Undaunted, Chuy Bravo Takes a ‘Splash’ Redux; Grace Robbins Recalls Not-So-Swingin’ Times With Harold

chuy Don’t be surprised to see “Chelsea Lately” foil Chuy Bravo turn up again on ABC’s “Splash” – though the 4’3” funnyman broke his ankle and had to withdraw from the celebrity diving competition at the start.  “They want me back and I’m going in Wednesday to watch the taping and make a couple of skits,” he tells us.

In fact, though he’s still wearing a boot cast and has to refrain from putting weight on his foot for another 10 weeks or so, he says he “might” even consider attempting to compete again, should the show continue and should he be asked.  “They’ve been so nice to me.  Of course there are no hard feelings,” he notes.

But there has been a lot of pain for his ankle that he says was split in two — pain commensurate with “pulling out your teeth without anesthesia.”

“Chelsea Lately’s” schedule continues to keep him busy, of course.  And now Chuy’s planning a summer comedy tour throughout the U.S. as well, with two other Latin comedians.  He says they’ll be all over the country, and do shows in Spanish and English, and Spanglish.  “We’ll go into a town and do radio shows in the morning to promote our shows at night.  By then, I’ll be walking,” he adds.

Where does he find the energy?

“I learned this from Chelsea.  Chelsea is a very strong woman.  She never says no to anything.  I’m trying to learn from her.”

As far as her way of teasing and tweaking Chuy, he says, “I know she loves me.  And I love every single day of working with her.  She’s opened a lot of doors for me.  It’s incredible.  I feel very blessed.”

REMEMBERING:  Along with countless colleagues, we are heartened by the outpouring of admiration for Roger Ebert in the wake of the beloved critic’s passing last week.  An interesting footnote that’s arisen:  before marrying his beloved Chaz, his wife of more than 20 years, Ebert dated none other than Oprah Winfrey a few times.  In a typically smart and down-to-earth response, when reminded of that, Ebert laughed and said, “Yes, it is true.  I persuaded Oprah to become the most successful and famous woman in the world.” In fact, he served as a mentor to the broadcasting titan.

SEXUALLY SPEAKING: Can you imagine Kevin Spacey as sexual revolution-sparking pop novelist Harold Robbins?  Well, Grace Robbins, who was married to the late writer through his heyday, can.  In
fact, the one-time casting director says Spacey reminds her of her late former mate, the man who penned best sellers including The Carpetbaggers, A Stone for Danny Fisher, The Dream Merchants and Sin City.  Grace has just come out with her memoir, Cinderella & the Carpetbagger: My Life as the Wife of the “World’s Best-Selling Author”—which she will be signing at L.A.’s The Grove Thursday (4/11) and then on to signings in Palm Springs, Vegas, New York and other cities.

The book shows a dark side of the days of free love and open marriage – the Robbins’ open marriage, that is.

“People are saying, ‘How could you stand it?’” she admits. “Well, of course, I loved Harold and I wasn’t going to in any way destroy our marriage.  And this is what it took for him to write books.  And I wanted to be a wonderful support.  What had to be done had to be done and we’d see how it turns out.  But I can tell you – I can really tell you – that no open marriage turns out well.  Jealousy will rear its ugly head.  Even though he wanted it to be open in the respect that he would tell me everything and then I would tell him everything, well, something is lost, and it becomes a wound and a wound that doesn’t heal.  It just gets worse.”

She adds, “At the time that was happening, it was happening everywhere because of the time of the sexual revolution.  I have to admit, Harold was a very lucky man because his books came out at just the right time.  There was no AIDS, no problem of any kind.”

So…if ever there were a movie made of her book, who should play Grace?

“I have had one actress in particular in mind and I think she’s a marvelous actress – Jennifer Love Hewitt.”

Ms. Hewitt, are you listening?