Harold Robbins' latest, 'Piranhas,' due this spring

LIZ SMITH

January 28, 1991|By LIZ SMITH | LIZ SMITH,Tribune Media Services

HAROLD ROBBINS, the man who gave us "Never Love Stranger," "A Stone For Danny Fisher," "The Betsy," "The Adventurers," "Where Love Has Gone" and, of course, "The Carpetbaggers," celebrates his 30th anniversary with Simon & Schuster this year. To mark that best-selling milestone, Robbins' latest book, the long-awaited "The Piranhas," will be released this spring. It will be his first since 1985's "The Storyteller."

"The Piranhas" is an action saga of governments in the grip of underworld organizations. Robbins completed this book during

his painful period of recovery from several hip operations. So many of his novels have become campy, high-gloss movies (Carroll Baker to George Peppard in "The Carpetbaggers": "Beat me, abuse me, use me -- then throw me out!"), maybe "The Piranhas" will, too; one can only hope. The 75-year-old author now resides in Palm Springs, Calif.

LAST YEAR, when "Ghost" was released to many wonderful reviews and blockbuster business, Whoopi Goldberg rather downplayed her own rave notices and her performance. It seemed as if she didn't think what she'd done was worthy of such attention. But I guess she's been convinced otherwise. Whoopi appeared to be genuinely thrilled and proud to accept her Golden Globe for "Ghost" last week. (The star also surprised Hollywood by appearing in a short-skirted outfit -- displaying a pair of shapely, rarely seen, legs.) Whoopi is bound to be nominated for an Oscar for "Ghost," and her powerful, dramatic new performance with Sissy Spacek in "The Long Walk Home," has capped a year of triumph for the actress.

But don't think Whoopi has "gone Hollywood" on us. She remains singularly herself -- unconventional, outspoken and concerned. She is the public personality who is involved with more charities and causes than any other. Seventy-five, count 'em, 75 organizations benefit from Whoopi's time, energy, love and money!

WE ANNOUNCED the wedding. We announced the joyful pregnancy. Now it is our sad duty to announce that those prolific writers Suzanne O'Malley and Dan Greenberg have agreed to disagree -- legally -- but amicably, they insist.

But this separation will not be the end of their partnership. The duo are contracted to appear together in September in the off-Broadway show "How To Avoid Love and Marriage," written by Greenberg from his novel of the same title. Talk about irony!

TODD BRIDGES, the young "Diff'rent Strokes" star who has had troubles in recent years, is clean and sober and will guest-star in an upcoming episode of Al Burton's new syndicated series, "The New Lassie."

RUMORS HAVE been flying about the financial stability of the movie studio Cinecom. But insiders there aren't worried -- they feel sure the upcoming "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern" with Richard Dreyfuss and Gary Oldman will be a big, big hit. Big enough to stop the rumors.

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