Disney does its civic duty

GOOD MORNING: Showbiz is again at the front supporting solutions to civic ills. Last night, at Pastor Cecil “Chip” Murray’s AME Church, Disney unveiled its plan to provide 200 jobs at Disneyland for youngsters in that South Central area. Disneyland will also provide transportation if necessary. The program starts June 21 and continues through the summer. Further, Disney hopes to keep hiring those youngsters and to eventually bring them into the company, I was told. … It’s nothing new, by the way, for Disney, which has had a development program through the Compton schools for two years. … And tonight at WB, Jane and Terry Semel host the Education First! board meeting where new chairman August Coppola will be intro’d. August’s brother Francis Coppola tells me he’s readying to show his “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” to Columbia in two weeks and says, “I don’t have any doubt that it will be reacted to viscerally. It’s very passionate–and satanic.” Bloody? “What do you expect from ‘Dracula?'” He’s pleased with the campaign by the studio, bowing next week, which will leave no doubt about the film’s content. “It’s pretty strong stuff,” he laughed. “It’s not for anyone who’s squeamish. But when have I made a film that some people aren’t going to hate? That’s good–it means it’s a movie that stimulates.” Francis is already busy with the fall start of his live “Playhouse 90” and he’ll direct the first two-hour show. Spike Lee has also written one, which he’ll direct, and Jules Pfeiffer is writing one. “The writer will have all the controls in this TV series as dramatists do. Live television today can do anything–more than you could do in the ’50 s.” Coppola, knowledgeable in the latest camera technicalities, may do his show in four places–live. He sounded very excited about the prospects.

DESPITE ALL THE legal problems, Woody Harrelson was at work in front of Par’s cameras for “Indecent Proposal” Monday night in Las Vegas with a pre-production crew. … At tomorrow’s AFI commencement exercises, Fay Kanin and Dick Sylbert receive honorary degrees of fine arts. Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning writer Kanin, chair of the National Film Preservation Board, was pleased to learn the board was re-authorized for four more years and she anticipates President Bush’s signature. Kanin’s VP of development of Martin Starger’s banner–and keeps turning down writing offers. “Writing is the hardest work,” she smiles. Oscar-winning art director Sylbert is now working on Anne Rice’s “The Witching Hour” at WB with Dick Donner for which Michele Pfeiffer’s talked. Ironically, Sylbert owned Rice’s “Interview With a Vampire” 17 years ago. It’s now owned by David Geffen. “But with three vampire movies coming out,” surmises Sylbert, “it’ll probably be another five years before (‘Interview With a Vampire’) comes out.” … David Wolper’s Bel Air estate bordering the golf course is up for sale via realtor Mike Silverman for $6.9 million. Wolper, you recall, owns his own golf course up at Napa. … When ICM moves out of its rental Beverly Boulevard building in two years, co-owner (with Stan Herman) Pierre Cossette said he’ll change the lettering from “ICM” to “CMI”–for Cossette Management Inc. When he and Michael King bought their boat, he said Michael could put his name first on the boat–so it reads: “King Cossette!” … Elizabeth Taylor and Evander Holyfield are Arsenio Hall’s sparring partners tomorrow night. … Hearing-impaired comedienne Kathy Buckley guests with Jay Leno June 17–after a personal call from Leno requesting the booking on the closed-captioned show–which she’ll be able to see and hear.

JEFF BRIDGES, FILMING 20th’s “The Vanishing” in Seattle, surprised fest filmgoers with the showing of his independently financed “American Heart,” which he, Neil Koenigsberg and Rosilyn Heller produced. Bridges was pleased with the reaction to his pic (co-starring Eddie Furlong as his son), which now goes out to domestic distribs. ICM’s Jeff Berg is handling (as he did “The Player” and “Bob Roberts”). In August, Bridges starts “Joyride” for Peter Weir. And, Jeff and brother Beau are plotting “Hidden in America” for TNT. … Although producer Angelo Rizzoli pulled “Stolen Children” from Saturday’s American Cinematheque Italian cinema seminar, the pic’s director, Gianni Amelio, will be part of the group moderated by Paul Bartel. … Over 400 showed at the Four Seasons to greet RAI- 2’s president Giampaolo Sodano. … BAFTA is permitting the public to attend its screening tomorrow night of Hitchcock’s 1929 silent “Blackmail” at the Pacific Design Center. … Michael Jeter, making his Carnegie Hall bow tonight in the Stephen Sondheim tribute, worked as a legal secretary three blocks away–three years ago. … John Hughes, Keith Barish and Robert Earl broke ground on the Chi Planet Hollywood yesterday. … William Morris senior VP Arthur Axelman celebrates his 20th anni with the agency today. On the 12th, he and wife Andrea celebrate their 15th wedding anni. … Friends of Jewish Big Brothers, prepping their Summer Bash ’92 June 13 at Universal Studios to support Camp Max Strauss, is desperately seeking celebs in all fields to host game booths, or to donate personal items for the silent auction. Call Sarah Blumenfeld at (310) 276-2251. … Susan Lucci finally has a good chance at the Daytime Emmy–was the word we heard following the Blue Ribbon Panel’s meet.

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