Chatter

UPDATED 12/07/1987 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 12/07/1987 at 01:00 AM EST

BELLBOY WITH A FAMILIAR RING: Robert De Niro's fans come in a guises. In a hotel bar at France's Deauville film festival, according to London's Sunday Telegraph, a young admirer worked his way across the room and past four bodyguards to speak to the Oscar-winning actor, who was in town to hype The Untouchables. "Mr. De Niro?" the fan called. "Mr. De Niro, don't you remember me? I'm the bellhop who brought you champagne earlier. At your hotel." Minus the uniform, the bellhop was really La Bamba star Lou Diamond Phillips, who had borrowed bellboy duds earlier so that he could meet his idol. "That's a good one," said a rather incredulous De Niro. "That was real good, you did it real good." Good enough, even, for a tip.

BORED OF THE CHAIRMAN: It is the fury in those ol' blue eyes that former sex bomb Anita Ekberg remembers best about her brief affair in the mid-'50s with Frank Sinatra. "When Frank is interested in a woman, it seems that she is the center of his life," Ekberg, 56, told the Italian newspaper Domenica del Corriere, "but if it's an off day, he can be very nasty." The actress recalled an evening at Ciro's, the Hollywood nightclub, when the gregarious Sinatra table-hopped all night and ignored her. Fed up, Ekberg decided to go home alone. "As soon as I was undressed and in bed, there was a terrible racket at my door," she says. "Frank was yelling, 'Open up, who do you think you are? A woman who goes to dinner with Frank Sinatra must go home with him, even if she has to wait all night.' " Ekberg closed the door on him. The next day he sent flowers, but that was their last date.

STARVING ACTRESS: Despite her hourglass figure and her book and videos on keeping fit, Raquel Welch confesses that even she has been known to break down and open that refrigerator door. "Sometimes I get bored with the whole picture-perfect aspect and just want to pig out," she admits. Her recommendations: "Try triple-decker hamburgers, malts and fries, or a whole freshly baked apple tart warm from the oven, or an entire chocolate cake and a bottle of milk. The point is to do it without guilt. You'll make a fool of yourself sooner or later, so you may as well do it now." As long as the pounds stay off until much, much later.

WINNING POLITICAL MANNERS: And now, in the debate on public access to politicians' private lives, the voice of etiquette. "I would be more than happy to have a national agreement that private life is not that indicative of character and therefore we won't look at all," says Judith Martin, the sage and syndicated Miss Manners. "But then you have to stop showing off the babies, the home and the wife. It has always been kind of false to do just the part the candidate wanted shown." By way of advice to the pol who might be caught emerging from his town house with a woman on his arm and a wife in another state, Miss Manners says, "The thing to do is not to say, 'Please examine my life.' "

HIGH MINDED: Paper literary lion George Plimpton says it was more than just a bottle of absinthe that provided inspiration for himself and friends Harold L. Humes and Peter Matthiessen to start the Paris Review in the City of Light in 1953. Besides downing the drink "we smoked a little hashish," Plimpton said at a book fair in Miami. "You can say that now." With a joking nod to President Reagan's fallen Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg, Plimpton added, "But that was before I taught law school."

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