Victoria Principal and Andy Gibb. An item. Pam Ewing leaves Bobby so she can go "Shadow Dancing" at Ford's Theatre with the youngest Brother Gibb?
"The first time we went out in public together was when we went to the American Music Awards," says Principal, the co-emcee of the gala. "The photographers were standing there click-clicking at Andy as he got out of the car. Then I stepped out of the car, and they lowered their cameras and just stood there looking. It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. So I just whizzed right by them. Although, for an instant, there was that actor's feeling -- 'Why aren't they taking my picture?' But they caught me when I came out."
They met on "The John Davidson Show." Pam Ewing of "Dallas" -- twice voted America's Sweetheart, and the one on the show who doesn't mess around -- and pop singer Andy Gibb, known for his falsetto and airbrushed blond good looks.
He says: "It was a great day for me. I'd always wanted to meet her. I was taping 'The John Davidson Show,' and I heard she was taping 'Johnny Carson.' During the show, Davidson was asking me questions, and then he said, 'We've got a great surprise for you.' Obviously someone had told him. I looked up, and there she was, standing behind the set. So we talked. And two or three days later, I called her up. We had dinner at home."
She says: "He offered to cook, and I ended up doing it. I make . . . BLT's." She throws back her head and bursts into laughter. "We didn't want to go out anywhere, especially since it was our first date. I didn't want anything written about us. I didn't want to do anything at the time that would discredit Chris [her husband, actor Christopher Skinner, 23, from whom she was then separated]. But actually enough time had passed -- five months. You can become a nun in four years." Another burst of laughter.
And now, four months later, here they are sitting in different parts of the Four Seasons Hotel, still celebrity-romance kissed and glowing (and staying in separate suites, Gibb's publicity man insists.) Separate interviews were the rule the Sunday morning after the Saturday night they both did the Ford's benefit.
Gibb, groggy-eyed, sits in the quiet main-floor restaurant, in conservative, striped suit pants, gray shirt open almost to the waist, gold-record medallion on a chain around his neck, the beginnings of a beard on his face.
"We had a party last night," he says with a rueful smile. "I've got a bit of a hangover."
"Coffee?" someone asks.
"A Bloody Mary," he says quietly."Do my eyes look red?"
Principal, meanwhile, was wide-awake, wearing eye makeup in soft shades of violet and pink, black pants and blouse with snakeskin pumps. "Look, I match the furniture!" she says, standing next to the pink-and-black-print plump couches in her expansive suite. "Who'd like a Bloody Mary." she asks cheerfully.
Her permed hair of this past season of "Dallas" has given way to fluffy bangs and layers, since she burned the ends leaning over her barbecue grill one day. "I thought the perm was great. It was kind of spicy. On the show I was having marital problems with bobby and, in real life, I was going through a divorce," she says. "I told the producers I had to have a new hairstyle because when women have marital problems they get a new hairstyle and when men do, they get a new car."
She and her husband are now splitting, though Pam and Bobby made up just episodes after her will to resist was tested by handsome and debonair Alex Ward. She didn't give in.
"You don't know how many letters I got," she says, "including my mother. There's no way Pam could have had an affair and come back to Southfork [sumptuous Dallas ranch where an entire family of grown-ups lives together and come downstairs to dinner dressed up]. Sue Ellen can do it, because . . ." she narrows her eyes and smiles, "J.R. does it to everything. But people would stop me in the grocery store and say, 'You're not going to do it with him, are you?'"
Would Pam like to have had an affair with him?
"Well," she says, raising eyebrows over luminous brown almond-shaped eyes, "he was awfully cute."
When Dallas" began as a mini-series, Pam Ewing, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, was the center of the action. But in later episodes it was torured, tormented and affair-seeking Sue Ellen, wife of JR. Ewing, who stole the action.
"Well, how often can J.R. push Pam off a barn and cause her to have a miscarriage?" says Principal. "How many miscarriages can you have?" (Pam had two.) "Last season there was so much emphasis on J.R. -- deservedly so. I'm not a success unless the show's a success."
But Principal still wanted to make sure she got her fair share of work. "Last season I bitched about it," she says, "and this season I'm tired."
Pam will always be sweet. "I love being loved," she says. "I don't like to play evil people. For the first part of my career, I always played the other women. When producers needed another woman, they probably said, 'Get me a Victoria Principal type.' I love playing the woman."
It's a part that runs counter to all the publicity about her life. Ever since she arrived in Hollywood in 1971, she has been written up as a woman-about-town.
"You know what?" she says, eyes wide. "I've had a very lucky life -- to be able to keep the company I did. It was very glamorous, very enjoyable at the time. That was my late teens, early 20s. It was time to play, time to party. I couldn't look back and say, 'Oh, I shouldn't have done that.' Why is it that I couldn't date nine men a year?"
Among the men of her past was financier Bernard Cornfeld (who was convicted of causing his secretaries to defraud Pacific Telephone Company in 1976). "That was a decade ago," she says. "I think people are tired of hearing about it." And there was former Dallas Cowboy Lance Rentzel. "Do you think he'll ever further my career?" she says, narrowing her eyes?" "You think I'll ever play tight end?"
She is 31, but is often written up as older. "They do that to me all the time," she says. "I used to lie to get older parts and get into discos. I've read I'm 39."
She also gets the questions about dating younger men. Gibb is 23, the same age as her estranged husband. "I date two younger men, and suddenly I like younger men," she says, smiling. "I like what I like at the time. You know when you meet someone and they're spontaneous? That's the way Andy is. I didn't check his I.D."
In addition to appearing in "Dallas," she's written a movie script. "I wrote it for myself," she says. And what does she do for fun? "I worry about how much money i'm making." Then she laughs. She lives in Beverly Hills, and when she goes out, she takes off all her makeup, puts on baggy jeans, and tries to act normal to avoid the kind of attention she gets when she goes out with Gibb.
"He's much more recognizable than I am," she says. "People will see him and then see me and say, 'Oh, you're . . .' He's very generous with his time. More than I am. I'm not as generous or as sweet as Andrew."
"I like formal names."
Downstairs in the lobby, Andrew Gibb is nursing a Bloody Mary. He and Principal don't live together."We're both in the same business," he says. "She's much more successful than I am. It wouldn't work. It would be a strain. What's the point?" (Besides, he says, "Victoria won't let me watch 'Dallas.'")
He sang two songs at the Ford's benefit Saturday night. "That was the first time I'd sung live since the Kennedy Center benefit for the Olympics last summer. I was so bad." He grimaces and nods. "Oh, yeah."
He's training with a vocal coach now to get ready for his role as the male lead in the Los Angeles version of "The Pirates of Penzance," which opens in June.
"I used my throat wrong," he says. "I lost my high falsetto. I used to lift my head to sing the high notes. It was very bad. Now I'm getting more use out of my voice than before."
There is no female lead for "Pirates," but he has suggested rock singer Pat Benatar and pop singer Nicolette Larson.
An album of "Andy Gibb's Greatest Hits" lies on the table in front of him. "It's been out for a while," he says. "It's got 'Time is Time.' That didn't do so hot."
He frowns at the cover -- a curly-haired Gibb in jeans on the beach in Malibu. "It looks a little effeminate. I drive people crazy about my hair. mIt never looks good. I don't like this cover at all."
Except for the background. "This is actually outside my house. There's Barbra Streisand's house."
He lives in Malibu Colony. "It's a leper colony," he says grinning. "Sometimes I wonder. It's a very prestigious area of Malibu. Just about everyone who lives there is a star or a director. Larry 'J. R.' Hagman. Barbra Streisand. Neil Diamond. You can't get in without going through guard gates."
He only has a six-month lease.
At 23, he has had recording success and lots of money to throw around. "I was foolish with my money. I was 19. I didn't invest it. I had to have the yacht [58 feet, washing machine, dining room, etc]. I had to have the Ferrari. I should have bought a house or land."
But he's sold the yacht now. And the Ferrari. And his brothers, The Bee Gees, make sure he spends his money right. "I just have an old Jag now. I've had it since '79. Isn't that old? Well, maybe it's '78."
He and Principal are doing another appearance together this week. "We're going to some cheerleading thing in Florida with John Davidson," he says smiling. "Well, he got us together."