Annie Arrives, Dolly Dazzles, Mork Becomes Garp and Superman and Meryl Play Deadly Games
Dolly Parton, 35, thinks her role as the flamboyant madam in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is "tailor-made," even if co-writer Larry King groans that she and co-star Burt Reynolds, 45, are bending his Broadway hit out of shape. Dolly's giving singing tips to Burt, and Burt is adding to the acting smarts Dolly picked up in 9 to 5. Dolly says she and Burt now think "like brother and sister." Hmmm.
Who better to teach Robin Williams, 29, to beware of the undertoad while playing the writer-wrestler hero of 1978's blockbuster The World According to Garp than writer-wrestler John Irving? At 39, the onetime Exeter star (left) went to the mat with Mork, and even took a small role as referee in the film due next fall.
Meryl Streep becomes an accused murderess in Stab, her first film for director Robert Benton since Kramer vs. Kramer. "I adored working with Robert again," says Hollywood's perennial Oscar contender, who also sings next month in NBC's Alice at the Palace, a musical Alice in Wonderland. About the time Stab appears this spring, Streep starts work in 1982's most coveted role: the lead in Sophie's Choice.
After two-steppin' with John Travolta in Urban Cowboy, Debra Winger, 25, kicks up her heels again as a dockside doxy with a yen for Nick Nolte in Cannery Row. Winger's role in the 1930s drama (adapted—very loosely—from John Steinbeck's novels Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday) first belonged to Raquel Welch, who sued when MGM canned her after just four days of shooting. The suit's still pending. One insider says Raquel, at 41, was "just not the 20-year-old bedraggled urchin whore the part calls for." Concluded Debra: "All good things come to she who thinks she's lost."
Superman Christopher Reeve, 29, drops the cape to spar homicidally and homosexually with Michael Caine, 48, in Deathtrap, based on the Broadway thriller. Chuckles Chris, "Michael and I had a real La Cage AuxFolles routine going off-camera to get in the mood."