• U.S.

People, Jul. 5, 1976

5 minute read

That torrid little tory with the torch and toga is none other than British Import Elton John. The tinsel troubadour ordered the Statue of Liberty getup from Designer Bob Mackie (Cher’s own) to wear during his seven-week concert tour of the colonies that starts this week. “Last year I made Mr. Blackwell’s Ten Worst-Dressed Women’ list, so this costume is in keeping with my image,” says the singer-composer, who will sport beaded red and white striped knickers, as they call ’em in London, beneath his robes. Elton’s tour, which he has dubbed “Louder Than Concorde But Not Quite As Pretty,” has already sold 136,000 tickets at Madison Square Garden after a single day of radio commercials. So are these sartorial shenanigans necessary? Jokes John: “It is easier to come on as the Statue of Liberty than the Washington Monument.” ∙ Patriotism may have its limits, but public relations does not. Paul Revere, 38, leader of the rock group Paul Revere and the Raiders, will celebrate the Fourth of July by marrying Sandra Campbell, 29, a former nightclub camera girl and a 1971 aspirant to Miss Nevada honors. The wedding, featuring the pair in early-American nuptial garb, will be held between shows at the Kings Island entertainment center in Ohio, where Paul Revere (his real name) will be performing. The couple met five years ago on July 4, and “that’s why we chose the date for our wedding,” claims the groom-to-be. Wait, there’s more: officiating at the ceremony will be the Rev. Gene Skipworth of Cincinnati, who will perform the honors dressed in an Uncle Sam costume.

Losing libel cases is getting to be routine news for the British press, but last week Princess Elizabeth of Toro, a former model and the Foreign Minister of Uganda until her 1974 dismissal by President Idi Amin, pulled a hat trick —she scored three times. Defeated were: the Daily Express, which had printed Amin’s false accusation that the princess had indulged in a sexual encounter in a public lavatory at Paris’ Orly Airport, the Sunday Telegraph, which wrongly claimed she was pregnant with Amin’s baby, and the Sun, which mistakenly put her name in the caption for a nude photo. Meanwhile, Movie Stars Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood won a suit against Reveille, a British picture magazine that had claimed they were headed for a second divorce. “We are very happily married,” asserted Wagner as he and the missus left court. And happily richer, as was the princess. Amounts of the judgments were not disclosed.

PEOPLE Since ending his on-again off-again engagement to fellow Tennis Champ Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors hasn’t bothered playing the singles scene off the court. Last week, as he bulled his way through the opening rounds of tournament play at Wimbledon, Connors’ most passionate fan was Marjorie Wallace, Miss World of 1973 and the Cleopatra of the jock set (previous conquests: Soccer Superstar George Best and the late Peter Revson, a top Grand Prix driver). “We’ve been close now for six months and travel everywhere together,” said Margie happily. “Jimmy is teaching me tennis and practices with me. I don’t think it will affect his performance.” When asked about Jimmy at Wimbledon, Chrissie said she preferred to talk about tennis. Sounds like game, set and match to Margie.

George Plimpton, no punk at the business, is at it again. Named the commissioner of fireworks for New York City in 1973, Plimpton, author and professional Mittyman, is not even burned up that Macy’s offered him no role in its $50,000 spectacular, which will blaze across Manhattan’s skies on the night of July 4. Instead he will set off his own twelfth annual display at Amagansett, N.Y., and trust that he won’t be arrested for his pyrotechnics—as he was four years ago when he failed to get the necessary permits. “A lot of people think it’s frippery, just a fire in the sky,” says Plimpton, “but I love the damn things.” One thing he will not try during his Bicentennial bang is another “fat man,” a two-ton monster mortar that Plimpton hoped would put him in the Guinness Book of World Records. When tested this winter, it blew up on the ground. “A very discouraging business,” recalls Plimpton. “And it created an enormous man-made lake.”

Producer Dino De Laurentiis had a monkey on his back last week—and a whole jungle of would-be actors on his hands. Preparing to shoot the closing scenes in his new version of King Kong, the film maker placed a newspaper ad requesting unpaid volunteers for a crowd scene at the foot of Manhattan’s World Trade Center. Instead of the 5,000 people expected, nearly four times that number showed up to see Kong bleed Karo syrup and breathe his last. (“A mob of paid extras is one thing,” said a nervous production chief, “but this is a mob of New Yorkers!”) Though souvenir hunters managed to remove a few feet of Kong’s $85,000 horsehair coat during the two nights of filming, order ultimately prevailed, and Actress Jessica Lange was able to bid a moving farewell to her hairy hero. –

“I would hope the founding fathers would enjoy the suit,” says Singer-Actress Raquel Welch of the explosive number she wears on the July cover of Los Angeles magazine. “And if Betsy Ross was a lady of today, she wouldn’t think anything of it either.” Maybe not, but Raquel’s bikini does fall a trifle short of pure Americana. She bought it last winter in Brazil.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com