Take One

updated 03/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Sydney Biddle Barrows wanted Cybill Shepherd to play her in the TV movie version of The Mayflower Madam, but Cybill rejected the proposition. (Not surprising—Cybill is pregnant.) Now Candice Bergen is up for the part. Sydney, apparently, is unenthusiastic. Quoth she: "They told me not to say anything if I can't say something nice."

The wrap party for Madonna's latest film, Who's That Girl, was in full swing before the star hit the dance floor—literally—at Helena's in L.A. "At first I thought she had fallen or something," says an eyewitness. "Then she went into the exact gyrations she goes through in the Lucky Star video. We had no choice but to stop dancing and form a circle. It was like the parting of the Red Sea." Only drier.

Bondage fans should get a kick, or whatever they get, out of the March 4 episode of St. Elsewhere. Nurse-cum-mental patient Shirley Daniels (Ellen Bry) will return to the hospital chained to a bed, upon which she will seduce old boyfriend Dr. Wayne Fiscus (Howie Mandel). Bry, who was written out of the show two years ago when nurse Daniels shot a rapist and went to prison, married St. Elsewhere producer John Masius in September.

Sandahl (Conan the Barbarian) Bergman plays a dancer in Kandyland who pays the bills bumping and grinding. But Bergman put her foot down when New World Pictures wanted her to appear topless. "Producers will sell you a bill of goods," she says. "You can create a sensuous number without being topless, but they insisted I bare my breasts." So she walked. Production stopped, and after a month-long standoff the star was told to come back and keep her shirt on, all was forgiven.

John Cleese's Hollywood masseuse has been rubbed the wrong way. When a producer for ABC's Who's the Boss? asked Susan Townes to see if her client Cleese would be interested in doing an episode, she did. Cleese wasn't but told Townes during deep muscle massage that he would like to do Cheers. Townes got the word out, and a deal was struck. Cleese will play a marriage counselor on an episode airing this spring. Says the masseuse: "I didn't get so much as a pat on the back." Innkeepers in Yuma, Ariz. are upset with Sly Stallone's production company for Rambo III, which has asked for rooms at $15 a night in peak season. "You can't park a car for a day in Los Angeles for the prices that they're asking," objects one motel owner. Because of the holdup, the movie is falling behind in its pre-production schedule, and crew members are beginning to refer to the project as "Limbo." One reason for the stinginess, speculates an insider, may be the company's priorities: They'd rather spend money on explosives.

Steven Spielberg's next, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, combines live action and animation and will star Oscar nominee Bob Hoskins. It will also bring together Warner Bros, and Disney cartoon characters for the first time. Donald and Daffy Duck could be meeting at last, and Mickey Mouse, Betty Boop and Bugs Bunny will also appear.

Speaking of casting, what Barbara Eden endured for NBC's The Stepford Children, airing March 20, was stiff punishment indeed. Modeling for a mechanized Stepford wife double, Eden had to stand motionless for a total of seven hours while latex and plaster molds were made of her. "Since they wanted the mouth to move, I had to keep mine wide open while they were doing the face, and goop kept falling in," says Eden. Casting her chest was even worse. "When plaster dries it gets very heavy, and I couldn't breathe," Eden explains. "I got very claustrophobic." The Stepford actresses, of course, aren't supposed to complain.

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