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People In The News

November 30, 1988 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Actor Alan Alda, who can be seen in commercials promoting IBM computers, just bought a laptop model from the competition, Toshiba.

″That was the machine that I recommended to him for his needs,″ said James Cosby of the Laptop Shop in Manhattan.

According to Cosby, Alda entered the shop on Nov. 10, told Cosby he had two desktop IBM computers, one at his Long Island home and the other in his Beverly Hills place, and needed a compatible, battery-operated laptop model.

″Sell me something,″ Cosby quoted Alda as saying.

″They (IBM) don’t make what he wanted,″ said Alda spokesman Martin Bregman. ″The bottom line is if IBM made it, he would have gotten it for nothing.″

IBM spokesman Bill Amana said Alda was ″free to choose whichever product he wants.″

Alda, who made his name as Hawkeye in the television series MASH, declined to give an autograph to one of the saleswomen, Cosby said.

″He’ll shake your hand, but he doesn’t give autographs and I respect him for that,″ Cosby said.


LONDON (AP) - Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks is giving Michael Dukakis a lesson in how fleeting fame can be.

A wax image of the Democratic presidential candidate will be taken down Dec. 9 after the shortest exhibition in the museum’s 218-year history, officials said Wednesday.

The Dukakis statue went on display next to a statue of President-elect George Bush on Oct. 31, when Madame Tussaud’s felt the election was too close to call.

It was the first time Madame Tussaud’s had displayed both American presidential candidates. In the previous three elections, the museum correctly guessed the winner, said Juliet Simpkins, head of publicity for the museum.

The statue which holds the longevity record at Tussaud’s is one of Madame du Barry, one of the mistresses of Louis XVI. The head was modeled in 1765, Ms. Simpkins said, and was one of the 35 original figures Madame Tussaud inherited from her uncle.


PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - Mayor Sonny Bono says it’s time for the California Angels baseball team to decide if it wants to play ball with city officials.

The Angels, based in Anaheim, have used Palm Springs as their home base for spring training since 1961. But the team, owned by former movie cowboy Gene Autry, is being wooed by cities in Arizona.

″You guys better get your act together and let us know if you are coming here,″ Bono told team officials at a meeting Tuesday.

City officials want the Angels to commit to playing exhibition games in Palm Springs for the next 15 years. In return, officials say they will ask voters to approve a bond issue to either refurbish the current stadium and workout complex or build a new one.

Angels Director of Operations Kevin Uhlich said the team will not decide whether to stay for another two to three weeks, while Autry and his wife, Jackie, review other options.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Robert Parker, the novelist who created the fictional detective of ″Spenser For Hire″ fame, says he always wanted to be legendary mystery writer Raymond Chandler. Now he has the chance.

Parker, whose 16 Spenser novels have brought him his own measure of fame, has been hired to finish Chandler’s book, ″The Poodle Springs Story.″

″I grew up wanting to be Raymond Chandler,″ Parker said, ″and now, in a sense, I am.″

Parker will pick up where Chandler, who created ace detective Philip Marlowe, left off: 12 pages into the story. He will be paid more than $1 million to finish the book, according to Chandler’s estate.

To prepare for his latest job, Parker said during a recent interview that he has been rereading all of Chandler’s novels, some for the 10th or 12th time.

″It’s an adventure for any writer to take on the completion of the master’s work,″ said Parker, who added he doesn’t plan to change the first 12 pages. ″The real trick will be, can I occupy Raymond Chandler’s point of view?″


VENDEUIL, France (AP) - Brigitte Bardot, former screen actress turned animal protector, bought 110 animals Wednesday from a zoo which filed for bankruptcy.

″Here I am with a zoo on my hands,″ Miss Bardot, 54, said after signing a contract allowing her to purchase the animals for $10,000.

Despite driving rain and having to slosh through deep mud, Miss Bardot visited the wolves and monkeys at the zoo 85 miles north of Paris, calling their cages ″degrading places that shouldn’t be allowed to exist.″

Miss Bardot said she would keep the goats at her home in St. Tropez, but would distribute the lions, bears and other animals to other animal parks in France.


LONDON (AP) - Princess Diana will visit New York on Feb. 1-3, Buckingham Palace said Wednesday.

As patron of the Welsh National Opera, the princess will attend their gala performance of ″Falstaff″ at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, said a palace spokeswoman.

The palace also announced Prince Charles and Diana, his wife, will visit Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on March 12-17. Details of their itinerary were not available, the spokeswoman said.


GARY, Ind. (AP) - Former Gary Mayor Richard G. Hatcher has been hired as a political consultant by Black Entertainment Television, officials at the cable network said.

The former mayor will be responsible for ″increasing the awareness of the network among black leaders and advising BET on policy issues that affect the black community,″ said network President Robert L. Johnson.

Hatcher, who was mayor for 20 years until his defeat in last year’s Democratic primary, served as national vice chairman for Jesse Jackson’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In a statement, Hatcher said he was ″impressed with BET’s aggressive effort to become the best cable network in America. Serving a special market as it does, BET makes an important contribution to progress in our nation.″