updated 01/09/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 01/09/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
GRANNY KNOTS: As Karen MacKenzie on CBS' Knots Landing, actress Michele Lee has wrestled with divorce, drug use and kidnapping. But everyone has a breaking point. "The one thing I will never have on Knots Landing is a grandchild," says Lee, 46. "Trust me on that. If a grandchild is ever even mentioned, that will be the end of my contract."
PRISONERS OF INVENTION: After starring as combative radio personality Barry Champlain in director Oliver Stone's new film, Talk Radio, Eric Bogosian believes celebrities risk being trapped in their own image. "A guy like Morton Downey Jr.," says Bogosian, who co-wrote the script with Stone, "thinks this is a put-on and that he's going to emerge unscathed. But he's the one who 10 years down the line will suffer most. People don't think it's a put-on—they think it's real. So when Downey's in a shopping mall buying shoes and somebody starts swearing at him, he's going to have to take it because that's what he's about right now. But it's not just him—it's anybody in the mass media who sells their personality to become popular. I mean, is Bruce Springsteen a human being anymore or has he become Jesus? Because that's what he's moving toward."
TALES OF HOFFMAN/CRUISE: In the film Rain Man, Italian actress Valeria Golino gently teaches an autistic savant (played by Dustin Hoffman) how to kiss a woman. Golino's instruction of Hoffman didn't end there, however. "I taught him a little Italian while we were making the movie, but he only remembered the bad words," recalls Golino. "Every once in a while he would come up to me and say them. He remembered them well—he remembers everything." Other onscreen romantic moments involved co-star Tom Cruise, who plays her boyfriend in the film. "Once, after Tom and I shot an outdoor scene in which we hold hands, a trembling girl came up to me and tried to kiss my hand because it had just been in Tom's. Things like that happened all the time with his fans. It was amazing."
HEEERE'S ARSENIO: Arsenio Hall, whose late-night syndicated talk show premieres this week, is a Johnny-come-lately in more ways than one. "My personality as a talk show host is probably more like Johnny Carson's, but my approach is more like David Letterman's," says Hall, age 30. "I guess I'd say I'm a hip version of Johnny. I was a drummer in high school and I'm a magician, and Johnny was the same. I'm the Johnny of the '90s, even though I get the feeling that he's still going to be around."
NEW WHEEL DEAL: As Pat Sajak's successor on the daytime Wheel of Fortune, former San Diego Charger placekicker Rolf Benirschke will spin off into a new line of work. Benirschke (pronounced Ben-ER-shka) was hired in early December by Merv Griffin after Griffin saw him appear as a guest on a local L.A. TV show. "Doing Wheel of Fortune wasn't in my five-year plan," says Benirschke, whose first show airs Jan. 10. "It's one of those interesting things life throws at you. I'll need some coaching because I didn't have much time to get ready. Pat advised me not to imitate him. He has a dry sense of humor, and I'm not particularly funny, but I hope I can make the contestants feel comfortable. This whole thing is like having to kick the game winner with two seconds left, without having gone to training camp."