Star Tracks

updated 08/16/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/16/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Witch's brew
Who says things go better with Coke? "All I could do was sip through a straw once I had my makeup on," stewed the witch on the set of Showtime's Hansel and Gretel, which airs next month with Ricky Schroder as Hansel. Worse still, fumed the unlovely lady, the makeup took three hours to apply and "made my skin break out in a rash," while 95° temperatures at the L.A. location only added to her discomfort. Though her rubber chin kept falling off, not even daughter Tara, 18, could recognize her bewitching mum, who also plays the evil stepmother in the film. For all its hazards, portraying wicked women is certainly this actress's specialty. Better known as the conniving Alexis Carrington on ABC's Dynasty, Joan Collins, 49, playfully demurs: "The witch makes Alexis look like Alice in Wonderland."

Raggedy Andy
"Wait till Victoria sees this," gloated Andy Gibb, 24, as he hugged actress Donna (Angle) Pescow at a surprise 33rd-birthday party for Broadway's Pirates of Penzance star Maureen McGovern. Gibb, of course, was referring to his former squeeze, Victoria Principal, 32, who ended their 14-month romance in May. Devastated, Gibb said he had a nervous breakdown, indulged in cocaine, lost his voice and was dropped as the host of Solid Gold because he skipped tapings. Now on the rebound, Gibb is appearing in a Toronto production of Pirates and may do a TV play with Jean Stapleton. "I needed an incident like this," Gibb told a friend at the party. "Maybe my fans can learn from it."

Gray's grooming
Dallas viewers will have to wait until the new season to know if Sue Ellen Ewing will accept J.R.'s proposal to remarry. Meanwhile, away from the ranch, Linda Gray is keeping her options open. In New York for a guest appearance on the syndicated children's show The Great Space Coaster, Gray grimaced as she underwent the last-minute ministrations of makeup artists. Before returning to Southfork, Linda, 41, also modeled Bill Blass evening wear for Harper's Bazaar and posed for a McCall's cover, complete with new coiffure by Beverly Hills stylist Jose Eber. How will the amorous J.R. respond to his wife's glamorous new image? Stay tuned.

Richie's racket
The Commodores' lead singer-composer-sax man was putting the finishing touches on his first solo album, called simply Lionel Richie, at an L.A. recording studio when he decided he needed a real pro for background vocals on a track entitled Tell Me. So he called in stringed instrument specialist Jimmy Connors, whom he met last year at a Commodores concert, to serve as his doubles partner. "McEnroe will eat his heart out," crowed the 29-year-old Connors, who like his victim in the Wimbledon finals fantasizes about being a rock star. Though Richie was too busy to team up with Connors in a recent Pro-Am tournament, the singer offered to take the crooning Connors on concert tours. Jimbo ably returned the volley: "Lionel, you can tour with me—as a warm-up boy."

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