As a stadium filler, it was a duo to make George Steinbrenner's wallet itch. Under the Rainbow's 3'9" star Billy Barty and 7'2" Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jab-bar teamed for the annual game in L.A.'s Dodger Stadium between the celeb-heavy Hollywood Stars and a ragtag bunch of sports media types. Despite Fernando Valenzuela's (comic) relief pitching as a ringer for the media team, the Stars won, 5-3. Kareem scored once. Barty, the pitcher's nightmare (he even crouches at the plate), rapped out a single as Ann (It's a Living) Jillian ran for him to beat the throw to first. Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda rewarded Billy with a gold watch, but not for the hit. In the 24 years that the Dodgers have staged the event, which benefits an actors' old age home, Barty, 56, has never missed a game.
Souper star Warhol
"If I had my way," artist Andy Warhol once said, "I'd paint Campbell soup cans every day." At the opening of a 108-piece Warhol exhibition at Colorado State University, however, he found that his job had been done for him. Three souped-up replicas greeted him, and Warhol signed the 10-foot tours de farce by art student W. Bruce Conway (right), 26, as veterinary student Lisa Costello (left), 22, looked on. Of bovine bystander Mae, Warhol cooed: "I just love cows. They're so natural."
Davidson in thrall
They left early to attend a screening of (what else?) his TV talk show, but host John Davidson, 39, and Rhonda Rivera, 25, a backup vocalist in his singing act, had time to cozy up as John's buddy, C&W singer Brad Maule, opened at L.A.'s Palomino club. John and Rhonda have been close since Davidson and his wife, Jackie, separated last year. But hold the cues for the Wedding March. Says John: "I love her very much, but there are no thoughts about marriage at this time."
O.J.'s brother Mel is a cool cat
Orenthal James Simpson is not the only one in his family who knows it's vital to hold that line. His older brother Melvin, 35, a former boxer who used to protect O.J. from childhood bullies, has walked kids, pets and even The Wiz's "Toto" as a doorman at San Francisco's Four Seasons Clift Hotel. So when a wildlife park loaned the hotel a 500-lb. Bengal tiger for the employees' picnic, Simpson took it for a short-leash stroll. Melvin, known as L.J. ("for lemon juice—I'm the bitter one"), says he loves his job. "There's nothing I'd rather do," he smiles, "other than a few TV commercials."
Bicoastal battling batons
East may be East and West may be West, but the twain met recently in San Francisco for an unlikely battle of egghead bands. New York Philharmonic conductor Zubin Mehta (from Bombay), left, and his San Francisco Symphony counterpart, Edo de Waart (from Amsterdam), led their orchestras in a hard-fought Softball game during the touring Philharmonic's S.F. stopover. Behind Mehta's strong-arm pitching, the Philharmonic Penguins beat rightfielder de Waart's Symphomaniacs 24-16, waltzing off with a spiffy $19.98 trophy donated by a symphony patron. Mehta grew up with cricket and was a little vague on diamond details. "The idea," he asked his bassoonist pregame, "is to go around the big square, right?"
De Vito victorious
Taxi's Louie, Danny De Vito, made like a winner with girlfriend Rhea Perlman after starring in Off-Off Broadway's Three by Pirandello. Some critics, though, turned thumbs down on De Vito's first New York theater performance in six years as mercilessly as Louie razzes his batty buddy, Latka. Danny stayed cool. Recalling his Off-Broadway One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest a decade ago, the 36-year-old actor said: "It got slaughtered by the critics and ran for years."
Why did Broadway producer David Merrick flash his Godfather grin at Carol Channing's party for composer Jerry Herman? Maybe because most of the guests—except his daughter Marguerita (left), 9, and her friend Emily—were what Channing called "his spiritual children." Merrick, the Croesus of 42nd Street, of course, had produced Carol's 1964 smash, "Hello, Dolly!", with music by Herman. The songs are heavily represented in Jerry's Girls, the revue that just opened at Ted Hook's Onstage cabaret in Manhattan. Gushed Channing: "It was like old home week for the Hello, Dolly! family."
On Newsstands Now
- Kim's Delivery Room Drama!
- Katie: A Year After Split
- Princess Kate: Palace's Baby Plan Revealed
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine