Poignant end to Hepburn’s final telepic

GOOD MORNING: It was the last scene ever for Katharine Hepburn yesterday afternoon on the Vancouver location of CBS’ “The Man Upstairs.” The moment was very emotional for everyone–producer Renee Valente, co-producer/writer James Prideaux, director George Schaefer–the entire crew, co-star Ryan O’Neal and–Kate. Champagne was poured to toast the 85-years-young Hepburn, who amazed everyone throughout the production. She used no doubles–even in a scene when she hauled escaped convict O’Neal atop a ledge. They got along wonderfully. “I think she saw a vestige of Spence in him,” said Prideaux, who’s done three telepix with Hepburn. She hadn’t driven a car in 10 years following her auto accident, but drove when the scene required it. She ran up and down stairs, did off-camera lines for everyone, never complained about the hours. “She is the ultimate actress,” Valente said. Hepburn told her this is her last show. It airs Dec. 6. The final long shot, in the snow, pans in on Hepburn as she farewells Ryan with “Merry Christmas, dear.” Fadeou. … Down the coast in Portland, Ore., on the CBS murder-thriller location of “Perfect Family,” Joanna Cassidy is playing the incestuous sister to Bruce Boxleitner. Before starting this one, Cassidy narrated PBS’ docu on sexual harassment, “Sex, Power and the Workplace.””I was thrilled to be asked to do it. I can relate to it.” Cassidy told me she’d been “pressured” often to get a job in her early days. “Now I’m hired for my talent.” Subjects appearing on the docu use their real names. “The Anita Hill situation provoked women to come out of hiding,” said Cassidy, who believes, “Girls going into this business today are still putting up with it. They’re fearful–they know there are enough women out there to take their place.”

SOUNDS LIKE THE STORY of my life,” laughs Jay Robinson, who’ll host “Beyond Bizarre,” the Discovery Channel’s 26-seg fall series for Bill Burrud Prods. Robinson also co-stars in Dan Aykroyd’s “C.C.P.D.” series for Fox in which Jay’s an “eccentric.” He says his gay character was “toned down.” … Ben Vereen, undergoing therapy at his home in New Jersey and starting to walk on his own, says, “The best therapy possible came with news of my Emmy nomination.” … Brian Dennehy, nominated twice this year, heads to Ireland next month to star at the Abbey Theater in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh,” a dream come true for Dennehy–who has many relatives over there. … Jason Alexander, Emmy-nominated for his portrayal of the neurotic George, who can never get a date on “Seinfeld,” welcomed son Gabriel with wife, thesp Daena Title. … In next season’s “Seinfeld,” Jerry is up for a series (within the series) at NBC and Bob Balaban plays a Warren Littlefield-like character. … Emmy-nominated writer (“Doin’ Time on Maple Drive”) James Duff inked an exclusive deal with Lorimar TV for series and telepix. Jeff Melnick of Harry Gold negotiated. … CBS is readying the six-part Alex Haley “Queen” mini from David and Mark Wolper for February and Morrow will have the book out in even more epic form next year as well. Haley left several unpublished books, including “Henning” about his hometown, says Lou Blau, Alex’s longtime friend and lawyer. … Lesley Ann Warren wins the lead in ABC’s “Willing to Kill: The Texas Cheerleader Story.” … Charlie Sheen cameos in “National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon I” in which brother Emilio Estevez stars with other cameos by Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Lewis, Erik Estrada, Richard Moll, Beverly Johnson.

BENNY CARTER CELEBRATES his 85th birthday tomorrow–and wings out Saturday to Marsiac, France, for an all-star sextet concert. MusicMasters is releasing his latest album, “Harlem Renaissance.” … Ruda Dauphin plans a special tribute to Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn at the Deauville fest where the talent list includes: Steve Martin, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta, Matthew Modine, Mary Stuart Masterson, Albert Finney and Bruce Beresford. … Fred Schepisi, dining at Morton’s with MGM’s Alan Ladd Jr. and Jay Kanter plus Arnon Milchan and Stephen Reuther, talking next year’s “Six Degrees of Separation”–and possibly another, “Clean Slate.” … While dining at Kate Mantilini, artist Peter Max did a sketch on his napkin for owners Marilyn and Harry Lewis–who promptly framed it. … The unkindest cut of all: Plans for a Ross Perot celeb sandwich at BevHills’ Carnegie Deli have been dropped. It could still have been “two pieces of sourdough–with nothing in between” After his come-from-behind win Tuesday at the tennis matches at UCLA, Jimmy Connors dined with fan Dustin Hoffman at Toscana. … John Robert Powers, director of the Telethon for United Cerebral Palsy Associates, died of Hodgkin’s disease Aug. 4. A memorial’s planned Aug. 18 at the U.N. chapel in N.Y. Chevy Chase joins Roger Moore and Merv Griffin as hosts for the Oct. 2 BevHilton Carousel of Hope benefiting Children’s Diabetes Foundation. … Sam Bottoms is playing James A. Baker, grandfather of Secretary of State James Baker III, in “The Trust.” In order to avoid hours of makeup for his “older” scenes, Bottoms recruited his father, sculptor James Bud Bottoms, to step in for those scenes. … And for tonight’s opener of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Sports Arena, Joyce Bulifant has rounded up a hefty list of celebs to benefit the National Dyslexia Research Foundation, including former dyslexic Stephen Cannell as honorary ringmaster.

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