 3-1; Roy Scheider, 6-1; and Jack Lemmon, the 15-1 longshot.
Matthew Barry made movie history of a sort when at 15 he played the son who has an erotic encounter with his mother, portrayed by Jill Clayburgh, in last year's Bertolucci shocker Luna. His younger brother Neill, 14, seemed headed the same sex-rated route. But the youngster has just been dumped from Dan Greenburg's Private Lessons, in which he was to be seduced by Dad's housekeeper, European beauty Sylvia (Emmanuelle) Kristel. At the time he got the part, he smugly denied he'd need any private lessons from Matthew. "I taught my brother everything he needed to know for Luna," he observed. And that was the problem. A movie spokesman explained the ouster: "He was supposed to be very young and innocent, and it wasn't coming off. He was too cocky and know-it-all."
Send in the Clones
A lot has happened since the eerie Rock 'N Roll Heaven show went on the road two years ago, featuring plastic-surgery lookalikes of such deceased rock stars as Elvis Presley, Jim Croce, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin. The show went broke, the woman who played Elvis attempted to kill herself, and Danny O'Day, the impresario, split with his wife. But the story has a happy ending, sort of. O'Day got the show going again and joined the act himself—after surgery to make himself look like Kenny Rogers. The female Presley, Erin Rhyne, has been re-altered to become Linda Ronstadt. To cap it all, in a wedding that defies hype, "Linda" just married "Kenny."
•Pat Lawford, on the campaign trail for brother Ted Kennedy and wearing an "Elect Rose First Momma" button, told a Chicago fund raiser just before the disastrous Illinois primary: "A lot of you have said I look like my mother. And I do, because I have been campaigning for five months and I look 90 years old."
•Hayley Mills and actor-boyfriend Leigh Lawson want another baby to keep their 3-year-old son, Jason, company. Marriage, though, is still out, although Mills has changed her name legally to Lawson. "With both of us having been married before, I don't see any reason for doing the same thing again," she observes. "Marriage seems to spoil too many relationships."