07/27/1981 at 01:00 AM EDT
George burns eternal
Four years ago bubbly Dallas socialite Cathy Carr, then 32, wrote George Burns a fan letter. He answered it, a phone relationship ensued, and now the divorcée and mother of two is his date for quiet dinners at Chasen's (below) and Hollywood bashes. "We're very close," says Burns, 85, flicking his cigar ash romantically (he can do that). "If we got much closer, we'd pass each other." Another Astaire and Smith? Not at all. "George takes Catherine out when she's in town," says his manager, Irving Fein. "But George has a lot of girlfriends."
McEnroe jams with Santana
If the snooty All England, Etc. club had caught Wimbledon champ John McEnroe rocking and chugging on a West Side pier during New York's 90°-plus heat wave, they might have uninvited him to become a member all over again. Hailed onstage by Latin rocker Carlos Santana (second from right), John kept his serving hand free to play the tambourine while maintaining a beat worthy of a top tennis volleyer. Happily, even with his shades and his new short, punkish haircut, no one called him Johnny Rotten.
The Tyler Moore connection
Just like ordinary people, Mary Tyler Moore squired visitors—her parents, Marjorie and George Tyler Moore, of Studio City, Calif.—to see the sights of her current hometown, including the Statue of Liberty (where they queued up for an hour and a half for the climb), the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a Broadway show, A Taste of Honey. Calling on Amanda Plummer and cast-mates backstage at the Century Theatre, Mary's mom remembered visiting the building when it was Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe when the Moores lived in Brooklyn, where (did you know this?) MTM was born in 1937.
Finney's little shaver
Question: English actor Albert Finney is (a) auditioning for the title role in a bioflick about Yul Brynner, (b) preparing to sue a hair restorer firm, (c) demonstrating mouth-to-ear resuscitation or (d) has just placed last in a Prince Charles look-alike contest. The answer is none of the above. Finney, as all Little Orphan Annie fans know, shaved his dome to play Daddy Warbucks in the forthcoming movie version of the Broadway musical Annie, and on the New York set he was just introducing his Shirley Temple-like co-star, Aileen Quinn, 9, to the naked truth about show business.
Caroline's new date
For keeping the plucky little Paris Review afloat for more than 25 years, editor George Plimpton truly cuts a profile in courage. He celebrated the literary magazine's quarter of a century (albeit three years late) with a special issue and a très intime cocktail party at his Manhattan apartment for its (usually unpaid) staffers. On hand were pals like Gay Talese, Susan Son-tag and Dick Cavett. Caroline Kennedy, 23, dropped in with her new man-about-town, Washington Star columnist Marty Kaplan, 30, and passed along regards from her mother, Jackie, who, Plimpton explains, wasn't there because several days earlier she had cracked two ribs waterskiing.