Reports that Marlo Thomas has left husband Phil Donahue for the wilds of Cleveland left out the fact that she is at the Cleveland Playhouse performing in "The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds." It's the 20th anniversary of Paul Zindel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which had its initial run at the Playhouse. Donahue, after having been at most weekend performances, is spending the week in Cleveland, quelling rumors of a breakup. His mother, a Cleveland resident, will host Thanksgiving dinner with the couple and four of their five children.

Beginner's Luck?

For the first time in 40 years, France's prestigious literary award the Prix Goncourt was awarded to a first-time novelist, Jean Rouand, for "The Fields of Honor." The jury voted 8-2 in favor of Rouand's work over Philippe Labro's "The Little Boy." "Fields of Honor" explores the social structure of rural France through the memories of an old truck driver. The prize itself is a minuscule 50 francs, or approximately $10, but the winner can usually be assured of a huge increase in sales. Rouand, 38, still works in a Paris magazine shop despite the critical success of his work, an English translation of which is in the planning stages.

The prize for best budding novelist went to Jean Colombier for his second novel, "The Romance Brothers," after a record 25 rounds of voting.

Oldest Living Woman

Carrie White, who was born during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, celebrated her 116th birthday in Palatka, Fla., on Sunday. White was surrounded by hundreds of well-wishers at the Putnam Memorial Nursing Home as she enjoyed a piece of her six-tiered birthday cake, and received greetings sent by Gov.-elect Lawton Chiles and a taped phone message from Ronald Reagan. Born Nov. 18, 1874, White is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest living person. She lived most of her life in a Florida state hospital, where she had been committed in 1909 for "post-typhoid psychosis." She was finally released in 1984 at the age of 110, and now lives at the nursing home.

Last Thoughts

In an interview given to Rolling Stone magazine shortly before his death, Leonard Bernstein gave the world some thoughts about the state of today's rock music:

"Boo, hiss! I've become very disappointed with most of it," he said. "In the Sixties and Seventies there were many wonderful musicians I liked. And to me the Beatles were the best songwriters since Gershwin. Recently, though, I was at a party where there were a lot of kids in their twenties and most of them didn't even know songs like 'Can't Buy Me Love' or any one of 10 other Beatles' masterpieces. What is that? And if I hear one more metallic screech or one more horrible imitation of James Brown, I'm going to scream."

Keeping the Faith

Naomi Judd, the older half of the mother-daughter country music duo the Judds, says her religion helps her live with hepatitis. "I believe that you can reverse illnesses by putting yourself in the Lord's hands," she told People magazine in its current issue. "Miracles do happen and I'm looking for one."

Judd, whose chronic active hepatitis has forced her to retire from live performing, recently attended a "prayer healing" at her church with daughter Wynonna. "We did some rockin' and rollin' ... and I totally surrendered to God," she said. Recent medical tests have shown improvements in her condition.