Star Tracks

updated 03/22/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/22/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Old Mr. Lincoln
No, Henry Fonda didn't grow a beard in preparation for his next movie, though wife Shirlee and offspring Jane and Peter have suggested a few roles he could easily tackle. Abe Lincoln, Walt Whitman and Leo Tolstoy have all been nominated. Hirsute Henry retired his razor while recuperating from treatment for a chronic heart ailment and swore he wouldn't shave until he was well again. During his convalescence, the 76-year-old Oscar nominee (for On Golden Pond) has busied himself with painting and answering fan mail. Fonda must be on the road to recovery; friends recently asked him when he'd be beardless, and the actor responded simply, "Soon."

Rudi and Yehudi
Even if it's Rudolf Nureyev, confesses virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin, 65, "I'd rather play for ballerinas than male dancers—because my wife, Diana, is a ballerina." Bearing no grudge, Rudi, 44, listened appreciatively while Yehudi fiddled around during rehearsals for a taping of Gala of Stars 1982 at New York's City Center. Hosted by Beverly Sills, the PBS event (which airs this week) spotlights 24 artistic supernovas including Menuhin, who'll accompany Nureyev as he dances part of The Sleeping Beauty. Menuhin described the taping as a marvelous opportunity "to be with my colleagues, who are seldom at the same place at the same time."

Foul-weather friends
Lauren Bacall, 57, and Jason Robards, 59, haven't always seen eye to eye—they divorced in 1969—but they were in complete agreement that the Morosco and Helen Hayes theaters on Broadway should not be torn down. Robards and Bacall were among scores of actors who braved snow and rain to stage an on-site "read-in" to deter the bulldozers. Robards' recitation from O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night was the highlight of the afternoon, while next day the drama was provided by a judge who extended the theaters' reprieve from demolition until March 22.

Hines & Co.
First there were the Hines Kids, then the Hines Brothers, then the family song-and-dance team of Hines, Hines and Dad. Gregory, 36, garnered his third Tony nomination last year for his Sophisticated Ladies performance and is currently doing the show on the West Coast. Meanwhile, back on Broadway, Maurice, 38, has stepped into his brother's tap shoes. But wait! Was Zee Wright, 4, auditioning for yet another Hines act as he hoofed with Maurice after one matinee? The young New Yorker was introduced to his idol on a talk show, and Maurice invited him to a performance. "A natural," marveled Hines, while the producers of Sophisticated Ladies are considering wee Zee for a part.

Peter's photo play
As Hercule Poirot, Peter Ustinov must exercise his "little grey cells" to solve the mystery in Evil Under the Sun, yet his ingenuity is sure to be taxed even more in his latest role, as grandfather. On a visit to son Igor's Paris studio, Ustinov entertained 16-month-old Clara with a photograph of her and Grandpa together. Igor, 25, an up-and-coming sculptor who's not married to Clara's mother, Clementine, 30ish, at first was not certain how his father would react to news of Clara's arrival and withheld the information for several months. But as soon as he found out, Ustinov rushed over to Clementine's apartment and signed the baby book: "Welcome to the family, dear Clara."

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