Take One

updated 03/16/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/16/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

It may not be just love of the game that's keeping 39-year-old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the National Basketball Association. A recent suit filed against him by NBA players Alex English and Brad Davis demands repayment of $150,000 in loans, and that, says an insider, "is just the tip of the iceberg. He owes other players too. His debts are staggering." One of basketball's highest-paid players, earning $2 million a year with the Los Angeles Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar has suffered financial reverses, including the loss of his $1.75 million Bel Air home, which burned down in 1985. Though a spokesman for Jabbar claims reports of the player's debts are "preposterous," the 7'2" star is suing his former business manager, Tom Collins, for $55 million, claiming it was Collins' mismanagement that left Jabbar broke. Collins has countersued, demanding $382,000 for services rendered.

When Michael J. Fox made his first film, Teen Wolf, distributors held on to it until after the release of Back to the Future in 1985. The strategy worked and Teen Wolf made a box-office killing. But when Atlantic Releasing wanted to make a sequel, they found Fox had gotten too big for wolf's clothing. Even so, Teen Wolf Too (that's right, Too) will still be all in the family. Michael J.'s part will go to Jason Bateman, brother of Justine, who plays Fox's sister on Family Ties. Justine and Jason's dad, Kent Bateman, will direct.

If you thought you'd seen the last of Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy when they blasted off for the Planet of Eternal Youth at the end of Cocoon, think again. Jack Gilford, the golden-ager who didn't go along for the ride, says he has been contacted about doing a sequel. "The producers approached me about starting up shooting in May in Los Angeles and St. Petersburg," he says. "They're trying to get the whole cast to return."

The rite of passage currently unfolding at the Court Theatre in Los Angeles proves once again that real life has more drama than drama. Young director Richard Arrington was rehearsing his cast for a production of John Guare's Landscape of the Body when he was approached by John Cassavetes, who said he needed a small theater for a play he had written for his wife, Gena Rowlands. The play is called A Mysterious Woman and will also star Carol Kane, Charles Durning and Woody (Cheers) Harrelson. Because Cassavetes is gravely ill, the 57-year-old actor-director asked Arrington if he would mind postponing his own production so that Cassavetes might stage his work first. Arrington turned over the theater until June.

One of the extras in Diane Keaton's recently wrapped feature, Baby Boom, was just crazy about her yuppie wardrobe. "It's the first time Dad's been pleased with my clothes," says Keaton, who plays a high-powered executive who inherits a baby. Keaton's parents, Jack and Dorothy Hall (as in Annie), appear in the movie at a table right behind their daughter's in a chic restaurant. For them this may be just the beginning. Last year Keaton gave her father, a retired civil engineer, acting lessons for his birthday.

President Reagan isn't the only one who has trouble remembering. Accepting her Grammy Award for best song of 1986, lyricist Carole Bayer Sager told the audience that she and Burt Bacharach came up with That's What Friends Are For when "we sat down to work out a song for Dionne Warwick." Stop the music! The song was written by Bacharach and Sager in 1982 for the Ron Howard film Night Shift. It's sung on the sound track by Rod Stewart, whose version was considered unreleasable as a single.

When the Nielsen rating team came upon the big house in the New York suburbs, everything about it seemed demographically right: slightly older couple, affluent, more than one TV, kids grown and gone. But when the team asked to install a box to monitor the household's viewing habits, CBS chairman Lawrence Tisch turned them down.

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