GOOD MORNING: Debbie Reynolds (60) became a mother and a grandmother in the past week. As for the grandmother role in real life, Debbie’s (and Eddie Fisher’s) daughter Carrie Fisher and CAAgent Bryan Lourd welcomed daughter Billie Catherine L. on July 18. As for the maternal role, Debbie will be Tommy Lee Jones’ mother in Oliver Stone’s Vietnam vet drama “Heaven and Earth” for WB-New Regency. “It’s a small part, but it’s dramatic–what I’ve been wanting to do.” She works in November–which works out fine for Reynolds, who has taken time off–“for the first time since my life changed in 1970” to be here during the arrival of her first grandchild. During this self-imposed hiatus from the road, Reynolds also toils on the Thalians’ Oct. 31 ball honoring Angela Lansbury–featuring performers reprising Lansbury’s stage, screen and TV roles. … Francis Ford Coppola is at the International AIDS confab in Amsterdam–doing research for his upcoming Col movie, “Cure.” Also there is the movie’s screenwriter Diane Johnson. … Among the first from Hollywood to tell us he’ll be on hand supporting George Bush at the GOP convention in Houston next month is Gerald McRaney, star of “Major Dad,” on the longhorn yesterday from D.C. where he hosted the “Take Pride in America Awards” (with presenter Linda Evans who is now off to Greece with b.f. Yanni). McRaney also lunched at/toured the White House. He will interrupt taping on the fourth season of “Major Dad” to attend the convention. This season he’ll direct some segs and–he’ll finally be promoted from “Major” to “Lieutenant Colonel.” But it won’t change the title of the show “as the kids will still call me ‘Major,’ ” Mac assures. Asked about subjects that will be featured in the new season, he says cutbacks in the Marine Corps will be one of ’em. “It’s the hardest hit of all the service branches–and makes for hardships in their families.”
HAVING SPENT SUNDAY at the Universal Studios Hollywood tour, it was only fair to head to Disneyland Monday–where we closed the park at 1 ayem after viewing the fantastic “Fantasmic!” attraction on the recommendation of Michael Eisner. We weren’t alone in applauding this latest addition to the park. There were close to 50,000 (!) at Disneyland on Monday. And it was obvious the number was attracted to “Fantasmic!” in this short time by word of mouth. It almost defies description, combining all the genius of Disney animators, projection of 70mm film from Tom Sawyer Island on screens of water 30 feet wide and 50 feet high, plus jets of fire. Three hundred live cast members are involved in the presentation of live Disney characters on illuminated floats, plus Peter Pan and Captain Hook fencing on a giant four-master sailing by, as well as a laser show, music, spectacular fireworks and more. Celebs who have been out to marvel include Robin Williams and family, who also preceded us at the Euro Disney park. … I’ve chronicled Disneyland artisans since they were laying tracks for hippopotami in the Jungle River Boat ride 38 years ago, before the park opened, and can honestly say Walt would be proudest of “Fantasmic!” Because that’s what it is.
GRACE KELLY WILL GRACE both a U.S. and Monaco postage stamp next year. We get the news from Karl Malden who is back from the Citizen’s Stamp Committee meet in D.C. (He’s the arts rep in the group of 15.) Malden has been a member three years–as long as he’s been president of the Acad. He’s positively leaving that Acad post with his final Aug. 4 board meeting. (Bob Rehme and Alan Bergman are names offered as Malden’s possible successor.) “I’m ready to go back to work as an actor,” Malden says. He’ll still be a board member and one of his final chores as president will be at next week’s Las Vegas VSDA convention, where he’ll push “Oscar’s Greatest Moments.” … Montreux Jazz Fest co-producer Quincy Jones dedicated the closing show to Steve Ross. … Johnny Mandel spends all of August and September producing-arranging Manhattan Transfer’s Christmas album (Columbia) for the October stalls. He also produced and arranged Michael Bolton’s new version of “White Christmas” for Bolton’s holiday album. Mandel will have the “Glengarry Glen Ross” album out in the fal. … “Toots” Thielemans is here from Brussels for his July 29 “Toots” concert at the Bowl with Antonio Carlos. … Jobim L’Orangerie diners (including the Rob Lowes) were pleasantly surprised to see Marlon Brando hosting a table of Japanese visitors. … As noted, Demi Moore shot her latest provocative Vanity Fair cover in a private room at the Hollywood Athletic Club. And, last week, Frederick’s of Hollywood shot its Christmas catalog in the Athletic Club. … Joe Sargent, whose “Miss Rose White” garnered nine Emmy nominations, is en route to Maine to prep his next Hallmark telepic, “Sarah, Plain and Tall, Part II” with Glenn Close and Chris Walken. … James Grant, editor of SCENE at the Movies, will also film-review starting with the next issue, the mag’s second anni. … Eleanor Vallee is writing her biog, “My Rudy Valentine.” Richard de Grandcourt is agenting. Eleanor tells me she’s also plotting a musical based on her late husband’s life. … Art Linkletter was 80th-birthday-partied at the National Medical Enterprises H.Q. in Santa Monica.