At a Manhattan party honoring the late writer Anita Loos, friends such as Maureen Stapleton wore blonde wigs in tribute to Loos' 1949 Broadway hit, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. That show's star, Carol Channing, maintained her usual hair color and still fit the party's wigged-out dress code. Carol prepared herself in a different way: She arrived at Serendipity 3 restaurant with a black sealskin bag containing her dinner. A restaurant staffer protested that the menu included delicious health food, but Carol preferred the sliced beef, salad and cauliflower she'd brought in Pyrex-lined silver dishes. Asked where she got the containers, Carol replied that one came from Phyllis Cerf Wagner, wife of New York's former Mayor Wagner, another from Lady Bird Johnson and the third from the Queen of England. One of those claims is a royal fib. Guess which one.
Geniuses at Work
British artist Ralph Steadman, who drew splattery illustrations for the works of gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson, teamed up with a wild man called Leonardo da Vinci in his latest book. Writing I, Leonardo, a mock autobiography of the ultimate Renaissance man, Steadman developed such an affinity for his subject that he decided to try out a flying machine similar to one designed by Leonardo. Perched on his roof under a contraption made of bamboo, broom sticks and tent nylon, Steadman quickly developed fear of heights and took his gizmo to a nearby hill instead. That was smart because it turned out he weighed too much for flight. So in the spirit of his inventive mentor, he attached a human-size Raggedy Ann doll to the machine and watched her fly away.
She met him in the emergency room, made him lie down and ripped off his clothing. That first encounter between nurse Kathy Paul and President Ronald Reagan after the 1981 assassination attempt sounds romantic at first and remains so to this day, at least for Kathy, 30. Last month, she married Ron Stevens, 35, a Secret Service agent who guarded Reagan during his hospital stay. Introduced the day after the shooting, Kathy and her agent finally went on their first date, for pizza, following Reagan's release. Says Kathy, who got a note from the President in time for her Nov. 5 wedding, "People are amazed when they find out how we met. Then they say at least one good thing came out of that awful day."
•Cary Grant, 79, hit the college lecture circuit to expose himself to inquisitive minds. One of those at Broward Community College in Florida wondered if Cary and wife Barbara, 33, would start a new family. "Ah," replied the actor, "you flatter me." Then he added, "Not that we don't try."
•In case you don't know what Prince Andrew saw in Koo Stark, here's one possible attraction: her big heart. While visiting India, Koo saw barefoot children in a hilltop village playing in the snow. Upset by the scene, she loaded the kids on a bus to the nearest shoe store. Then each went home with a brand-new pair of snow boots.
•Julie Andrews says she took on a great challenge with her role as a psychoanalyst in Burt Reynolds' new flick, The Man Who Loved Women. "I've never had to keep my mouth shut and just listen for so long," moans Julie. "Everyone who knows me knows how hard that is for me."