The Insider

UPDATED 02/15/1993 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/15/1993 at 01:00 AM EST

LEFT IN THE LURCH

All it takes is Elizabeth Taylor looking a little wobbly—as she did as a presenter on the recent American Music Awards telecast—and suddenly the rumor mill starts spinning with tales of how her health has yet again gone south.

Responding to that speculation, Taylor's publicist, Chen Sam, says the 60-year-old actress "should not have worn high heels" to the AMA. And why not? The shoes, explains Sam, exacerbated Taylor's "recurring hip problems" and made her appear off-balance.

THE GRADUATE TAXI DRIVER
Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro have been talking about doing something they've never done before: costar in a movie. According to a source close to Hoffman, the Oscar-winning actors met recently at DeNiro's production headquarters in lower Manhattan. Hoffman, 55, and DeNiro, 49, each "very much wants to work with the other," says the source, who adds that there is no specific project yet. How about Midnight Cowboy-Run? Or Raging Tootsie?

NO EXCUSES FOR FERGIE

Just what level of notoriety has Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, attained? High enough to rate an inquiry from No Excuses, the New York City—based jeans-wear company that persuaded two other women caught in compromising relationships—Donna Rice and Maria Maples—to become paid endorsers.

No Excuses recently faxed a proposal to London offering Fergie one day's work, with "complete creative control." The work: a TV spot, a print ad and an appearance at a press conference announcing the deal. The fee, according to company rep Dari Marder, was $850,000.

Marder says she was called back by John Bryan, still Fergie's financial adviser despite being photographed nibbling her instep. Marder claims Bryan said that while it was "probably absolutely out of the question" that Fergie would accept, he promised to apprise her of the offer.

He obviously did. No Excuses subsequently received a letter from Buckingham Palace, dated Jan. 14, which offered Fergie's regrets—but characterized her as "very touched" that No Excuses had asked.

MY NAME IS...BARBARA?

Grenada, the Caribbean island nation invaded by U.S. Marines in 1983 to oust a leftist regime, gives its economy a boost by issuing collectible postage stamps. A recent set of 90-cent stamps (each worth about 35 U.S. cents) honors 16 American music-makers including Leonard Bernstein, Bay Charles, Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin, Garth Brooks and "Barbara" Streisand.

A spokesman for the Grenada Post Office says the misspelling of Streisand's first name wasn't spotted until the entire issue of 100,000 sheets had been printed. "Grenada is a small country with a small population," says the rep, "so unfortunately the mistake will have to stand."

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