Fashion columnist Eugenia Sheppard and Celebrity Register founder Earl Blackwell were counting on the novel they co-authored, Skyrocket, to take off. But the book about a tempestuous newspaper heiress (Kay Graham of the Washington Post is said to be their model) just sat there after being published in May. The title struck the fancy of fireworks enthusiast George Plimpton, however, and he decided to give Skyrocket a second launching at Times Square's new Bond disco. A laser beam spelled out the authors' names on the walls, and when it came to dancing, Sheppard set off a few sparklers with her zesty style. Black-well, who waltzed with Joan Crawford in the 1928 movie Our Dancing Daughters, was a bit of a fizzle when he tried the disco beat.
Charlton Heston got wrapped up in Egyptology while prepping for his role as an obsessed scientist in the forthcoming film The Awakening. He pored over tomes about Ramses and Tutankhamen and studied methods of deciphering hieroglyphics. Naturally, while visiting Paris to promote the film, he browsed in the Egyptian rooms of the Louvre. The imposing figure he ran across was not a relic of The Ten Commandments, from his DeMille era, but a mummy sarcophagus from the Amarna period.
Catherine Bach, the hillbilly roadhouse waitress of the hit CBS series The Dukes of Hazzard, was fresh as a Daisy even after flipping her Jeep while competing in the celebrity heat of the Off-Road World Championship Gran Prix over a bumpy track laid out in L.A.'s Coliseum. Bach, who performs her own stunts in Hazzard, suffered only minor bruises and soon was mugging with Laurie Walters (right) and Willie Aames, both of Eight Is Enough. Aames finished first in the event and took the trophy home.
Clint goes to lunch
While filming Any Which Way You Can (a sequel to his 1978 hit Every Which Way but Loose) in sunny Jackson Hole, Wyo., Clint Eastwood knocked off for lunch after roughhousing with breakaway furniture in a fight scene. So when he showed up in the chow line, bare-chested, the ketchup was on him. The movie again teams Eastwood with his offscreen leading lady, Sondra Locke, but, for lunch at least, the two acted as though they were shooting Separate Tables. While Sondra kept her distance, Clint ate with his visiting daughter Allison, 8, and singing co-star Jim Stafford (above, in suit).
Buddy as Groucho
When Buddy Hackett debuts in a revival of the Groucho Marx TV game show You Bet Your Life starting in September, he will do things his way. Yes, a duck will drop from above when a guest utters the secret word, but Hackett's bird won't immediately fly the coop. It will stay around as a foil for Buddy's comic monologues. Instead of Groucho's jabs, Hackett plans to rely on the offbeat talents of his guests to get laughs. To legitimize the transition, Hackett has lined up for openers George Fenneman, Groucho's second banana.
Carly Simon's kid brother Peter, 33, a photographer with three books to his credit, now has published a fourth. Insisting nobody does it better, Carly showed up at a Martha's Vineyard party to promote the new work, On the Vineyard, which hymns the island's beauties. Some summer locals, like columnist Art Buchwald—who wrote an essay for the book—now fear the book may contribute to making the island too popular and attract hordes of tourists. But that's just anticipation. Unworried, meanwhile, Carly puckered up for a fraternal kiss.
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