They kowtow every night these days at L.A.'s famed Pantages Theatre when Yul Brynner, 63, continues a 32½-year reign as the King of Siam in The King and I. Friends like Mary Martin, Larry Hagman, Florence Henderson and Constance Towers got together at Le Dome restaurant last month to say "Long live the King" and celebrate Yul's 4,000th performance in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. One friend, however, showed less than royal respect in her remarks. "He is the world's greatest musical comedy star from Outer Mongolia," said Carol Channing. "Mary Martin and I have known Yul for so long that we used to call him Curly."
Come Back, Little Sheba
Linda Blair is into spiritualism again—and we're not talking The Exorcist III. Six months ago her 20-pound brown, black and white Jack Russell terrier named Sheba slipped out of an unlatched door and never returned. Linda took out ads and put up posters asking for word about Sheba. When all else failed, she turned to Cindy Wood, who makes a living—yes, folks, only in L.A.—performing mental telepathy with animals. The telepathist reports that Sheba gave birth to two puppies and lives happily with an elderly lady or a child between Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards. She also says Sheba knows her barking irritated Linda and that the dog never wanted to do anything to make Linda angry. Blair says Wood's next stop may be Europe, where she will attempt to contact Shergar, the Aga Khan's racehorse, which has been missing since last February.
Mother Knows Best
When actress Lee Grant directed the upcoming NBC movie Women of Willmar (about eight female bank employees who go on strike for pay equal to their male counterparts'), she wanted to cast Dinah Manoff, 27, in one of the leads. Network execs were skeptical. After all, Dinah, who starred in Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures, is Lee's daughter. So they auditioned 12 other actresses for the role of a Midwestern farm girl before settling on Manoff for the part. Says Grant, "Dinah was a real professional on the set. She didn't even call me Mom."
A store called Books Et Cetera in Santa Monica, Calif. has been displaying Loving John, May Pang's tell-all sexography of her relationship with John Lennon. But get a load of this. Over the shelves stocked with Pang's oeuvre hangs the following message: "Please don't buy this book. We see no need to put money in the pockets of those who seek to exploit the tragedy of John Lennon. Of course, the choice is yours." Explains assistant manager Mike Nagel, 26, who initiated the protest, "We have our opinions of books and give them all the time. But this time we wanted to give it before anyone asked." Apparently, the management made its point. Only six copies have been sold to date.
•At the end of a telephone interview with prolific novelist Isaac Asimov, Denver Post writer Carol Kreck wanted to express her appreciation. "Thanks, you were terrific," she said. Responded Asimov, 63, "Usually when women say that to me, we're getting dressed."
•When people ask Malcolm McDowell whether he and wife Mary Steenburgen (who are both in the current Cross Creek) ever get competitive about their acting careers, his answer is a simple no. Notes Malcolm, "We're rarely up for the same parts."
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