updated 03/28/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/28/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
Film director Blake Edwards took out a full-page ad in Variety announcing his search for "the woman with the most beautiful legs in the world." Some 150 women strutted their stuff for Blake. The winner: Tracy Vaccaro, who plays a small part in Bob Fosse's upcoming Star 80.
Speaking of gams, now there's a book for the woman who knows she'll never have thighs like Jane Fonda. Called Plain Jane Works Our (Bantam, $3.95), it's due out next month. The spoof features a quartet of comediennes called the High Heeled Women pictured doing a series of exercises that are guaranteed to have no effect whatsoever.
Dueling with an electrically charged sword, struggling in quicksand and sweating off five pounds a day in a suit of armor are just a few of the hazards that Jeff Conaway, 32, endured as the heroic Prince Erik Greystone during filming of CBS' $11 million mid-season replacement series Wizards and Warriors. Perhaps Conaway's biggest challenge was convincing the producers he had won a bout with depression that forced his exit from ABC's Taxi in 1981. Conaway confides, "I didn't feel valued at Taxi. I started believing I was garbage. So I started drinking. I did drugs. I was never a junkie, but I used a lot of cocaine. It took the pain away. I knew if I didn't get out of the series, I'd end up in a coffin. God helped me through." So did therapy and a reconciliation with his then estranged wife, Rona (Olivia Newton-John's sis). Says Conaway, "I'm excited about my life again."
Status-ticians at Gstaad next season will no doubt be schussing on former Olympic gold medalist Stein Eriksen's Extreme Pure Gold skis. Made of wood veneer, graphite and Kevlar with a fiberglass foam core, the skis are engraved with the buyer's name. They go for $1,500 a pair and come with a lifetime guarantee, an annual retuning and an electronic beeper to discourage thieves and to make a lost ski easier to find in deep powder. Eriksen's Pure Gold skis ($650) are now officially déclassé.
If you're hoping to see some authentic Australian wildlife on The Thorn Birds, the miniseries that airs this week, you'll have to look sharp. The film's only live kangaroo (the rest are stock shots) makes the briefest of cameos in the opening credits. During pre-production in Lancaster, Calif. last May, a kangaroo was rented to romp around the desert. Shortly after it had sprung into action, the beast fainted from heat exhaustion. Too wobbly to do its thing after being revived, the kangaroo took an hour break before hopping into action for take two, which went without a hitch.
John Travolta plans to open an L.A. exercise salon, specializing in dance (natch) and weight training, in August. His best may well be the July release of the Saturday Night Fever sequel, Staying Alive.... Super-hot Eddie Murphy will be working out this summer, but he'll be going through his paces in comedy clubs, polishing his routine for an HBO special to be taped in August.... Wedding bells will peal on CBS' One Day at a Time before season's end for Bonnie Franklin and Howard (WKRP in Cincinnati) Hesseman.