Chatter

UPDATED 05/05/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/05/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT

Give Me Five
The Monday luncheon of Detroit's staid Economic Club usually draws some 600 business types, but when Barbara Walters spoke a record 3,000 fat cats squeezed into the hall. Though Walters spoke on the Middle East, many guests seemed more interested in knowing what it was like to ask Bo Derek, Bette Midler, Cheryl Ladd and Farrah Fawcett on TV how they rated themselves on a scale of 1 to 10. Barbara fluttered modestly. "Sitting with those women I felt I was a 4½," she told the bottom-line crowd. "Or a 5."

Pas de Trois
No sooner had Lee Majors' persistence paid off than some powerful competition leaped onstage in Ottawa. Majors' roses and stage-door-Johnny patience finally won him a date with Karen Kain, prima ballerina of the National Ballet of Canada. But on Karen's 27th birthday recently, the Bionic Man was busy at his Oklahoma helicopter company. Karen did not sit home counting her candles. A new admirer watched her dance Czerny's Etudes, whisked her away for an elegant dinner, then returned for two other performances that week. The dance, it seems, is the renewed passion of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Jerry and the Pirates
Though California Gov. Jerry Brown's withdrawal from the presidential primaries has scuttled her chance to become First Girlfriend, Linda Ronstadt has swashbuckling plans afoot. Producer Joseph Papp has hired her as the female lead in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Pirates of Penzance, which will play in New York's Central Park this summer. Linda, whose records earned her some $10 million last year, will sing for the standard $400 weekly during the six-week gig. Papp reserves judgment, though, about her stage potential as the operetta's romantic Mabel, who tries to reform a handsome pirate. "After all," explained a Papp spokesman, "he's only heard her sing one song." In person, that is. Though she could have sent an LP, Linda insisted on flying in to trill How Beautifully Blue the Sky for a live Papp audition.

Away All Votes
Ted Kennedy's two Secret Service bodyguards watched helplessly from the Palm Beach shore as the senator and a crony disappeared over the horizon aboard a catamaran. When the supposedly unsinkable sailboat did not reappear, the worried agents called the Coast Guard. Their consternation was justified. After searching for more than an hour, a Coast Guard vessel found the senator and friend clinging to the capsized boat and towed them back to the beach. Afterward, shaky Secret Service men and Kennedy discussed more conservative guidelines for, to use the presidential candidate's phrase, sailing against the wind.

Game of the Name
Some two million people have entered the "Stairway to Stardom" sweepstakes sponsored by the Montgomery Ward Auto Club and Aaron Spelling Productions, a few of whom seem to have unique qualifications for the prize—a guest appearance on Love Boat. Among the hopefuls are Bobby Redford (of Detroit), Marilyn Monroe (of Sioux City), Jim Stewart (of Richardson, Texas), Natalie Wood (of Coral Gables), Paul Newman (of Las Vegas) and Joan Crawford (of Skokie, III.). According to the contest sponsors, however, the computer that will select the 10 finalists for screen tests is not impressed by name droppers.

Prime Veep
Which vice-presidential candidate would help John Anderson's low-recognizability problem the most? It's not N.Y. Gov. Hugh Carey, not former Texas Rep. Barbara Jordan and not N.Y. Sen. Daniel Moynihan, all rumored contenders. Instead, staffers are said to think Walter Cronkite might be just the ticket. Quips campaign coordinator Jim Harrington, "I see nothing wrong with having God on our side."

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