People, Nov. 28, 1977

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When told that she was one of the roots of abstract art, Georgia O'Keeffe laughed: "Well, I must be one of the old roots." O'Keeffe turned 90 last week and has not slowed down. "It seems as if we have an awful lot to do, too much to do," she fretted. But to celebrate her new nonagenarian status, O'Keeffe took a minivacation from her home and studio in Abiquiu, N. Mex., and ventured east. After posing in front of one of her paintings in Washington's National Gallery, she spent her birthday strolling in the woods on a friend's New Jersey farm. Happy to return to New Mexico, she stepped off the plane and pronounced: "The stars are so much brighter here."

Professor Higgins has tossed out his tweed hat for a headdress. The star of My Fair Lady is a very different kind of gent in his latest film, Shalimar. This time Rex Harrison plays a chap called Sir John, "the world's greatest jewel thief," who lives on an island in the Indian Ocean with his own private army. "The character I play is different from the usual," says Rex. "Sir John is slightly tougher and demented and more sadistic." He is also crafty. To scare off a band of would-be murderers, he dons his mad hat and plays a witch doctor.

"I hope to get things moving," announced Françoise Giroud when she was appointed France's State Secretary for la Condition Féminine in 1974. Alas, Giroud, who is a co-founder of the French magazines Elle and L'Express, eventually decided that journalists have more clout in France than politicians. So, after leaving the government last March, she returned to the typewriter and banged out The Comedy of Power—a scathing attack on French politicians. As for her former boss, President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Giroud says, if "an atom bomb fell on France, he would be there to congratulate himself that there had not been two." Giroud's political career, she readily agrees, is now fini.

Hunting down photographers for a new ad campaign, Designer Bill Blass figured, why not the best? So he persuaded Sir Cecil Beaton, 73, to end his three-year retirement. Last week Britain's grand old man of photography dusted off his cameras to shoot two models decked out in creations Blass calls "very romantic, à la Moulin Rouge." Highly positive about his negatives, Beaton says: "I shall continue to do a lot more. This was just the beginning." What made him agree to the project? "They were two very pretty dresses and two very pretty girls."

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