GOOD MORNING: While the world awaits Marlon Brando’s biog (overdue), George Englund, who made Brando’s book deal at Random House, is writing “Marlon & I — Called Each Other Friend” for Warner Books. Englund has maintained a “code of honor”– never talked about Brando to anyone — but now figures his book is an interesting story. They’ve had a unique relationship for 36 years as friend-producer and confidant. This is not a bio but a story of their friendship. Englund has long shielded Brando, but now, with Marlon writing his own book, Englund figures Brando’s taken off the strictures. What does Brando think of it? Englund has tried to reach him to give him the news but Brando has become even more sequestered than ever … Last month, Marlon asked his attorney Belinda Frixou to come over from England for meetings here … Englund, who produced “The Ugly American” starring Brando, also has directed and written films/TV but admits, “I’ve never written a book before — but neither has Marlon. It’s a first together.” Englund has not read any of the pages in the book Brando’s already turned in to Random House. When asked whether his (Englund’s) book deal was as good as Brando’s, Englund laughed, “Hardly! — I’m a better agent for him than for myself”… Lee Iacocca is entering the world of showbiz. Look for him to team with Pierre Cossette in a joint venture in converting the Branson, Mo., Mel Tillis Theater into the permanent home for the “Will Rogers Follies.” Iacocca’s already arrived in Branson with a commercial airline bringing visitors.
GENTLE GIANT RAYMOND BURR will be sorely missed by so many who never even knew of his charitable deeds and kindnesses. Burr’s braveness, continuing to work while knowing the spread of his cancer, was but another tribute to his dedication. I spoke with him each time he came into L.A. for surgery or treatment and he was always positive, always modest of his successes and generous to those of others. At my 40th anniversary party, he asked to sit at the back of the BevHilton ballroom, saying he just wanted to be there to add good wishes. I knew him since I started reporting on showbiz and it won’t be the same without Raymond Burr … Geena Davis and Renny Harlin will wed Sat. (18) … Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Anna and Rupert M., was married last Friday ( 10) to Elkin Kwesi Pianim , son of Cornelia and A. Kwame Pianim of Accra, Ghana, at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in West L.A. with the reception following at the Murdochs’ BevHills home. Guests included the Ronald Reagans, Lew Wassermans, Michael Ovitzes, Sidney Sheinbergs, Barry Diller, Bob Daly, etc. … And Sunday, at the estate of Gwen and Arthur Hiller, their daughter Erica was married to Dennis Michael Tenney with a gala dinner party for more than 200. Arthur’s advice to the groom: “Keep an open heart, an open mind and an open wallet”… At the baby shower at the Bistro for Tracy Swope Avildsen, there was advice and toasts from her father Herbert Bayard Swope, from her godfather Philip Barry, her brother Rusty Swope and hostesses Patricia Barry and Barbara Dozier. The 100 -plus guests included Frances Fisher — there with her five-week-old daughter. Fisher said papa Clint Eastwood volunteered to babysit Francesca. “He’s a wonderful father — sings to her, changes her.” Also there, Kelly Le Brock with her equally young daughter. Avildsen had to leave for San Diego for added scenes on “Lane Frost” starring Luke Perry for New Line.
I THINK I BROKE SOMETHING, Carl Reiner said when he tripped on a monitor on the BevHilton stage at the Young Musician’s Foundation gala he was hosting last Friday night. And indeed he had broken something — his right knee. But he continued to entertain — while lying on his side — until paramedics arrived a half-hour later and he was operated on at Cedars-Sinai. He’ll be sidelined six-eight weeks and has to lose a “Prognosis: Murder” guestint and the preem of his movie, MGM’s “Fatal Instinct”… Robert Goulet was skedded for prostate surgery at Cedars-Sinai, but instead was hospitalized in Las Vegas recuping from dehydration following corrective surgery last week in Hawaii (for an old appendectomy scar). He’ll have the prostate surgery here in December and plays “Camelot” at the Pantages in mid-December for two weeks instead of four … Renee Holland, Gloria Aranoff, Claire Cummings, Dorie Gold and committee helped raise more than $ 150,000 for L.A.R.C. (Los Angeles Retarded Children) at their Country Western Extravaganza at Chasen’s where Ronnie Clint’s “cowboys” served the fancy grub in a giant tent on Chasen’s parking lot … Richard Dreyfuss missed the first day’s filming on Bruce Beresford’s “Indian Summer” as he was invited and attended Monday’s historical signing at the White House between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Dreyfuss has long been active in this hoped-for peace movement.