09/08/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT
Celebrity lookalike agent Ron Smith, who rents out fake stars for parties and such, has $100,000 worth of commitments waiting for a Ronald Reagan lookalike, but can't find one. "The problem is the age," says Smith. "But we'd even settle for a 50-year-old Reagan." (Nancy Reagans need not apply—he's got one.) The professional lookalike's life has its peaks and valleys. Smith's "Henry Kissinger" was nearly slugged by a drunk in Chicago, and his "Raquel Welch" was kissed in greeting by a believing Buddy Hackett in a Hollywood noshery. Sometimes Smith gets trapped at his own game. Spotting a dead ringer for George Segal in a department store, he gave the man his business card and said, "You look so much like George Segal I'm sure we could use you." After asking the Segal-like chap to call his office for a job, he inquired, by the by, the man's name. "George," said lookalike. "What a coincidence," said Smith. "What's your last name?" Right.
Glenn and Cynthia Ford, who were married four years ago in what she calls "a blur of beautiful people," including William Holden, Frank Sinatra and John Wayne, are tossing around the idea of doing it again in England this fall, but very, very privately. Since Glenn, 64, a Canadian of Welsh descent, proposed to the former Cynthia Hayward, 32, while sightseeing at Windsor Castle, he's thinking of repeating the vows at Blenheim Palace, which Winston Churchill once called home. Only happy marriages bear repeating, of course, and Glenn reveals one of the secrets of his and Cynthia's bliss: simply not analyzing it. "It's just there," he says refreshingly. "I'm always worried about people who brag about how happy they are."
"The Third World War was said by many to have broken out in the same country as the second, in Poland, on 11 November, 1984. In fact, many put the blame for the initial workers' riots on what was no more than an incident during the U.S. presidential election campaign..." A prewrite of current history? No, a passage from last year's best-seller The Third World War, by British Gen. Sir John Hackett. In the novel the Republican candidate, a deeply conservative and hawkish ex-governor, lets it slip that as President he would support the Poles if they rose in revolt against their "Russian oppressors." Once elected, he is put to the test when the Soviets move in to quell the rebellion. Both sides make other moves, and in no time at all World War III is on, and Birmingham, England and Minsk, U.S.S.R. are vaporized in a nuclear exchange. But has Ronald Reagan read the book?
It was bad enough that the famous comedian had to fly to Pittsburgh in the first place. Then bad weather conditions forced USAir (né Allegheny) Flight 47 to land in Cleveland instead. Passengers, the pilot puckishly announced, could go the rest of the way—four hours overland—by bus. The gesture, he said, was "in honor of one of our passengers, Rodney Dangerfield, because we don't want to show him any respect."
•Marvin Mitchelson, the palimony lawyer, is finding his bank account full enough, but his mailbox empty. "I used to get invited to 25 weddings a year," he says. "Nowadays I get no more than five. Couples probably think I'm a jinx."
•Director John Huston, 74, was toasted at a testimonial dinner in New York and took it with good grace. Acknowledged he: "Usually you have to die to get such words spoken. I am not so disposed."
•Jim Davis plays J.R.'s daddy on Dallas so convincingly that even his nearest and dearest are fooled. Showing off a new gold bracelet that was a gift from his wife, Blanche, he groused: "She's been spending a bundle lately. She thinks she's married to Jock Ewing."