‘Entertainment III’ awaits Astaire OK

GOOD MORNING: It ain’t over until — the thin man dances. And I do mean Fred Astaire. Although MGM sez the grand finale/film montage of “That’s Entertainment III” begins with a clip from “The Band Wagon” featuring Astaire, Nanette Fabray, Oscar Levant, Cyd Charisse and Jack Buchanan singing “That’s Entertainment,” Robyn Astaire tells me, “They can’t do that without (my) permission.” Earlier this week, the overture and grand finale were performed/recorded for the film by the Hollywood Bowl Orch under the baton of Maestro John Mauceri. The overture to the movie will be played before theater lights go down and the movie begins. It (the overture) includes songs from Astaire pix as well — but no visuals. Robyn A. has been patiently awaiting settlement of similar problems of Astaire footage being aired by Turner and she’s repeatedly told me when that’s settled she’d talk to MGM about “That’s Entertainment III” clip usage. Neither matter has been settled. You recall footage of Fred had to be edited out at zero-hour from the Ginger Rogers tribute seg of last year’s “Kennedy Center Honors” when clearance was not given by Robyn. The “live” audience in D.C. saw (and loved the) Fred-and-Ginger footage intro’d by Tom Selleck. But it was excised and Selleck was called to do new voiceover intros in L.A. sans Astaire just before the show aired. As for the movie, Ann Miller’s already filmed intros to Astaire footage for “T.E.III.”… A four-hour Barbra Streisand biocassette is being readied by director Tom McQuade for Sony Music Entertainment to be released simultaneous with Streisand’s upcoming tour. It includes footage taped in England in the ’60s and never seen here before , says McQuade. He just directed TNT’s “Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell,” hosted by Sharon Stone looking glamorous in ’30s high fashion, makeup and coiffure to match. “In all her films,” McQuade admits, “Sharon never looked more beautiful.” The show first airs Sunday … Andrew Lloyd Webber will be on hand for the Nov. 30 benefit preview of his “Sunset Boulevard” at the Shubert, Barbara Davis happily reports. Several diabetes charities will benefit from the show and gala Century Plaza post-party, which have already raised $ 1,152,025 — Davis says there are still some seats available. Madeline Webber will also be toasted at the party — it’s her birthday. Among the celebs attending: the movie’s director Billy Wilder and co-star Nancy Olson.

TINY TIM SINGS AGAIN. The occasion is Saturday’s 25th wedding anni of producer Bob Booker and wife Barbara. At their Las Vegas wedding on Aug. 13, 1968, Tim played the Mendelssohn Wedding March and also doubled as co-best man with Arthur Hiller. Tiny actually caught the wedding bouquet — and married Miss Vicki on “The Tonight Show” the next year. For this 25th anni of the Bookers, Hiller (ordained) will officiate at the renewal of their wedding vows and Tim will sing “The Anniversary Song.” Tim, a Des Moines resident, also appears Friday night at the Improv for the flood victims benefit … When Morgan Creek’s Jim Robinson saw Stuart Whitman at the Tiffany in “Country Girl,” he told him, “Lose 35 pounds and I’ll put you to work.” Whitman obeyed and will join Morgan Creek’s “Trial by Jury.” He’ll also start “Bad Girls” for Fox. In the latter, he and Mary Stuart Masterson, playing an ex-hooker, have a very erotic scene. Good thing Whitman lost the weight! … A single invite was printed for a black-tie Chasen’s party signaling Dove Books’ pact with Book of the Month Club. It was received only by Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon — in order to fool Alexandra into attending her surprise birthday party there. It worked. Her sister Anastasia (Mrs. Roderick) Mann, Deborah Raffin and Michael Viner pulled the lavish bash together with guests seated at Chasen’s tables named for around-the-globe cities to be visited by the Sheldons during the next two months to toast completion of his latest book, “Nothing Lasts Forever” (Wm. Morrow), about three femme medics.

FRED SCHEPISI, WHO SKIPS from his “Six Degrees of Separation” to “I.Q.” for Scott Rudin and Carol Baum, was dining at Morton’s with Candice Bergen and Louis Malle, Martha Luttrell, Sam Cohen and “Six Degrees” playwright John Guare … Lena Olin and Willem Dafoe head to Paris to star in “The Night and the Moment” to be directed by Annamaria Tato … The Bruin was buzzing with happy family noises at the screening of WB’s version of the classic “The Secret Garden.” Youngstar (11) Kate Maberly and her family were there from England to receive the applause, as well as director Agnieszka Holland, producers Fred Roos, Tom Luddy and Fred Fuchs. Among those who brought children: Michael Caton-Jones, Bruce Berman, Rob Friedman, Lucy Fisher, as well as producers Fuchs and Roos … Artists Group’s Tom Korman winged to Hallandale, Fla., where his father, Ben (93 ), died Tuesday … Nancy Malone, Emmy-nominated for directing a dramatic “Sisters” seg, segues to “Melrose Place” to rein in the season’s first show, in which Michael (Thomas Calabro) has an affair with wife Jane’s (Josie Bissett) sister. Take it from there.

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