The Insider

UPDATED 01/15/1990 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/15/1990 at 01:00 AM EST

WHAT PRICE FAME?

Just because Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa managed to get himself and his country out from under Communist domination, it didn't mean he had to go all out and become a capitalist. But he did.

It was reported last month that Warner Bros, and the Mount Company had obtained the screen rights to Walesa's life. What wasn't reported was Walesa's deal.

Officially, Warner Bros. wouldn't comment, but sources inside the studio say its initial offer to Walesa was $200,000, a tidy sum in Poland, or anywhere.

But did it impress Walesa? Not at all. He had done his homework prior to the negotiation and knew that Hollywood was paying $1 million to obtain the rights to develop a feature film about Chico Mendes, the slain Brazilian environmental activist who had led efforts to save the rain forest (see page 28).

So Warner's upped its offer to Walesa to $500,000. Again he spurned it, saying, in effect, "If Chico Mendes's life is worth a million, so is mine."

Warner's ultimately caved in and gave Walesa his $1 million.

A DEAL HE CAN'T REFUSE?

On the relationship front, the next few months should prove very telling in the lives of Al Pacino and Diane Keaton, and not just because they've been in Italy together reprising their roles as Michael and Kay Corleone for The Godfather: The Continuing Story, the long contemplated third Godfather film.

Pacino and Keaton have been an item for the past couple of years. In their relationship, she is the one who usually brings up marriage and he is the one who almost always changes the subject. Friends close to both of them say Keaton is so fed up with waiting around that she recently issued Pacino an ultimatum: Either marry her or lose her forever. (Keaton once issued a similar ultimatum to Warren Beatty and got nowhere.)

But Pacino's response, according to these same friends, was to promise Keaton a decision as soon as Godfather wraps in April. In other words, it won't be long before we see if he was serious, or whether he was simply buying time.

BANDING BIRDS

Almost every other band in pop music has reunited, so why not the Eagles?

Why not, indeed. Although their representatives won't confirm it, sources close to Glenn Frey and Don Henley say the two former Eagles will meet later this month and begin writing songs together with an eye toward an album and a possible tour.

Frey and Henley co-founded the Eagles in 1971 and remained the principal songwriters in the band until its demise in 1982. Both musicians prospered as solo artists during the '80s, but the sum of the parts never quite equaled the success of the whole.

Henley, whose most recent album was The End of the Innocence, is concluding a tour of Japan and Taiwan. Frey for the past several years has been battling diverticulitis, an intestinal inflammation, and underwent surgery just before Christmas to have two inches of his intestine removed. He spent the holidays recuperating at his mother's house in Florida but plans to get together with Henley as soon as he's up and around.

It's expected that the other former Eagles, including guitarist Joe Walsh, will not be in on the reunion effort.

BIG FOOT

There are role models and then there are sole models.

Five autographed sports shoes (half of each pair) were auctioned off in Beverly Hills at a UCLA charity event held to send underprivileged kids to camp.

Four golf shoes carried the respective signatures of their former owners—ex-Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon.

The fifth shoe, a sneaker, was Magic Johnson's.

Comedian Tom Dreesen, who emceed the auction, reports that the Presidents' shoes went for $150 apiece. Magic's sneaker went for $750, or $150 more than the four Presidents' combined.

NO FAN MALE

For Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown, it seems, it's a good male centerfold that's hard to find. Especially one who'll pose nude.

Having been turned down over the years by the likes of Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Donald Trump, associates say Brown has set her sights on 21 Jump Street's Johnny Depp.

Brown denies interest in Depp, but says she remains committed to the idea of a male centerfold.

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