Davises get costly scare in France

GOOD MORNING: “They didn’t want to kill us, they just put machine guns to our heads,” Marvin Davis told me when I spoke to him late last night at the Hotel Du Cap, hours after he and Barbara were robbed near the hotel as they were driving from the Nice airport. They’d arrived from London (on his private plane) following their annual Wimbledon visit. Davis reported, “One car pulled in front of us and another came up on the side and stopped our car.” Four masked men emerged with machine guns. Spotting the necklace Barbara Davis was wearing, one of the gunmen “tried to choke Barbara,”said Marvin. “She was very cool.” Shock followed, but Davis told me, “She’s all right now.” When I asked him why she had (the reported) $ 10 million in jewels with her, and he, $ 50,000 in cash, Marvin would only say, “It had to be an inside job. They knew our every move, the timing of everywhere we would be. From now on we’ll stay home (in L.A.) or go to Malibu.” They were awaiting word on what items (like their passports and some personal papers) were recovered from two thieves who were apprehended last night … The Sidney Poitiers, Eva Gabor and Merv Griffin usually accompany the Davises on both the Wimbledon and Du Cap excursions. As a matter of fact, Griffin’s plane frequently “races” Davis’ to both London and Nice. But Griffin didn’t go this year because of business and Eva was en route to work in Budapest. And Sidney Poitier was recuping from last month’s surgery … Talking of Griffin’s “business,” his Resorts Paradise Island “will be gone by the end of the year,” he confirms. One of those new investors in Paradise Island is Saul Kerzner who has hefty investments in Botswana’s gambling resort … While everyone’s wondering what the next step will be in Bill Cosby’s plotted NBC buyout (which I first revealed here Oct. 23, 1992), Cos is busy shooting CBS’ “I Spy” feature for the next five weeks in Vienna. And his longtime agent, William Morris’ Norman Brokaw, wings over to talk with him re the NBC deal, which follows with four, two-hour adventure shows that segue into a firm, full season of one-hour shows starting in the fall of ’94.

WITH HIS DINOSAURS and family well on their way to new historic heights, box office-wise that is, Steven Spielberg’s now got a good grip on Dino and family in “The Flintstones,” reports the movie’s Wilma, Elizabeth Perkins. “He (Spielberg) is very hands-on,” she reports of his visits to the set. “And director Brian Levant loves having him around,” adds Perkins. The comedy feature is also a break from the heavy dramatics in “Schindler’s List,” which Spielberg’s currently editing … Perkins reminds, “All of our dinosaurs are friendly.” While Dino is a played by a man in a suit, there are giants, like a 30-foot-tall brontosaurus — plus digital dinos (from “Jurassic Park”?) And Jim Henson’s puppet magic in the workaholic animals that liven up the daily routines of Fred (John Goodman) and Wilma (Perkins) and their neighbors, the Rubbles (Rick Moranis and Rosie O’Donnell). The trailer for “The Flintstones” is appropriately currently screened (to great reaction) at theaters showing “Jurassic Park”… Perkins adds that every frame of the movie is true to the cartoon. “Every tree is placed where it should be — every boulder, every (bare) costume — even down to my necklace and my hair (a big red wig) are exactly duplicated from the cartoons. And I should know — I grew up with ‘The Flintstones.’ This is an amazing movie. And — it’s a whole different way of working!”… The company’s working in a quarry in Burbank and the location in Vasquez Rocks … Perkins met with Elizabeth Taylor, who plays her mother later this month. After their introduction, Taylor sent “her daughter” flowers and a complementary note. Perkins is mucho flattered … While Perkins is (obviously) tickled over her current role, she admits “I don’t know that I’ve ever made a film that’s as important as this one,” referring to “For Their Own Good,” the ABC MOW in which she appeared April 5 — it’s up for a Humanitas Award tonight at the Century Plaza hotel. The Jordan-Kerner-Jon Avnet production “is about human rights. It’s about the lifting of the human spirit — I’m proud to have worked on the project.” It deals with the abolition of the policy that forced women to choose between their jobs and their right to bear children.

REMEMBERING DON DRYSDALE AND SHOWBIZ, agent Charles Stern recalls placing Don in a commercial for General Electric’s non-breakable glass. On his first pitch, Don broke the glass. GE had to go back to the laboratory … Football legend Terry Bradshaw opens the NFL season with the CBS color commentary on the Dallas Cowboys vs. Detroit Lions — in London … Mixed monikers: Screenwriter Gary Goldman (“Total Recall,”‘Navy SEALs,” etc.) would like industryites to know he’s not the “Gary Goldman” on whom Spy mag reports Steven Seagal’s put out a hit (because of his article on the thesp) … And actor Michael Lerner’s photo appears in the European as the “editorial guru” of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Lerner was confused with Tikkun mag editor with the same name, Michael Lerner. But we don’t know what he looks like.

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