Sylvester Stallone isn't nicknamed Sly for nothing—and they found that out while shooting Hawks. The script called for a cop in an antiterrorist unit, played by Stallone, to be hoisted from a tug to rescue a sick child held hostage in an aerial tramway car over Manhattan's East River. Stallone was scheduled to be pulled up briefly for the camera's benefit, then lowered and replaced by a stunt man. Once 50 feet high, however, Stallone signaled to the winchman on the tramway to keep hoisting—as his manager and the producer screamed frantically for him to be brought back. The winchman finally complied, and Stallone, earthbound again, smiled wistfully. "Well," he sighed, "I almost got away with it."
Brooke-ing No Nudity
Melissa Sue Anderson of Little House on the Prairie is delighted that Brooke Shields got the lead in The Blue Lagoon—because, she says, that proved to her agent that "I'm not so dumb." She explains that when she discovered the role called for nude scenes she promptly rejected it with the comment: "That sounds like something Brooke Shields would do. Then," adds Melissa, 17, "my agent assured me, 'No, no, no! They're not going for a Brooke Shields type.' " Melissa says she felt a bit silly about having said it—until Brooke wound up with the role.
The Kong Show
Chicago Cub slugger Dave Kingman, who is far more eloquent with a bat than with polysyllabic words, asked a Chicago Sun-Times sportswriter for the time before a recent exhibition game. The writer, who was in the dugout near Kong (as the 6'6", 210-pound Kingman is known), helpfully answered, "Twenty-five to one." "Time for you to get out," Kong snapped. "We got a new rule that says all writers have to be out of the dugout a half hour before the game." The rule could hassle the man whose 48 homers led the majors last year. Once a week Kingman will be swinging from the heels in a column for the Chicago Tribune. If he types as hard as he hits, the chronically taciturn Kong shouldn't have trouble finding material. He was just reprimanded by the league for dumping a bucket of ice water on one of his new press box pals.
Billy Joel recently took five between West Coast and European tours to give a free performance for 200 students at the Manhattan guitar school run by Eddie Simon, Paul's younger brother. Why didn't he turn out to collect his two Grammy Awards (for best album and pop male vocalist of 1979), asked one of the kids at the three-hour seminar. "I hate wearing a tux," Joel sneered. But Yankee pinstripes are fine. Asked what life was really like in that fantasy world at the top of the charts, he replied, "My real fantasy is to be Ron Guidry."
That's the Way It Is
The three women in Walter Cronkite's life have mixed emotions about his abdication early next year as king of the newscasters. Perfect mom Helen is, as always, "very proud of him." Actress daughter Kathy, 29, laments, "Ever since I can remember, I could turn on the news and see my father. Now that will be gone." "Finally," sighs Mrs. Betsy Cronkite, who would much rather have her husband of 40 years home for the prime time of his life, "we'll get to enjoy cocktails before dinner."
•Pamela Mason, actor James' ex, recently let slip a glamor secret and came out smelling like a Guide Michelin for perfume. "I never use just one," she sniffs. "Shalimar on my knees, Chanel No. 5 on my ankles, Nina Ricci here, L'Heure Bleue there. It creates a mood of mystery." That makes a lot of scents.
•The grueling election campaign, coupled with the budget and Iranian crises, is taking its toll on many of the President's hardest-working men. Domestic affairs adviser Stuart Eisenstat, close to exhaustion, has resorted to catnapping. He's been spotted dozing at meetings both in the White House and on Capitol Hill.