The Insider

updated 08/02/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/02/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

SMOKE RINGS

Rumors flew last week that John F. Kennedy Jr. and Daryl Hannah had applied for a marriage license in California. Whether the two are altar-bound or not, their romance is still aflame. On a recent night in New York City, six of Kennedy's male colleagues from the Manhattan District Attorney's office, where Kennedy recently announced his resignation after four years on the job, tossed a boys'-night-out farewell dinner for Kennedy at the Old Homestead, a well-known Manhattan steak house.

Hannah showed up just as the guys were polishing off their $100 Japanese Kobe steaks, which Kennedy paid for. One of the men then brought out seven expensive cigars. Employees at the no-cigars-please restaurant looked the other way, says a source, "because it was Kennedy." But they did peck at the couple long enough to notice Hannah, the source notes, "puffing away on Kennedy's cigar."

DEEP THROAT

Sean Connery's wife, Micheline, has been denying press reports about her husband's health, including one claiming that he has throat cancer. In an interview with a British paper, she described Connery, 62, as "fit as a fiddle" and protested the spread of "nasty rumors."

In fact, Connery doesn't have throat cancer. But he does have a serious throat problem, which a source describes as dysplasia, an abnormal cell growth. When we contacted noted New York City throat specialist Dr. Wilbur Gould, he said that "depending on the circumstances, dysplasia is treatable."

Our source says Connery has recently been visiting a London hospital for a series of outpatient procedures. Is this throat problem the reason Connery dropped out of the lead role in Smoke and Mirrors, a movie about a French magician? No, say sources close to Connery, who insist that the actor abandoned the project because of "a script that wasn't ready."

CINEMA VERITE
Joan Rivers and her daughter, Melissa, are in negotiations to play themselves in a two-hour NBC movie based on PEOPLE'S June 21 cover story about their troubled relationship after the suicide of Joan's husband and Melissa's father, Edgar Rosenberg. The movie is tentatively scheduled to air in the fall of 1994. Meanwhile, Melissa has signed on with CBS This Morning as a freelance reporter on a nonexclusive basis, in addition to her gig doing gossip on MTV.

SADDLE SORE
Consider this a Wanted poster: Billy Crystal's saddle, the one he rode in City Slickers, was recently stolen from a stable in West Los Angeles where Crystal keeps his dapple-gray quarter horse, Beachnutt. Crystal was planning to use the saddle again in City Slickers II, which begins production later this month. Crystal wants his saddle back and is offering a reward. Says Billy: "Lunches can be arranged."

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