Chatter

updated 11/07/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

Orator's License
"I am really a very modest man," John Travolta felt obliged to admit to a group of London admirers after a preview of Staying Alive. "I just hate that image the press puts out about me having such a great opinion of myself. In fact, when people meet me they say, 'Gee John, you really are a modest guy. We'd never dreamed what a nice guy you really are.' " Well, if J.T. says it, it must be so. And you shouldn't doubt his word just because he motored around London in a limo with a vanity license plate that read "EGO 4."

Dis-Comforter
"Ralph Lauren, take that! And that and that and that and that!" So reads a message to the famous designer who had the nerve to cut up some antique quilts to make clothing. Illinois quilter Virginia Piland took umbrage and decided to fight back the best way she knew how. She ripped up a Ralph Lauren shirt and white pants and used them to make a quilt which bears messages like "Quilters sew super, but Ralph Lauren, you are an old sew-and-sew!" Piland titled her quilt "Tit for Tat," which just happens to be a quilter's name for the pattern she used in her handiwork. A bow on the quilt's center expresses Piland's sentiments best: "You have been found quilt-y. You're sentenced to a stretch on a quilting frame."

Take My Co-Star, Please
Jon-Erik Hexum, the former Michigan State football player and model who co-starred as Joan Collins' lover in the sleaze-for-TV movie The Making of a Male Model, finally got tired of the older-star-younger-hunk gossip that sprang up when they were seen being chummy off-screen. For one thing, says Hexum, "I don't want to be known as somebody's boy." For another, there was a potential in-law problem: Even if Jon-Erik hadn't minded that he turns 26 this week while Joan is 50, he couldn't take the constant calls from his mom, who expressed concern about her not-so-little (6'1", 190 pounds) boy. Joked Hexum, "She didn't want no daughter-in-law older than her." By the way, Jon-Erik's mother is 60. Joan will not be amused.

Educated Answer
Julie Walters so impressed Burt Reynolds as a rough-edged college student in Educating Rita that he sent her the script of his next movie and asked her to co-star. Julie didn't like what she read so she politely declined. Determined to have his way, Burt then flew Julie to Jupiter, Fla., where he wined and dined her. But Julie held her ground. "Burt was lovely and very funny," she said. "But the film was sort of an action thing, not really what interests me." Her final word to the heartthrob of millions: "Sorry love, it's not my cup of tea."

Hooked on Speed
It's one thing to get into a role while you're filming a movie. It's another to keep it up when the movie's done. Robbie Benson, who plays Olympic Gold Medal winner Billy Mills in the film Running Brave, to be released this month in most cities, grew so accustomed to his training regimen that he entered this year's 26.2 mile New York Marathon. Coached by Mills, who ran alongside for about 15 miles, Robbie logged an impressive time of 3 hours, 5 minutes and 15 seconds (nearly 53 minutes faster than king of the slopes Jean-Claude Killy, who also ran his first marathon this year) and took 1965th place.

Less Is More
Actress Anne Baxter, currently starring in ABC's Hotel, remembers a little-known detail about her illustrious grandpa, architect Frank Lloyd Wright. "He was the ultimate in functional, appropriate design," she says. "On his wedding night he only wore a red sash around his loins and so presented himself to his bride."

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