Cinematically speaking, it seems like old times -- the '30s -- for Madonna. For the past week, the singer-actress has been in New Jersey secretly shooting a Depression-era film called "Bloodhounds of Broadway." She plays Hortense Hathaway, a sort of big-hearted showgirl. The low-budget film, which is expected to be released sometime next year, is based on the short stories of New York writer Damon Runyon, the author of such colorful tales as "Guys & Dolls" and "Little Miss Marker." The film also includes actors Randy Quaid, Jennifer Grey and Matt Dillon.
And by today's standards, Madonna's salary this time around sounds Depression-era, too -- it's guild scale, or $379 a day. Considering she's earned about $27 million this year alone, according to Forbes magazine, that's peanuts.
Christmas at the Bakkers' When Tammy Faye Bakker checks under her Christmas tree for yuletide goodies today, what does she hope to find? "I need Estee Lauder perfume ... the spray stuff, the $32 bottle," she told the Associated Press in a phone interview. "And girls can always use clothes. And costume jewelry is ... lots of fun."
Tammy Faye and former television evangelist Jim Bakker, who were living in a $7,000-a-month-plus Malibu Beach home last month, are celebrating the holidays in new Palm Springs digs, where the rent has been paid through February by an unidentified friend. Tammy Faye said she and her husband will spend a quiet Christmas and New Year's Eve at home with friends, probably around the fireplace. "When someone comes to visit we put them on the couch," she said, adding that they are frequently hosts to visitors. "It's meant so much to us ... especially since Jim and I have been such Christmas people for so many years."
Passion: What's in a Name? There's Passion, and then there's Elizabeth Taylor's Passion. Legally, the difference is key. This week, a federal judge in New York issued a limited injunction that bans Taylor's Passion for six months from 55 stores across the country. The action was the result of a suit by the maker of another fragrance called Passion, perfumer Annick Goutal, who argued a prior claim to the name. But the actress and her Passion-makers aren't particularly disturbed, since only 11 of the 55 stores were carrying her perfume anyway. And besides, if Goutal's Passion isn't selling after six months, the injunction can be repealed. Elizabeth Taylor's Passion is said by Parfums International to be the most successful celebrity perfume ever launched.
Roxanne Pulitzer, Telling All Roxanne Pulitzer has been a lot of things -- jet-setter, wife, mother, aerobics instructor, Phil Donahue show guest. And now, author. "The Prize Pulitzer: The Scandal That Rocked Palm Beach -- The Real Story," her account of her bitter divorce from publishing heir Peter Pulitzer, nearly sold out in its first day in Palm Beach bookstores. How so? "Everyone likes dirt and gossip," explained J.L. Goldman, manager of the B. Dalton Bookseller branch there.
Pulitzer lost custody of her twin sons in the 1982 case that included allegations of cocaine use and extramarital sex. "The whole thing had such a negative overtone," Pulitzer said of her divorce case. "Now I think I've turned it into something positive."
Lost and Found A bag containing $300,000 in jewelry owned by choreographer Martha Graham was retrieved Wednesday from a trash dumpster after it mistakenly was thrown away by a hotel maid in Tucson. Graham, who was visiting her sister for the holidays, had hidden the jewels in a white plastic bag. A maid who was cleaning Graham's room at the Doubletree Inn asked if the bag should be thrown away and Graham, forgetting about the jewels and thinking the bag contained trash, gave her approval. After Graham notified the hotel of the loss, the jewels were recovered in 15 minutes.
Chuck Conconi is on vacation.