Well, They Both Wear Gloves

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The 1991 award for Fun Couple at the Oscars had to go to Madonna and Michael Jackson. Television viewers were still wiping the steam off their television screens from Madonna’s bodytalk rendition of “Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)” when a camera panning the Shrine Auditorium audience zeroed in on the two singers sitting together in the front row.

There had been a Madonna/Michael Jackson sighting a week earlier during the busy lunch hour at the Ivy restaurant, a popular industry hangout in West Hollywood. Then, after the Academy Awards, the Talks of the Town showed up at Swifty Lazar’s apres Oscar party at Spago, where Daily Variety columnist Army Archerd asked Madonna how she got Michael out for the evening. “Michael’s coming out more,” she said.

Since being seen together at these venues is often the point of going, Hollywood insiders are naturally wondering what it all means. A Madonna/Michael Jackson album? A movie? So far, no rumors of a romance.

According to a source who knows both pop superstars well, Madonna and Jackson hit it off at a party last month and have been hanging out a lot--and talking business a little--ever since. But any talk of a merger has been confined to recording a duet or two, and though Sony’s Columbia might like to have Madonna as a bonus to the mega-deal it just signed with Jackson, the source says there is no movie in the offing.