"The Reagan Administration has not spoken about me with the same admiration that I feel about myself," joked Henry Kissinger to a throng of close to 5,000 in Salem, Va. The former Secretary of State had no such doubts about his standing with the administration at Roanoke College, organizers of the lecture. They dished out a $16,500 speaker's fee, arranged for transportation by private plane and limo, and threw a reception complete with Kissinger's favorite dishes, such as duck-and-pistachio pate and mushrooms stuffed with snails. One thing they couldn't rig: When overwhelming ticket sales forced a move to the Salem-Roanoke County Civic Center, Henry had to share the marquee with rocker Joan Jett and country singer George Jones. He did, however, get top billing.
Apron: Strings Attached
At a charity auction for the National Organization for Women in Chicago, a M*A*S*H script autographed by Alan Alda went for $300, while a scarf autographed by Betty Ford brought in a mere $45. The item that sparked the liveliest bidding was a blue-and-white-striped apron, reportedly the first of John Lennon's possessions released by Yoko Ono. It went for $1,150 to a Chicago restaurateur. A lot of money for an apron? Maybe so, but consider this: Yoko insured the apron for $5,000.
The Uncle Steve Show
Though you don't find much kid's stuff on the soaps these days, that doesn't keep Gerald Ford's daughter, Susan, from allowing her daughters, Tyne, 2, and Heather, 4 months, to tune in at lunchtime. Susan, 25, living in Virginia with her husband, security business exec Charles Vance, 41, misses her brother Steven, who tapes his appearances as Andy Richards on The Young and the Restless in L.A. "The children haven't gotten to see very much of him," says Susan to explain her penchant for the lowbrow pastime. So much for those who say TV is breaking up the American family.
All those years studying Shakespeare and look where Peter Strauss, the star of 1981's TV hit Masada, ended up. His latest film is a $12 million, 3-D number called Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, which rivals Return of the Jedi in the special effects area. Comments Strauss about the experience, "They never tell you in acting school what it's like to hang upside down while 15 special effects people try to make a giant lizard's head move." And another thing they probably won't tell you about in acting school: this movie.
Most airline passengers can't wait to deplane once their aircraft hits the runway. Not so for Hill Street Blues star Charles Haid and some of his fellow travelers after a flight from L.A. to New York. The passengers simply refused to leave the plane—even after it had taxied to the gate—because the on-board TV was tuned to the Motown anniversary special. Unwilling to walk out on Michael Jackson's red-hot rendition of Billie Jean, Haid et al peacefully surrendered the craft at the first station break.
•Lonette McKee, 29, the stunning actress who earned a Tony nomination as the lead in Broadway's revival of Showboat, sings like a bird. But she tries not to mimic her pet cockatiel, a small Australian parrot. On opening night the bird laid an egg. Quipped Lonette, "Better her than me."
•Some former pupils of noted Cambridge historian Hugh Trevor-Roper think they know why he fell hook, line and binding for those fake Hitler diaries. Recalls one student, "He always used to say that life is too short to learn German."
•Steve Martin will do his share of the usual wild and crazy antics in his upcoming flick, The Lonely Guy, but take away the cameras and Steve's a different guy. "I don't know what people expect when they meet me," says Martin. "If I were really the way I am onstage, I wouldn't have any friends."