Duff, Medavoy hope separation will help

GOOD MORNING: Patricia Duff and Mike Medavoy amicably agreed to a separation several weeks ago, but they’re hoping it’ll work out positively for them. He heads to Montreal and Deauville fests, then the “Frankenstein” start in England. She’s working on “Common Good” and a broadcasting career as a political analyst and interviewer. They’ve been married seven years … On hand at the Hollywood Bowl to hear/see Whitney Houston were Fay and Frank Mancuso, with Dino Conte, Tony Thomopoulos and Rita and Arnold Rifkin. The project: “Disappearing Act” at MGM about which they talked to Houston after her show … Twenty years after Robert Redford filmed James Grady’s first novel, “Three Days of the Condor,” Jerry Weintraub’s MGM banner optioned Grady’s newest, “Thunder,” to be published by Warner Books. Like “Condor,””Thunder” is a CIA, D.C.-set thriller … What do Jay Leno and David Letterman have in common? A wacko hanging around their respective houses. Leno found one in his home late at night recently — and was able to talk him out into the night … And it wasn’t a funny scene when this trio of funnymen, Jon Lovitz, Michael Richards and Chris Farley, were overturned and submerged by a giant wave as they tried to set sail in a motorized raft … Not half as frightening as the incident at Mexico’s Puerto Escondido last Friday when APAgent Bill Danziger, aboard his surfboard, was attacked by a 9-foot shark who left teeth marks on Danziger’s board — next to Danziger’s arm. “I thought I was done for,” he admits. But the shark found the board distasteful and swam away from the petrified agent. “He didn’t eat you because of professional courtesy,” a fellow agent told Danziger, who admits, “I’m a changed person.”… So is singer Carol Connors, who received a telephone death threat after judging (along with Stella Stevens and Deanna Lund) the “American Starlet Beauty Contest” at Rancho Mirage. The taped message in her hotel room was succinct: “I’m going to kill you tonight.” Sheriff and police were of course notified.

TWO ENDINGS ARE BEING FILMED this week on the “Daddy Dearest” seg starring Don Rickles and Richard Lewis. They are supposed to be in Atlantic City where they catch a Frank Sinatra show. One ending includes Sinatra, the other, not. If Sinatra does it, “And if it’s a hit,” says Don, “I may let Frank work with me again.” Rickles opens for Sinatra Sept. 12 in Long Beach and follows with six more dates — if he’s a hit. Only kidding, Don … Red Buttons was such a smash at the N.Y. Friars’ gala at the Waldorf-Astoria earlier this year, Martin Markinson offered him a one-man show stand at the Helen Hayes theater. Buttons has now agreed to do it. “The last time I was on B’way in 1948, ‘Hold It,’ got the shortest review ever –‘Fold It.’ ” It did … There wasn’t a dry eye in the house — men and women wept unashamedly at Hollywood Pictures’ special screening of Wayne Wang’s movie of Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” at the Crest. Annette Bening volunteered to host (sans Warren B.), having seen the movie earlier and been impressed. Later, at the Armand Hammer Museum reception, everyone congratted the cast, Wang and author Tan. She admitted not having planned to be involved in the movie — but was, indeed. Tippi Hedren was there with Kiev Chinh , who stars as Suy Yuan — they first met in Vietnam in 1966 and Hedren later was Chinh’s sponsor to become an American citizen … Earlier, there were tears of pride at the Temple Emanuel where Brandon Davis, first grandson of Barbara and Marvin Davis, was Bar Mitzvah’d and noted in the traditional speech of thanks that he was donating a portion of his gifts to research multiple sclerosis, from which his mother Nancy suffers. Brandon, family and friends were later treated to a spectacular sports-themed party (complete with Laker Girls) at the Marvin Davises’ home, where sports stars mingled with showbiz celebs under a tent where Brandon’s pals were happily collecting autographs on basketballs given ’em by the Davises. When guests left, they were given copies of the N.Y. Times — and bagels and “Danish” for Sunday morning.

MARLEE MATLIN MARRIED L.A. police officer Kevin Grandalski Aug. 29 at Henry Winkler’s home … Bernadette and Sugar Ray Leonard are honeymooning in Japan … Phil Hartman was surprise birthday-partied by wife Brynn at Pazzia. Hartman told me he segues from “SNL.” next season to his own pay-or-play NBC series. Robert De Niro will host the second “SNL” show of the season. Among those at Hartman’s party: “Seinfeld’s” Michael Richards, who reports the season’s second show, just taped, about orgasms, is as funny as last season’s seg about masturbation! Also there, Dana Carvey — who recalled unsuccessfully piloting with Richards eight years ago! Others on hand: Jay Leno, John Goodman, Laraine Newman, Brian Grazer and Jonathan Lynn, who produced-directed Hartman in the bigscreen “Greedy”… Kay Kimberly and Joe Siegel partied the Chi Sun-Times Irv Kupcinet and wife Essee here on vacation with longtime pals, including: Bob Hope , the Charlton Hestons, George Sidneys, Jack Carters, Carol Channing, Wally Seawell, Jayne and Steve Allen, Tova Borgnine, the Bob Newharts.

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