Elizabeth Taylor told the story to illustrate why she made the Agatha Christie whodunit The Mirror Crack'd. But it also may shed some light on why her marriages to Richard Burton broke up. "I happen to adore detective stories," she explained. "Richard and I used to read them in bed. We had a copy each and when we got to page 50 or thereabouts, we both wrote down the name of the murderer. I'm glad to say that I invariably beat him."
The Bunny Trail
Can a hot young ballet dancer like the New York City Ballet's Christopher d'Amboise, 21, make the leap to popular dance? The Playboy Club thought so and invited d'Amboise to choreograph an upcoming floor show. In auditioning, he got his first close look at real Bunnies. How did he like them? "I was embarrassed," he reports. "There's no way you can look without feeling you're peeping." Did he meet anyone interesting, long-eared and bushy-tailed? Said Christopher, who clearly wouldn't mind becoming a bit of a playboy himself: "They date guys like James Bond. I just don't measure up—yet."
Don't Worry, Jerry Brown
Linda Ronstadt, starring in The Pirates of Penzance on Broadway, says she's "turning into a nun" in New York. Though she's sometimes seen barhopping with columnist Pete Hamill (formerly best friend to Shirley MacLaine and Jackie Onassis, in that order), Linda says her life is typically like this: "I need 10 hours of sleep a day—12 if I can get it. And then I get up and sort of stagger around. And then I go down and do the show. Then I come right home."
A Royal Good Time
An Edinburgh tavern had a reservation for Princess Margaret, and a royal inspector even showed up to eyeball the forks. After frantic preparations, the hour drew nigh and an appalled manager noted that the dining room was empty save for one table. Disaster—she might as well dine alone, at home! The manager rushed to the bar next door and promised the assembled crowd free drinks if they'd all sit at tables and at least pretend to order dinner. The thrifty Scots filed in and drank up, setting the place abuzz with sociability. It was a masterstroke of stage management. There was one catch. The princess and her party never arrived. All the manager had to show for his ingenuity was "a restaurant full of lushes."
And Kissing the Ground
Anthony Quinn, 65, whose next sands-and-sweat saga is Lion of the Desert, has played all sorts of historical roles and is mulling over seven—count 'em, seven—more offers of the same kind. "I know I can't compete with the De Niros, Pacinos and Redfords," says the man who has played Paul Gauguin and a Russian Pope, not to mention Zorba the Greek. "I'm one of the few actors left who still get a star salary and never get the girl. I wind up with a country instead."
•As long as he has his voice and his piano, Ray Charles needs little else to be fulfilled. "There were two things I was always determined not to have," says the 50-year-old blind musician. "One was a dog. The other was a cup so that I could stand begging on a street corner."
•Luci Johnson, who converted to Catholicism while her father was in the White House, considers herself "something of a religious zealot," but not a member of the Moral Majority. "I belong to a Bible study group and I study every day," she says, "but I don't know of anyone who has found the Christian position on the ERA or the Panama Canal in the Bible. It's just not there."
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