updated 11/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST



SCALES UP HIS PERFORMANCE: Actor PAUL NEWMAN, 64, felt encouraged to throw his weight around for his role as the hardhanded Gen. Leslie Groves in the new movie Fat Man and Little Boy. Newman, who is a slender 511", added both some real pounds and much padding to play the portly military man. "They say the average powerhouse executive is over 6' and weighs 180 lbs. and that size and weight and heft have something to do with your own value of yourself—you can muscle things through," says Newman. "I think to a certain extent that's true. And I think visually it was important." Asked about his acting in his earlier movies, Newman says, "I see my old films and I just shudder—so inept. It was remarkable I survived. There was a lot of wasted energy in those early performances."

BUN APPETIT: She reigns as the American queen mother of high cuisine, but renowned chef JULIA CHILD isn't above chowing down fast foods. "I certainly do go to McDonald's and Burger King on occasion," says Child, whose newest book is The Way to Cook. "What else are you going to do when you're on the road and you have to dash in for some food? They are pretty good; they're clean, and you know what you're getting. I don't know why anyone would think I always dine on hummingbirds' tongues or something."

PARK IT, PEE-WEE: Preteen idol PEE-WEE HERMAN is building toward the future. "I'm looking forward to the construction of PEE-WEE LAND," says Herman about his proposed amusement park, the plans for which are still tentative. "It'll be like a warped version of Disneyland. There'll be Shopping Mall Land and Upsidedown Land, but It'll be much more low-budget and low-tech than Disneyland. At first it was just a joke, and then I started getting calls from people who develop things like that, and suddenly it's a reality."

SHELL SHOCKED: New Los Angeles Raider head coach ART SHELL has a reputation for being a quiet, introverted man, but former Denver Bronco defensive star LYLE ALZADO remembers Shell differently when Shell was still a Raider offensive tackle. "Art would get up there, smile and say, 'How ya doin', Lyle?' " says Alzado, who later played for the Raiders himself and now portrays a professional wrestler on the syndicated television show Learning the Ropes. "And by game's end he had never said one word or helped anybody up. He just dominated people. One time, when the Raiders were coming to Denver, I invited Art to my house for dinner, sent his wife roses and sent him a telegram saying he was 'a wonderful and good-looking man.' Despite that, he proceeded to beat the s—out of me during the game."

TODAY AND TOMORROW: Today show news anchor DEBORAH NORVILLE, who is rumored to be in line for co-host JANE PAULEY'S seat when (and if) Pauley departs the NBC morning show, says she's as ignorant about her fate as everyone else is. "Believe me," says Norville, "I don't know what's going on. We minions are always the last to know. It wouldn't surprise me to walk in one day and see some smiling new face sitting at my desk. Isn't that how it usually goes?"

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