As the flesh-hungry alien invader Diana on the NBC series V, Jane Badler consumes rats, lovebirds, guinea pigs and even crickets. In the studio, however, she only grabs the critter in question and moves it toward her mouth until a prop person substitutes a chocolate replica. Badler says she never felt squeamish until she was asked to pick up a spider. She hates the little buggers and won't touch one with 10-foot forceps. In the end, the director allowed a script change so that Jane could substitute a more appealing taste treat, a mouse. Says Jane: "They are much more appetizing."
Alice Walker took action when the Oakland, Calif, school board considered banning her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple, because of its graphic sexual content. She followed Voltaire's timeless advice and went straight to her garden. Walker watered, weeded, hoed, planted, raked and generally avoided the press until the controversy was resolved. (The board agreed to keep the book in the classroom, and the added publicity helped push The Color Purple back to the top of local bestseller lists.) Walker says she often uses her garden as a medical excuse for avoiding media hubbub. "This summer I was stricken with a severe case of what my friend Gloria Steinem calls hollyhockitis," she told the National Writers Union. "Last summer it was snapdragonitis, and next summer I feel Oriental poppyitis coming on."
Sophia Loren said on British TV that Aaron Spelling's folks asked her to play Alexis on Dynasty before they gave the role to Joan Collins. No way, Sophia told them. "I'm too good inside to play that part."
Roses are red, venison's gamy, here's a poem about Robert Redford, written by his son, Jamie: "I call my dad Redford the Runner/There are other things he thinks are funnier/But every day he goes to the trouble/To keep his body from turning to rubble." The verse, which hangs on a wall in Redford's L.A. office, was written when Jamie, now 22, was a kid.
72 Market Street, the Venice, Calif, eatery owned partly by Liza Minnelli and Dudley Moore, provides an answer to the age-old question: Who's got first dibs on the powder room? To eliminate long lines outside the facilities, the management hired an usher who assigns needy patrons a number and alerts them when space becomes available. His usual line: "Madam, your seat is waiting."
When he leased his $70 million yacht, Nabila, to Borneo's Sultan of Brunei, it looked, briefly, as if the economic realities of the '80s had affected even Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi. However, the spending patterns in the Khashoggi household imply that Adnan still has the world in his hands. His wife, Lamia, just bought him a 49th-birthday present from Bulgari jewelers in Monte Carlo. It's a five-inch gold globe with sapphire seas, diamond continents and a ruby marking Mecca. Word on the Riviera is that the trinket cost about $1 million.
Another Middle East big shot approaches finance—and other matters—with comparative prudence. A visitor reports that two letter boxes hang on a wall of the ground floor of King Hussein's palace in Jordan. One is labeled "Suggestions for Improvements." The other bears a request for "Cost-Saving Ideas."
Why does Woody Allen prefer directing to acting? "It's easier," he says. "I don't have to shave."