• U.S.

People, Jan. 24, 1977

5 minute read

“I could have danced all night,” sang First Lady Betty Ford— and to prove it she took a turn or two around the floor of the Ford’s private White House quarters last week with Canadian Photographer Yousuf Karsh. During a 3½ hr. portrait session, Karsh caught Betty in a reflective pose after he told her that his Ottawa home is called Little Wings. She promptly produced a small Boehm porcelain-bird figurine from among the household possessions. After his own portrait session, President Ford asked Karsh to get in touch the next time he visits Palm Springs, Calif., where the Fords have decided to spend their retirement. They sold their four-bedroom, colonial-style residence in Alexandria, Va., last week to an Iranian-born realtor for $137,000. Ford had built the brick and clapboard house for $34,000 in 1955. The resale price reflected not simply improvements and normal appreciation in value but also, as the buyer acknowledged, the fact that Gerald R. Ford had slept there for almost 19 years.

When an aspiring songstress nervously faces her nightclub debut, where does she turn for advice? If she happens to know them, perhaps to Jon Peters and Barbara Streisand, producers of that weighty saga of show biz A Star Is Born. Dancer-Actress Lesley Ann Warren has done just that. A veteran of Broadway and such television series as Mission: Impossible, Warren is aiming for bigger fame in a “hot, sexy” song-and-dance act that opens this week in Los Angeles. Streisand has been bolstering Warren’s courage with almost daily pep talks (“Get out on that stage, take a deep breath and do what you believe”), while Peters has been giving advice on such things as publicity and lighting. How come Leslie knows the good Samaritans? She was married to former hairdresser Jon until he took a shine to superstar Barbra.

Idi Amin is planning as bash to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the military coup that made him President of Uganda. The invitation list is impressive-though the R.S.V.P.s are not all in. Among those invited: Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, whom “Big Daddy” has challenged to a debate; former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, who has been asked to conduct a band; Japanese ex-Lieut. Hiroo Onoda, who spent 30 years in the Philippine jungle before he discoverd that World War II was over. A personal appearance by such a dedicated soldier, says Amin, would “contribute greatly to raising the morale of Uganda’s army.”

Though he is only 39, Manhattan Millionaire Stewart Mott is feeling old. But instead of wailing, he decided to go wassailing and celebrate his middle age with a Middle Ages party. He asked 667 of his friends (including Bella Abzug, Tammy Grimes and Norman Mailer) to “dress magnificantly -and medievally” and join him at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine for a feast. The menu included gyngere (gingered carp) and blancmange (spiced chicken in almond cream), all to be eaten only with fingers; potables were mead and hippocras (spiced wine). As the banquet’s lord of the manor, the host was outfitted in ermine-trimmed cape and ducal crown. The price tag for the gothic gaieties: $25,000.

“If we were to sue over every incorrect thing, we’d spend all our time in court. But when the information is not only wrong but libelous, we sue.” So explained a spokeswoman for Prince Rainier of Monaco last week, when it was disclosed that he had brought suit in Brazil against Playboy Francisco Scarpa, 25. Scarpa allegedly told a TV interviewer last fall that he had slept with several famous women, including Rainier’s daughter, Princess Caroline, 19. The royal family says the princess has never even met the man.

Declaring herself bored with making movies, kittenish Actress Brigitte Bardot came out last summer for animals. She established a foundation to fight for their protection. She also frolicked with some of her favorite fauna for a photographer. The result: a sumptuous book titled Brigitte Bardot, Friend of the Animals. The book, quipped Paris-Match, is a sure “beast seller.” Brigitte’s dedication to natural wildlife has since faltered, however, as a result of unexpected paperwork. Unprepared to handle thousands of letters and support and gifts, Brigitte folded the foundation. Says B.B.: “My vocation was not to turn into an administrator.” So what will be her next passion? Maybe litigation. Bardot is suing some recipients for misuse of foundation funds.

“I would do it all over again,” joshed Secretary of State Henry Kissinger last week, accepting a final round of kudos before leaving his job. “The problem is nobody asked me.” Instead, as friends in New York and Washington bade him official adieu, there was a Foreign Policy Association award and some good natured ribbing. Kissinger will not move out of Washington for at least six months, to allow time to start work on his memoirs, and President Ford has asked that his secret service protection be extended for that period. Kissinger will also lecture. During that interval, Kissinger, Wife Nancy and their rambunctious yellow Labrador Tyler will continue to live in their rented house on the capital’s P Street, where the trio posed for last week’s family portrait.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com