Take One

updated 02/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/27/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

You'll have to look sharp during the funeral scene of Passions, a CBS movie to be shown this spring, but if you do you may spot a bearded lady in the throng of mourners. Richard Crenna, whose character is deep-sixed in the film, decided to pull a Tom Sawyer by attending his own funeral. Unbeknownst to Joanne Woodward (who plays his wife), Lindsay Wagner (who plays his mistress) or the film's director, Sandor Stern, Crenna slipped onto the set disguised in widow's weeds. When he stepped forward between takes, the cast and crew had to take a 15-minute break to regain their composure.

Leslie Browne, who danced off with an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress in The Turning Point six years ago, may resume her film career soon. Herbert Ross, who directed Browne in The Turning Point and Nijinsky, is considering the American Ballet Theatre dancer for a role in Protocol, starring Goldie Hawn....

HBO Premiere Films is close to signing Jackie Bisset for an upcoming film titled Last Jews in Berlin. Bisset would play an aristocratic German who risks her life to protect her Jewish lover during World War II.

It takes a lot of brawn to impress Iron Man Arnold Schwarzenegger, who just wrapped Conan, King of Thieves, the sequel to his 1982 box office smash. Though Schwarzenegger gamely did his own stunts for the film, he generally steered clear of co-star Grace Jones, whose ferocious portrayal of an Amazon warrior named Zula landed a few cast members in the hospital with minor injuries. "I call her 'wild animal,' " says Arnold. "She's very physical—like nothing I've ever seen. She really hits hard." During one battle scene, he gloats, "she missed and hit herself in the leg. It gave her an idea of what it's like to be hit by a six-foot stick that's two inches thick." But Arnold may have to contend with the ferocious Grace in a third Conan film, likely to begin production within a year. In King of Thieves, Schwarzenegger notes ruefully, "Grace doesn't get killed off."

Jack Nicholson and Tim Hutton, who bowed out of Road Show because of pre-production delays on the movie, may pair up in another movie called A Talent for the Game, about a baseball scout who recruits a fireballer from Tennessee to pitch for a New York team. Filming is scheduled to begin this summer outside Nashville and Ron (Happy Days) Howard may direct. According to the film's producer, Jay Weston, "I bought the script the morning I read it, and I don't even like sports." That's a good sign, given the number of baseball movies already on deck: The Natural with Robert Redford, The Slugger's Wife with Michael O'Keefe and Glory Boys with Dustin Hoffman.

A role's appeal for an actor seems to vary from generation to generation. Take Hoffman, 46, and Matthew Broderick, 21, for instance. Broderick plays a thief named Phillipe in the film Ladyhawke, to be released later this year, and the star of Max Dugan Returns and WarGames agreed to do the movie because "I liked the action sequences. There's a lot of climbing and slithering through the mud and stuff like that, and I thought it sounded like fun." Apparently all that didn't have the same appeal to Hoffman, who was first offered the part and said he didn't have time. But Dustin, who opens on Broadway in Death of a Salesman next month, found room in his busy schedule to narrate a four-part PBS series about American abstract expressionist painters, Strokes of Genius, premiering May 8. Hoffman's segments were directed by Steven Spielberg at the Easthampton, N.Y. studio of artist Willem de Kooning, who's featured in the documentary.

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