updated 01/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

NO SOUR GRAPES, JUST A FRUITFUL CAREER: In a major reversal of opinion, the Hollywood Women's Press Club gave one of this year's Golden Apple Awards to Pia Zadora in appreciation of, no doubt, her unlikely singing debut at Carnegie Hall. That's Pia's second HWPC prize: In 1982 she received a Sour Apple Award as a razzing for "believing her own publicity." (This year's Sour Apple fell on Sean Penn.) Pia's the second performer, after Frank Sinatra, to move from the worst to best list, an honor she doesn't particularly mind. "My attitude in 1982 was that I would have hated to be nominated for something and not win," says Zadora. "So I put the little wooden apple on the mantle. I didn't even know the joke was on me." Now that her career's ripening, the Sour Apple still has a purpose. "The wooden one's falling apart," she says, "but I'm putting the golden one right next to it, just to make sure this whole thing doesn't go to my head."

GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS: Clare Boothe Luce's 1936 Broadway hit, The Women, was immortalized in a 1939 film with Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell and Joan Crawford battling in the name of love. On opening night of the play's latest revival in London's West End, Luce, 83, observed that the women of the '80s aren't that different from her Park Avenue vipers of the '30s. "It hasn't dated that much," says Luce. "Then they were competing for men. Now they are competing for jobs. It's all the same in the end."

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS: MTV-jay and pop singer Dweezil Zappa got his employers to show just how much they appreciate him. When the channel's execs praised his talents and ratings at a meeting he attended, Zappa suggested they give him some money to make his own music video. So they did. The 17-year-old may have a future as a producer, considering that he finished the peace-themed video, Let's Talk About, on time, within its $10,000 budget and with an all-star supporting cast that includes his father, Frank, Don Johnson, Drew Barrymore, Robert Wagner and Jane Fonda. That last member of Zappa's peace corps did more than lend her presence. "Jane brought her son and her dog, and she made cheese sandwiches," said Dweezil. "She even sang the song."

SHE'S CATEGORICALLY PROFESSIONAL: Jane Seymour just penned her Guide to Romantic Living, but the actress has very practical expectations about her vocation. After filming the television miniseries War and Remembrance in Italy, she told a reporter that she purposefully diversified her career to include theater, film and TV. Asked what she got out of theater, Seymour replied, "quality;" from films, "the continual mirage of the big opportunity;" and from TV, "popularity." Perhaps in this sequel to The Winds of War she will prove more popular in the role of Natalie than her predecessor, AM MacGraw, who got panned.

FEAR OF FLYING: Not known for film flops, Oscar winner Sissy Spacek nonetheless worries about potential box office nosedives. "Occasionally people say they saw a movie I did on airplanes," the Crimes of the Heart star told a reporter, "and that's the kiss of death."

HE QUIT THE JOB WITH STRINGS ATTACHED: As the World Turns's bad guy James Stenbeck, played by Anthony Herrera, has come back to the show after a three-year absence. Last seen in 1983 falling out of a plane and presumed dead, he somehow managed—unseen—to grab a parachute and land on his feet. "I had no idea I'd return to the show," says Herrera, who just finished directing an American Playhouse production of a Eudora Welty short story. Perhaps jumping to conclusions, Herrera adds that the parachute plot twist does not stretch the bounds of believability. "It's more credible," he says, "than what I see on Dallas." Dream on.

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