OUT OF LEFT FIELD: Film critic Pauline Kael told a San Francisco audience what she thought of Sally Field's ebullient Oscar acceptance speech, in which Field proclaimed: "I can't deny the fact that you like me! You like me!" Said Kael: "She made it clear that she was not an actress, say, like Vanessa Redgrave, who was acting for the expressiveness, for what she could bring to a role, for the pleasure of acting. She was acting because she wanted people to like her. That, I'm afraid, is why she's so limited as an actress. That's what you felt in her performance. You felt that shallowness of someone who wants to be respected, who wants to be liked for what she is doing. It was a terrible revelation. It was like an awful shock, as if some terrible burst of truth had come through on the Academy Awards. I think everybody was embarrassed by that revelation."
KERR TROUBLE: Pssst, Deborah Kerr—whenever you feel afraid, just whistle a happy tune! The veteran actress, who played Anna in the movie version of The King and I, received scathing reviews after opening in a revival of The Corn Is Green in Bath. She kept forgetting her lines and needed constant prompting. Some of the theater-goers walked out, demanding refunds. Kerr confessed to London's Daily Mail: "I am absolutely paralyzed with fear on first nights. I must be a masochist...The desire is to go back to Spain, where I have a villa. But I know I've got to carry on." By week's end Kerr had reportedly overcome her nervousness. When the show moves into London's Old Vic Theatre later this month, there should be no problem getting the Kerr started.
BETTER BLED THAN WED: Quipped Bob Newhart, at a Variety Club gala honoring Johnny Carson for his community achievements: "Johnny's greatest joy is finding new and talented young people and introducing them to fame and fortune. Unfortunately, most of them are his ex-wives."
GENTLEMEN PREFER CREDIT: Fashion designer Bill Travilla of Knots Landing and Dallas styled the famous shocking-pink dress that Marilyn Monroe wore to croon Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend in the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. A replica of that gown is now being worn by Madonna in her Material Girl video. How does Travilla feel about not receiving credit for the outfit? "To paraphrase Madonna," he says, "like a virgin, I've been knocked off for the very first time."
THE SHEERNESS OF YOU: Vanity, Prince's ex-lover (she's currently in the karate flick The Last Dragon) got more than her share of close-ups on The Tonight Show, when she was interviewed by Joan Rivers. Every time voluptuous Vanity stood up or shifted in her seat, the camera quickly zoomed onto her face, or those of fellow guests Garry Shandling and Ed Begley Jr., both of whom sat with their mouths open. Seems that under the bright lights, Vanity's lacey, body-hugging gown left little to the imagination. Cracked Begley after the show: "I'm not saying that her dress was skimpy, but I've seen more cotton on the top of an aspirin bottle."
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