Once again, Walters bags the big ones for more hair-raising celebrity gossip


November 09, 1993|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Television Critic

Who else but Barbara Walters could bring us:

L * Julia Roberts calling husband Lyle Lovett's hair "normal."

* Whitney Houston saying women womenized her husband Bobby Brown -- but he himself wasn't a womanizer.

* And Tim Allen talking about menstrual cycles and saying how he'd really like to be a woman.

And all in the same show? If it's a sweeps ratings month, this must be a "Barbara Walters Special" at 10 tonight on WJZ (Channel 13).

Say what you will about her, Walters gets the big ones. And she almost always asks them the questions everybody wants asked.

Walters introduces her interview with Houston tonight by saying, "Earlier this year, it was rumored that she'd overdosed on diet pills. Then there was talk that she'd had a miscarriage while still unmarried on the set of 'The Bodyguard.' And questions still hound her regarding her sexuality."

Houston says there's no truth to the diet-pills story, but, yes, she did have a miscarriage while filming "The Bodyguard."

As for sexuality, Houston says she used to be "very cold," but she's fulfilled in her relationship with singer Bobby Brown.

And that just about covers it, don't you think?

For his part, Tim Allen talks about the 2 1/2 years he spent in prison for selling a pound and a half of cocaine to an undercover cop and the death of his father when Allen was 11 years old.

But Allen's toughest moments during the interview come when Walters asks him if he's "anti-female" with some of his humor.

Roberts is at her worst when she's trying to respond to statements from director Steven Spielberg that she was having problems on the set of "Hook"after her last-minute decision not to marry Keifer Sutherland.

And, then, there's her discussion of Lovett's hair.

"His hair's not as big as everybody makes it out to be," she says.

"And I think that whenever people write about his hair, they always find the picture where his hair's the biggest, you know? I mean, I've seen pictures from years ago, and I said, 'Honey, wow, that's high.' But it's pretty normal."

"Pretty normal, but not absolutely normal?" Walters says.

"Well, what's normal? I mean, you know?" Roberts replies.

Roberts also confirms a quote that appeared in Vanity Fair that said she once had a "crush" on Abraham Lincoln, but denies that it has anything to do with her attraction to Lovett.

Walters does not follow up by asking Roberts whether she thinks Lincoln's hair was "pretty normal."

Outside of that one failing, "The Barbara Walters Special" is an absolutely normal outing for TV's best celebrity interviewer -- which is to say that Walters once again gives good gossip.

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