Tattletales The Salina Journal Entertainment Sunday, January 19,1986 Page 2 Merlin Olsen, one of the top sportscasters on NBC, will return to weekly television as the star of a new NBC family comedy series in late March. . "Fathers and Sons" is a half-hour comedy about the humorous adventures of a family man who becomes involved with his son and the boy's friends as the coach of their various little league teams. Production on the new show starts Jan. 27, the day after Olsen does color commentary of Super Bowl XX on NBC. Olsen is a Hall of Fame football star who played many years on the front line of the Los Angeles Rams. He starred for many years with Michael Landon in "Little House on the Prairie" and then had his own series, "Father Murphy." Merlin Olsen Melba Moore "Melba," a new half-hour comedy starring Melba Moore, is being added to the CBS television lineup. Moore stars as Melba Patterson, the director of the Manhattan Visitors Center. She is divorced and living with her 9-year-old daughter, Tracy. Gracie Harrison stars as Melba's "sister," Susan Slater. The two are not really siblings — Melba is black and Susan is white. Melba grew up on Susan's parents' estate where Melba's mother worked as a housekeeper. After Susan's mother died, Melba's mother (played by Barbara Meek) became mother to Susan as well. Over the years, Melba and Susan have snared the jealousies, love, fun and friendship that establish lasting family ties. The show also stars Lou Jacobi and Evan Mirand. Why do many Hollywood women like Mary Tyler Moore and Polly .Bergen leave Hollywood and others like Lauren Bacall refuse to live there? — B.K. The answer is a man shortage. One recent divorcee who got a huge settlement when the couple split up has hired a car and driver to take her to aU the parties she can't attend without an escort. Every Hollywood hostess has a list of "extra" men, all gay, who serve as dinner partners for the lonely ladies. Polly Bergen Amy Irving We just heard that Amy Irving and Steven Spielberg are finally married, that she is pregnant again, and also that Steven gave her an enormous diamond ring. Is all of this the real stuff?—D.P. Only some of it. Yes, they did get married last December, after about 10 years of romancing. No, Amy isn't pregnant, but she'd like to have two more children. Right now she is more interested in being a mother to the couple's son, Max Samuel, than in being an actress. As for the ring, millionaire Spielberg gave her one with a very small diamond. But the nice part of that is that it was his grandmother's ring, and a sweet, sentimental gesture. John Cougar Mellencamp believes in keeping his fans happy. The fans attending his much-anticipated Madison Square Garden performance got to see Mellencamp's act and keep the $17.50 price of admission. Mellencamp decided to give everyone a ticket refund when technicians ran into problems with the sound equipment. Although Mellencamp eventually went on to perform a full show, he told the fans, "This one's on me." Many fans said they would send the money to Mellencamp's charity project, Farm Aid. John Cougar Mellencamp Sharon Stone finds plenty of acting work in television and feature films these days but the former model wasn't always that happy with acting. She started acting lessons with a coach while still in high school and went on to enroll in the theater and English departments at Edinboro State University in Pennsylvania. She tired of that quickly, however, and decided to try her hand at modeling, a career that later led her back into acting in films like "King Solomon's Mines" and "Irreconcilable Differences." "Boredom struck with a vengeance by the time I was 19, and I persuaded my mother to go with me to anaron atone New York during my 1977 Christmas vacation to see if I could find work as a model," she says. "Fortunately, I met with Eileen Ford and was working within four days. I worked non-stop for the first six weeks, doing television commercials, and layouts for New York's department stores." She travelled to Italy and France in an effort to gain experiences which she felt would promote her self-growth. Despite obvious success as a model, she decided she wanted to try acting again. She got her first break in 1980 when Woody Allen plucked her out of a line of extras . and cast her in a small, but memorable, role in "Stardust Memories." She continues to "tune" her craft, spending a good deal of time working with acting coaches and worshops. She is currently studying voice and singing. Woody Allen I've read that Woody Allen and Mia Farrow are aficionados of Chinese cuisine. Do you know what their dining habits and preferences are? — R.K. Woody and Mia are frequenters of several Chinese restaurants around New York City and they invariably request a quiet table at the rear of the restaurant in order to remain inconspicuous. Woody's quite the connoisseur and enjoys selecting dishes that are adventurous, exotic and sophisticated. Mia's taste, on the other hand, tends to be more simplistic; she prefers the more standard Cantonese dishes. On occasion, the couple keeps the limo waiting outside the restaurant while they hop in for a take-out treat to savor at home with Mia's children. How is Nancy Reagan regarded among Washington insiders? Is she considered a power at the White House or merely a showpiece more interested in clothes and hair styles than anything else?—J.H. The first lady is considered one of the most powerful presidential wives in years. Many think of her as combining the charm of the then Jacqueline Kennedy with the tenacity of Rosalynn Carter. Mrs. Reagan does not intrude, but is smart enough to have people who report everything to her. She's gotten very high marks in international diplomacy, so much so that the State Department has urged that she be at the president's side on foreign trips or when he's entertaining dignitaries here at home. Nancy Reagan FredAstaire Any truth to the rumor that the screen's most fabulous dance team, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, are to be reteamed after 40 years?—S.F. Afraid not. A report surfaced not long ago that the 85-year-old Fred and 74-year-old Ginger would dance again onstage for the queen of England. It turned out to be pure fantasy. Fred says, "Utter nonsense." The last time Astaire danced in public with a partner (his sister, Adele) was a number of years ago in New York City at a theater benefit. It was a brief but memorable moment.
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