GOOD MORNING: Jack Nicholson is a happy man–happy with “Hoffa” and “A Few Good Men” and modestly calls 1992 “an excellent work year.””‘Hoffa’ was the hardest and best thing I ever did. Don’t forget it ranged back and forth over 40 years,” he reminds. He praises director Danny DeVito. As for “A Few Good Men,” Nicholson wants to work again with Tom Cruise, compliments him not only for this film but past performances in his young career. Nicholson’s in his 38th year in the biz … Jack next stars in “Wolf” and then directs an untitled “modern road movie.” Back from a brief snow vacation with his children in Aspen, Nicholson’s now off to D.C. to read excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Sunday’s Quincy Jones-produced gala at the Lincoln Memorial pre-inaugural event … Tyne Daly sings “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” at this gala, dittoes at an inaugural ball … Tying in Sunday with the Bells for Hope ceremony in D.C. will be a 3 p.m. bell ringing here at the Will Rogers Park at 103rd St. and Central … Jay Berman of RIAA and Jack Valenti of the MPAA co-host Tuesday’s Rock the Vote bash at the Crystal Ballroom of the Sheraton Carlton … And talking young, Macaulay Culkin joins CBS’ Jan. 19 gala produced by Smith/Hemion. The show opens with Barry Manilow on “Let Freedom Ring” and closes with Barbra Streisand on “God Bless America.” Edward James Olmos and Goldie Hawn join this celeb list … Kevin Dobson hosts the Veterans’ Inaugural Ball for President Clinton on the 20 th at the Capitol Hilton. This gala pays tribute to Medal of Honor recipients and is attended by top military and V.A. brass. Dobson twice served as Chairman of the National Salute to Hospitalized Vets and was awarded by many vet groups.
DON’T BE SURPRISED if Katharine Hepburn stars in another movie (TV or feature). John Dayton, who exec produced “The Man Upstairs,” has a date to talk a project with Kate next week … Jane Fonda and Ted Turner are here for tomorrow’s invitational viewing of TNT’s “Katharine Hepburn–All About Me” to start airing (on TNT) Monday, 8 p.m., followed by four other nights. Fonda hosts a celeb screening/dinner here tomorrow at Universal. It was Jane’s idea for the Hepburn vidtribute … Hepburn was saddened this week by the death of her longtime driver, Jim Davis, and the hospitalization of Phyllis Wilbourn, her assistant of over 40 years … Al Pacino says he patterned his speech in “Scent of a Woman” after that of his former manager and producer of four pix (not “Scent”) Martin Bregman. They next team again on “Carlito’s Way”… Tom Snyder, who starts his new CNBC talkshows Jan. 25, “live” at 7 p.m., will also be seen again three hours later–that’s 1 a.m. “That’s why Letterman left–he can’t take that heat at one ayem,” laughed Snyder. He’ll have call-ins and guests–but some nights, only call-ins, said Snyder, a vet of 30 years on the talkshow circuit. The favorite topic of callers is–places to eat … Dan Travanti stars in a two-hour pilot/series, “Missing Persons,” to film in Chicago for Stephen Cannell and ABC. The deal was set by Metropolitan Agency’s Mark Schumacher, who also set Jim Brolin to star with Barbara Eden in “The Calling” telefilm at NBC … Phil Alden Robinson signed with CAA. Peter Turner, Robinson’s longtime friend and agent, will remain his co-agent at the Peter Turner Agency …”Doogie Howser’s” Neil Patrick Harris is wearing two hats on the ‘Quantum Leap” set this week–guestarring as a villain while also guest observing director Harvey Laidman. Harris (19) hopes to direct a “Doogie” next year and says reining will eventually be his career … LeVar Burton’s set to direct a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” seg in April. He tells me his Eagle Nation Films, with partner Julia Roberson, has four projects in development–financed by German investors. One, “Malidoma” is set in South Africa and N.Y. LeVar also reads a three-hour audio version of “Miles (Davis): An Autobiography” for Audio Literature.
SHADES OF “MR. SATURDAY NIGHT”: At the Century Plaza tribute to Billy Crystal by the Chaim Weitzmann Institute, a retro biofilm of Billy was presented by his brother, producer Richard Crystal. Among scenes–Billy, as a child, performing in the living room of his parents’ home. Alan King m.c.’d, Jay Leno and Tony Bennett entertained the sellout, which raised $ 600,000 … Frank Sinatra had to limo up to his bow at the grand opening of the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts when rain grounded planes outta Palm Springs. The weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits–nor did it prevent this celeb list from joining in the standing ovation: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anjelica Huston and Robert Graham, John Cusack, Carole Kane, Kirk Cameron and Chelsea Noble, Belinda Carlisle and Morgan Mason, Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays, Vikki Carr, Gloria Loring, Angie Dickinson, Ernie Borgnine, Brenda Vaccaro, Buddy Hackett, Jack Carter, Jan Murray, Phyllis Diller, Tony Curtis, Marion Ross, etc…. The Princess of Malaysia stopped at Fred Hayman’s on Rodeo–even played a game of pool with him … Eve Kagan, daughter of Elaine and Jeremy Kagan, was bat-mitzvah’d at Temple Israel.