THE UN-PINK PANTHER: At the California Republican Party convention in Santa Clara, the crowd gave an enthusiastic ovation to former Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, whose politics have changed dramatically. Cleaver, who is hoping to run against Sen. Alan Cranston, the state's leading liberal Democrat, presented himself as a uniquely qualified candidate. As one of the top black radical leaders of the '60s, Cleaver reminded the audience, "I have deep and proven experience in organizing people."
THAT'S THE SPIRIT: Filming NBC's Killer in the Mirror at the Greystone mansion in Beverly Hills proved to be a chilling experience for Ann Jillian. "From the time we started, things didn't seem to go right," says Jillian. "The Dobermans didn't behave. I felt real hyper, and every time I stepped into my dressing room, I felt this strange warmth." The mystery was cleared up—at least to Jillian's satisfaction—when a guard told her that a murder-suicide had been committed at Greystone in 1929. "He said he'd show me where the bodies were found. I said, 'No, let me show you.' I took him to the exact spot where I got that warm feeling. I even described the position of the bodies. I never felt any danger being in the room, but I wouldn't want to spend the night there."
PUTTING HIS MOUTH WHERE HIS MONEY IS: Before he played Cliff the mailman on NBC's Cheers, John Ratzenberger had a nightclub act in which he portrayed 15 characters varying from a defrocked priest to a nearsighted super hero. The experience proved useful when Ratzenberger looked out his window and saw two men trying to steal his '85 Toyota Supra. "I used all 15 voices," he says, "and I said all those things I've heard on police shows. 'Drop it! Freeze! Don't move!' And I'd turn in different directions, so the voices sounded like they were coming from all over." Since the would-be thieves took off, Ratzenberger thinks he might have a new gig for his old act. "I'm waiting for an invitation from the L.A. police academy."
NOW THEY TELL HIM: By night Peter Falk performs David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross for Chicago theater audiences. By day Falk indulges in a longtime hobby—drawing nudes. The actor began sketching in 1969, when he was filming Castle Keep in Yugoslavia. "I'm sitting in my room," he recalls. "There's nothing to do. I see a leather valise. I draw it." Falk stuck with still lifes for the next two years until he was appearing on Broadway in The Prisoner of Second Avenue. "I have free days, so I go over to the Art Students League. As soon as I open the door, I see a naked woman. 'This is for me,' I say. 'This is better than a valise.' "
THE QUESTION CUT HIM TO THE QUICK: Interviewed in Rome, Duran Duran's John Taylor was asked why he contributed a song to the sound track of 9½ Weeks, the controversial film about an S & M relationship. Taylor said he was attracted by "the passion of the film. In this sea of Rambo, Rocky and other films where people are killed, a story of love on a high erotic level seemed right." Naturally, Taylor was then asked if he experiences high erotic levels in his own life. "Yes," he said, "but not for 9½ weeks. At the most, for 10 minutes."