Chatter

updated 09/24/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/24/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

"I wanted to suggest that a sizable chunk of the American nation is related to the British royal family," says Gary Roberts, 41, the co-author of a new book about the Princess of Wales published by Baltimore's Genealogical Publishing Company. Scanning 20 years worth of his own research about American blood lines, Roberts gathered a list of Princess Diana's near and very distant American cousins, including Emily Dickinson, Humphrey Bogart, George Washington Ferris (who invented the Ferris wheel), George McGovern's wife, Eleanor, and Frank Wool-worth, the founder of the store chain. Even Brooke Shields is related to Diana through her grandmother, an Italian princess with a bloodline in common with the British royal family through the famed Renaissance vixen Lucrezia Borgia. Roberts says Diana's American cousins—most descending from 25 ancestors who arrived in this country from 1620 to 1650—now number in the millions. That doesn't include Roberts. "My co-author and I have a 16th-century English ancestor in common with Diana's father," he explains. "Everybody in our book is more closely related than that."

The hungry kitty in that Friskies cat food ad doesn't wag a whisker when a marching band of cockatoos parade by his dinner bowl. But you can be sure the birds got plenty of attention from their trainer, Ray Berwick, who once managed all the fine feathered enemies in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. In order to make the cockatoos march, he drilled them 40 minutes a day for six weeks. He taught them to refrain from ripping their tiny musical instruments to shreds—and trained some to carry little toy trumpets even though most preferred to play cymbals. To get them to march straight, he built birdhouses on two opposite sides of a table. Then he put the birds in one row of houses with each bird's favorite snack—including potato chips, peanuts and strawberry jelly—in the house directly opposite. "Anything is possible with them," crows Berwick. "Pound for pound the smartest animal in the world is a cockatoo."

"You people in America—why did you discover me so late?" Julio Iglesias asked a packed house at New York's Radio City Music Hall. "I was so much better when I was younger. At 20, I could do this for five hours." All the girls Julio ever loved—and then some—tittered when he added jokingly, "I used to do everything for five hours then. Now there is exhaustion and the ambulance comes to take me away."

While in Vancouver filming Runaway with Tom Selleck, Kiss guitarist Gene Simmons described the differences between rocking and filming. "Moviemaking requires much shorter hair," he said. "It's the first time I've seen my ears in 15 years."

Lou Christie, singer of that '60s bubble-gum hit Lightn' Strikes, told his ex-wife, Frances, he was going to a party for soap star Eileen Fulton. "She got all excited—she freaked!" Lou says. "She begged me to get Eileen's autograph." Lou refused—until his ex offered to give up a month's $3,000 alimony if he delivered. If you wanted to find Lou that evening, he was waiting in line for Eileen Fulton's autograph. Says Lou, who will soon send one autograph to his wife and one to their daughter, Bianca, 11, "I know what kind of person Frances is. She'll keep to her end of the bargain."

Jennifer Bassey, who plays the sex-crazed Marian Colby on ABC's All My Children, seems to have only one thing on her mind. When asked about her life's philosophy, she replies, "Keeping the men in my life separated from the boys in my life." Her list of favorite things, she says, includes boys and men, and her least favorites are husbands. How about her idea of the perfect date? "A weekend with the Yale football team," she replies. Bet you'll never guess what Jennifer, 40ish, who lives alone with two cats, considers her worst fault: "I'm oversexed."

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