Sylvester Stallone had trouble finding that perfect...

NAMES AND FACES hPB

December 30, 1991

Sylvester Stallone had trouble finding that perfect gift

Sometime after you've sent the 85,000th potted cactus plant and 42,000th knitted shawl, ideas for a holiday gift for dear old mama just poop out. Such was Sylvester Stallone's state of mind over the Christmas shopping season -- and the reason for his desperate act. Up to the front walk of the matriarchal abode of Jacqueline Stallone a dump truck did arrive and unceremoniously deposit a full load of genuine Washington, D.C., cobblestones. Son Sly sent along a suggestion for their use: something about redoing the kitchen floor. His mother's reaction: "I don't need a new kitchen floor. If Sly doesn't know what to get me, he can solve his problem very easily with a check." As for LaToya Jackson, husband/manager Jack Gordon (the selfsame Jack Gordon who wedded LaToya to save them both from a Jackson clan assassination/kidnapping plot, according to LaToya) got her a see-through silver-studded bra. What, another one? "LaToya walks around the house in things like that," says a source.

Royal ski trip cut short

King Juan Carlos cut short his annual skiing holiday yesterday after twisting his knee on the slopes of Pyrenaean resort, Baqueira, Spain.

An out-of-control skier barreled into Juan Carlos Saturday afternoon, knocking him down and causing what appeared to be a minor injury to his right knee, a royal spokesman told the Spanish news agency EFE.

The spokesman said the king was resting in his vacation home near the northeastern Spanish resort but planned to return to Madrid for X-rays.

Queen Sofia and youngest daughter Cristina spent the morning on the slopes. The royals had originally planned to stay at Baqueira through next weekend.

It was the second time Juan Carlos suffered a skiing injury of note. In 1983, he fractured his hipbone while skiing in the Swiss Alps.

Telethon deemed success

Singer Lou Rawls' 12th annual telethon to benefit black colleges collected $10 million in pledges in a star-studded gala in Hollywood and New York City.

"With the economy being what it is, I think we're doing tremendous," Mr. Rawls, 49, said after Saturday's event.

Last year the telethon netted about $11 million for the United Negro College Fund and has collected $100 million since it started.

This year's show was at the Aquarius Theatre in Hollywood and the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Co-hosts with Mr. Rawls were Nancy Wilson, Ed McMahon and Marilyn McCoo. Singer Clint Holmes and actress Jackee were co-hosts in New York.

Participants included Bill Cosby, Bob Hope, Melba Moore, John Forsythe, Reba McEntire and Roseanne and Tom Arnold.

A new Miss World

Ninibeth Beatriz Leal Jimenez, a 20-year-old industrial engineering student from Venezuela, will spend 1992 traveling internationally to raise funds for charity as the new Miss World.

Miss Venezuela beat out 78 other contestants from around the world to claim the title at the pageant held in Atlanta.

"I thought I would be among the finalists, but winning is like a dream come true," Miss Jimenez said. "I feel very privileged to be Miss World, and I wish everyone around the world peace and goodwill."

First runner-up was Miss Australia, Leanne Buckle, 21, and second runner-up was Miss South Africa, Diana Tilden-Davis, 22.

Miss Jimenez will receive a salary of about $100,000 for her year's reign, pageant officials said.

She succeeds Gina Marie Tolleson of Spartanburg, S.C., who spent the past year traveling 300,000 miles worldwide to raise more than $6 million for children's charities, according to pageant organizers.

An unusual Award

Among acclaims in Entertainment Weekly's year-end issue is an award for Best Exorcise Video presented to ABC's "20/20" for its April 5 report on a tormented Palm Beach County teen-ager, purported to be possessed by the devil. Twenty-nine million viewers tuned in -- one of the largest audiences in the show's history. Subsequent coverage of the event ranged from "Nightline" to David Letterman's "Top 10 Ways to Tell You're Possessed" (No. 1: When the "Father Dowling" show comes on, your neyes start to sting).

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: DECEMBER 30

In 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, five years after the Bolsheviks overthrew a provisional government that had replaced Czar Nicholas II.

In 1853, the United States bought about 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in a deal that became known as the Gadsden Purchase.

In 1865, author Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India.

In 1894, suffragist Amelia Jenks Bloomer died. She had gained notoriety for wearing in public a short skirt and baggy trousers that became known as "bloomers."

In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago.

In 1911, Sun Yat-sen was elected the first president of the Republic of China after the fall of the Chinese dynasties.

In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first "sit-down" strike, at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Mich.

In 1944, King George II of Greece proclaimed a regency to rule his country, virtually renouncing the throne.

BIRTHDAYS: Actress Jeanette Nolan is 80. Tv personality Bert Parks is 77. Actress Jo Van Fleet is 72. Singer-musician Bo Diddley is 63. Actor Jack Lord is 61. Actor John Hillerman is 59. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax is 56. Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 49. Actress-singer Tracey Ullman is 32. Runner Ben Johnson is 30.

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