Olmos mourns murdered ‘saint’

GOOD MORNING: “Gangs should realize they killed a saint,” Edward James Olmos’ associates told me after they learned “American Me” coordinator and cast member Ana Lizarraga had been murdered yesterday ayem. Olmos, when notified in Cannes, was “devastated.” He wanted to fly back to L.A. this morning, he said. But his mentors advised him not to return until “we find out what’s behind the murder.” Olmos said he wanted to be with Lizarraga’s family. “American Me” screens tomorrow night at the fest and he had planned to remain in Europe until the 20th Lizarraga had been one of the very instrumental people on the film. “She had negotiated to bring a truce between the two gangs–Hazard and M.C.–so we could shoot the movie,” an assistant of Olmos’ told us. “We were very close to Ana. She was wonderful with the kids and brought all of them together.” She played the mother of Eddie’s girlfriend in the movie as well She had been involved for years with Olmos and projects in the Community Youth Group Services dating back to their “Season of Peace” in ’86 when Olmos winged up from “Miami Vice” to appear for ’em. “She had been an important community leader and a voice of reason and compassion in the Latino community,” Olmos said. “Her death under these tragic circumstances saddens us all and underscores the need and importance for all concerned citizens to rededicate their efforts to constructively solve the problems which promote violence in our community.” … Olmos’ agent Jim Cota of the Artists Agency who also knew Ana, and had seen her work on the movie, noted, “She provided all the kids for the movie and made a wonderful mix of them. And–she was very careful.” But as Maxine Waters points out, that part of the city is a “breeding ground for hopelessness.” The “Rescue 911” staff’s contribution ($) to the riot-torn citizens was matched by exec producer Arnold Shapiro and host William Shatner. When their truckload of food arrived at the distrib center–it had just run out of food. They urge other shows to ditto. … Hector Elizondo receives Nosotros’ Golden Eagle award June 5. He’s in N.Y. for the bow of Arthur Miller’s “The Price” on Wednesday (20), same night his American Playhouse, “Mrs. Cage” with Anne Bancroft, airs on PBS.

JULIE ANDREWS WINGED FROM SENEGAL and appearances for UNIFEM to join Blake Edwards in Cannes where today Edwards (felled by the flu last night) is due to intro Robert Benigni, the star of his “Son of the Pink Panther.” Julie arrived at the Cannes glamour spot after driving 180 miles in bumpy roads to a tiny Senegal village, called Loboudou, where she and UNIFEM Canadian director Sharon Capeling-Alakija presented women’s groups in the village with a grinding machine. It means they no longer have to pound their staple food, millet, by hand. Some difference from what others are doing at Cannes Sean Connery is OK and expected here June 8 to start rehearsals of “The Rising Sun” at 20th with Wesley Snipes. The Cinematheque tribute to Connery is now being reskedded Danish director Henning Carlsen, honored with a retro by Cinematheque this week, is here working with Buck Henry on the pic version of Kurt Vonnegut novel “Jailbird” for exec producer Milos Forman, with producers Michael Hausman and Just Betzer. … The Writers Guild tributes Richard Brooks on the 20th at the refurbished WGA-West theater with Ron Sheltohn, Del Reisman, Fay Kanin, Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Richard Schickel delivering bon mots about Brooks. Cameras from “A Day in the Life of Hollywood” will cover the whiskey toasts to Brooks which follow Ben Fromer’s many pals were saddened to learn of his death last Sat. As a comedian-actor-press agent, Ben livened everything on which he worked .

IT WAS A CLOSE CALL YESTERDAY MORNING for Film-Roman animators on “The Simpsons,””Garfield and Friends” and “Bobby’s World” cartoon shows when a truck plowed into their building–shortly before they reported for work. … Now it can be told: Anne Jeffreys had taken a nasty spill, slashed her chin, bruised her everything on the eve of the SHARE show in which she magnificently sang “Getting to Know You”–surrounded by youngsters from ERAS, one of SHARE’s charities. On that same show, Carol Channing also sparkled the evening with her “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” Johnny Mathis joined Quincy Jones’ soul version of Handel’s “Messiah” and will sing “Begin the Beguine” when Tony Martin’s toasted by the Society Of Singers Oct.23 at the BevHilton. … Kelly Hommon, who produced a video tribute to Quincy Jones at the People for the American Way’s Spirit of Liberty Awards, directs “Act Up L.A. ’92” June 20 for Women’s AIDS Education. … Phyllis Diller addresses the graduating class at the U. of Nevada today. … Agent Peter Nicholas Meyer and choreographer Maria Sistare marry tomorrow at St. Monica’s Catholic Church. … Tommy Lasorda and wife Jo host a reception launching the “Baseball N Blues” exhib at Bill Goldberg’s Verve Contemporary Arts Gallery May 21. The Lasordas’ daughter Laura will wed Goldberg–after the World Series. If the Dodgers aren’t in it, “We’ll be the fall classic,” says Goldberg.

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