Smith, Hermion sign on for inaugural gala

GOOD MORNING: Harry Thomason has asked Gary Smith to exec-produce the Bill Clinton inaugural gala at the D.C. Convention Center (close to 11,500 capacity in the round) Jan. 19, on the eve of the inauguration. Smith’s partner, Dwight Hemion, will direct the special, which will air for two hours–mebbe three, and mebbe with multiple host-emcees. Smith produced and staged the Demo national convention this year–also did the second Ronnie Reagan inaugural gala on ABC, which Frank Sinatra exec-produced. Coincidentally, Gary’s at the White House today–with Barbara and George Bush to ready the Nov. 22 taping of “The Literacy Honors”… Last night, Ann and Vernon Jordan hosted the Clintons and Gores at a dinner party at their D.C. home with guests including Sens. Bill Bradley and Lloyd Bentsen, Liz and George Stevens Jr., Jim Lehrer and, from California, Doris and Bob Matsui. Tonight, Pam Harriman parties the Clintons and Gores at a dinner in her Georgetown home … It’s back to her D.C. home for Lynda Carter after she winds the bigscreen “Lightning in a Bottle” here. You recall, her attorney husband Robert Altman and Clark Clifford have a February trial date but Lynda reminds there are motions to dismiss. “Lightning” is her first feature since before “Wonder Woman.” She has, however, starred in several high-rated TV’ers. But she took five years to study in N.Y. “I wanted to come back a better actress. And I’m dead serious about what I’m doing.” So, when I asked her if there’d be a TV reunion via a new “Wonder Woman,” she laughingly answered, “It would have to be as ‘Wonder Woman’s Mother’ “… Red Buttons and Milton Berle kissed and made up their silence of a year. The feud started during a show in which they were trio’d with Henny Youngman. The feud ended Sunday at the wedding of Fred Moch to Nancy Reynolds at the Bel Air Hotel when Berle (84) nudged Buttons (73) and said, “It’s getting late.”

SHORTLY BEFORE THE “Malcolm X” screening started Tuesday p.m. at the Acad,, LAPD Chief Willie Williams finally made phone contact with Spike Lee. Williams assured Lee that the L.A. gendarmes here were not going to “exacerbate any situation. They’d be there if needed, but basically laid-back, with a low profile. You won’t even know we’re there.” The Chief further told Lee that he and his family were looking forward to seeing the movie …”Malcolm” got repeated applause and shouts of approval from the mostly showbiz audience at the Coast preem. Lee and producer Marvin Worth were on hand for congrats, plus Malcolm’s daughter Attilah Shabazz, co-star Kate Vernon, Albert Hall and Peter Boyle. Also there, Magic Johnson, who had winged to and from the N.Y. preem with the group. He’s seen in a montage shot in the movie. Monday, Magic attends another WB preem, “The Bodyguard,” benefiting the Johnson Foundation, which funds pediatric AIDS research, and the Whitney Houston Foundation for children. Also at the Acad “X” screening were the Keenen Ivory Wayanses and their 4 -month-old daughter, plus Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, Edward James Olmos, John Singleton, Alfre Woodard, Robert Townsend, Chaka Khan, Louis Gossett Jr., Jasmine Guy, Ice Cube, Heavy D., Dennis Hopper, Bridget Fonda, Debbie Allen and Connie Sellecca … Along Came Mary coffee-and-desserted the Acad group. But Lee plus Magic, as well as Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff, segued to nearby Kate Mantilini’s. Magic told me he and his wife will soon head to their Hawaii home to rest. Berry Gordy, also there, was pleased with the “Jacksons” mini in which he’s portrayed (excellently) by Billy Dee Williams. And Gordy was certain the groups of youngsters who play the growing-up Jackson Five will see more showbiz action. They are terrif.

DOROTHY KIRSTEN’S DEATH IS DOUBLY TRAGIC as tonight, the Alzheimer’s Assn. holds its first L.A. gala, in which the BevWilshire’s converted into N.Y.’s Sardi’s for a giant fundraiser. Kirsten (Mrs. John Douglas French) had devoted the last 10 years of her life to create the French Foundation for Alzheimer’s Research–her husband was stricken by the disease. Among the showbiz community who succumbed to Alzheimer’s were Otto Preminger, Abe Burrows, Rita Hayworth, Rudolf Bing, Molly Picon, etc. Vincent Sardi (77), who hasn’t been in L.A. in more than 20 years, winged here for the BevWilshire Alzheimer’s event and brought 112 of the famous Sardi showbiz caricatures with him. While here, Sardi said he’ll visit with director-son David and wife Susan and their daughter, Allison, Vincent’s first granddaughter … Producer Dodi Fayed’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of Harrods in London, will spend T150 million to build the Harrods House Hotel in Trevor Square. It will be glamorously styled a la Hotel Ritz in Paris–which Al Fayed also owns … The Rodeo Drive Merchants’ Assn.’s newly formed Employees Group has created “Rodeo Drive Cares” for a Monday food drive when employees of the glitzy shops will bring non-perishable food items for the needy and homeless to the vacant store at 412 N. Rodeo Drive … Marlee Matlin plants her prints in Planet Hollywood’sSouth Coast Plaza wall today.

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