Chatter

updated 05/12/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/12/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Action, Camera
Burt Reynolds has a certain, perhaps unjustified, reputation for dalliance with his leading ladies. Asked what might happen when she and Burt start shooting The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Dolly Parton neatly sidestepped—or did she? "If I was single I would really be looking forward to the love scenes in the movie," she laughed. "But I'm not single—and I'm still really looking forward to the love scenes."

The King of Paris
The Jerry Lewis cult in France has never diminished, inexplicably, but no one could have predicted the impact of his new movie, Hardly Working, which hasn't even been sold in the U.S. yet. French distributor Pierre Kalfon says he was "flabbergasted" at the press coverage Lewis received. "We had 76 front-page stories, dozens of two-page spreads, scores of whole-page features and hundreds of stories and pictures in the newspapers," he exulted. Needless to say, the movie, about an unemployed clown, is also boffo at the box office. And when will it be coming from Montmartre to Main Street? "I have deliberately set no distribution deal for North America," Lewis says. "This time I will sign in the U.S. with my European success behind me."

Who's Got the Button?
The Oval Office is wired for emergency, and the touch of a button brings the Secret Service running. Not long ago an agent rushed into the office after hearing an alarm, only to find President Carter unaware of any problem. The trouble was finally traced to the President's private bathroom, where a distinguished foreign visitor had hit the panic button as he tried to flush the toilet.

It's Second Nature to Him
Preparing for the forthcoming revival of My Fair Lady nearly a quarter century after playing the absentminded Professor Higgins on Broadway, Fringe benefit Rex Harrison seems to have become immersed in his role. He absentmindedly forgot to sign the credit card slip after dining with a friend, and the Beekman Place Cookshop owner had to chase him down the block. Then the waitress groaned when she saw the signature. The professor had absent-mindedly forgotten to include a tip.

Fast Food
Fleetwood Mac's farewell to sound engineer Richard Dashut, who decided to quit touring, turned into a real pie-in-the-eye affair. Backstage in Honolulu, they began throwing food at one another and finally reached for the meringue. Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks were splattered with goo. But it was the rock group's going away present for Dashut that really took the cake. He had to dig through one in the shape of a volcano three feet across and three feet high to find the gift—an $8,000 Rolex.

Furthermore

•Lillian Carter, in Paris for a women's rights conference, learned that another touring VIP would be using the U.S. embassy's guest room while she was away on a trip to the Mideast. "Somebody," Miss Lillian warned sternly, making plans for her return to France, "better get Henry Kissinger out of my bed."

•On TV, Eddie (The Big Ragoo) Mekka has the hots for Shirley, but off camera he really prefers Laverne. "She's a fabulous lady," he enthuses over Penny Marshall. "We have a lot in common. After all, we're both New Yorkers." And Cindy Williams? Sniffs Mekka, "Just say I get paid to kiss her."

•Meryl Streep needed an extra inducement before United Artists could lure her to London to star in The French Lieutenant's Woman. The unusual perk: a studio and raw materials for her sculptor husband, Don Gummer, so he can create while she films. It's "a nice place, just around the corner from a glass factory," says UA, which is picking up the tab.

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