It's the age-old holiday question: What do you give the people who already have everything? This year, it may comfort you to know, those people are wondering the same thing. "I lose my mind trying to find gifts for the names on my list," confides Nolan Miller, the Hollywood costume designer. "What do you give Elizabeth Taylor or Barbara Stanwyck?"
One way to find out is to ask. It turns out even tycoons and superstars have holiday wish lists. It might start with intangibles--world peace, medical cures, food and good homes for everyone. And there always seems to be a section on fantasies--Christmas snow, a palazzo in Venice, all the free time in the world.
But sooner or later, just about everybody can get down to the real loot. Trips, clothes, cars, furniture, a week in a sports camp, a week in a deli. There's no dividing line. The young, the old, the chic and the campy can all come up with something .
Here's what a few of the beautiful but difficult-to-shop-for people said they want this year:
Bill Blass, fashion designer: "I'd love to have a bronze by Frederic Remington, though I don't know who'd ever give it to me."
Tommy Lasorda, Dodger manager: "I want one of those portable phones that you carry in a case. I've got a car; I've got clothes; I've got a wristwatch. What the heck else could I wish for?"
Irving (Swifty) Lazar, Hollywood literary agent: "A Lear jet. Nothing bigger; nothing smaller."
Jackie Collins, best-selling author: "I'd like the new Jaguar, in gold. I drive a new Cadillac Seville now, but it's a little sedate. And I'd like the onyx-and-diamond necklace from Tallarico in Beverly Hills that I just wore for a Vanity Fair (magazine) cover. Oh, and a dozen felt-tip pens in black. I write all my books in longhand, and I only use black."
Joan Collins, actress: I wish I could have free travel all over the world, forever. Either that or my own plane."
Oprah Winfrey, TV personality: "I want books. Leather-bound classics."
Judith Krantz, best-selling author: "I'd like to spend a week in a wonderful delicatessen, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With unlimited amounts of everything and special emphasis on pastrami with tons of mustard, smoked Nova Scotia salmon and tongue on rye bread with Russian dressing and coleslaw."
Jay Leno, comedian: "I want a burger that has not been left under the heat lamps."
Wolfgang Puck, owner-chef of Spago: "Skis, the newest and best thing from Head."
Norman Cousins, UCLA School of Medicine adjunct professor and author of the best-selling "Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing and Regeneration": "Enough time to read the books stacked up on my desk, about the arms race and world peace. And enough time to play at least two rounds of golf and three sets of tennis."
Andrew Stevens, actor and Laker fan: "I'd like my own personal basketball clinic with Magic Johnson at the Forum. And, to wear to the clinic, a new pair of Size 9 Nike Evolution high-top basketball shoes."
Dyan Cannon, actress and front-row Laker ticket holder: "Five lessons with Magic (Johnson)."
Robert Mondavi, vintner: "I'd like to have a comprehensive family photo album. And now that I have a new tennis court, I'd like a squeegee (for sweeping rain off the court) or a tennis ball machine."
Aida Grey, skin-care expert: "I'll tell you what I'm getting. A James Galanos coatdress, from my husband. I know, because I had to go for fittings. It's black-and-gray striped, ultra, ultra chic and very tailored. The other thing I want is to go out for breakfast on Christmas morning with my husband."
Nolan Miller, costume designer for Spelling/Goldberg Productions, including "Dynasty": "The last time I said my fantasy, Aaron Spelling showed up with it. A black Silver Cloud Rolls Royce. This year what would really be nice is a palazzo in Venice. But a trip to Europe is the closest I'll get. My wife's offered (me) two tickets on the Concord."
Amen Wardy, owner of the Newport Beach couture designer boutique: "I want Helen the pig, a life-size bronze sculpture by Andre Harvey, to put in my yard at home. I collect cows and pigs."
Ozzie Smith, shortstop, St. Louis Cardinals: "I'd like another one-of-a-kind fur coat. I already have a full-length mink. And a pair of alligator shoes, a nice white shirt--you can never have too many. And anything in menswear by Emmanuel Ungaro."
Jill St. John, actress: "More snow for Colorado, where I live. And a dark-brown-and-white pinto pony. I always had a thing for pintos."
Danny Sullivan, race-car driver: "Let's get down to reality. I just bought a house in Aspen (Colo.), so some furnishings would be good. The style is kind of Southwest, old wood and logs. But a plane would be the ultimate. I'd like a Gulf Stream III."