Michael and Oscar: A dubious honor

GOOD MORNING: All right, Michael–where did you get that large Oscar statue that stands on the stage of your theater–and seen by a record TV audience Wednesday night on Oprah’s ABC special? Members of the Academy were checking the tape of the show yesterday and they have no answer for the many queries they received as to how, where, when, why did Jackson own one of those highly protected and copyrighted Oscars whose $ 100,000, 7-foot-tall molds are kept under lock and key. Further, the Acad has religiously pursued and won court cases vs. any who would duplicate Oscar. One of those tall Oscars, which annually flank yours truly as I introduce the stars at the Academy Awards, disappeared from the Academy’s lobby about five years ago following an event there. Exec director Bruce Davis recalls, “Two men were seen running up the street with it–and we have no idea what happened to it.” The Acad received many calls from members who spotted Oscar on the Jackson show. He has not yet answered calls about his “Oscar.” What will the Acad do? “I don’t think we’ll send a truck after it,” smiled Davis … Readying for this year’s Oscar show, director Jeff Margolis said he and producer Gil Cates are very enthusiastic about the theme–women on both sides of the cameras. “Gil and I will try to make this show very different–with a lot more tributes.” He reminded that there as many, if not more, femme film editors than men … The serious business of California tourism was being discussed in Sacramento this week to determine the ad campaigns to recoup losses due to last year’s riots, earthquakes, etc. Among the ad-vantages: The new features of Disneyland and the opening of the “Back to the Future” and CityWalk at the Universal Hollywood Studios … Denzel Washington returns from the Japan bow of “Malcolm X” to listen to two new offers: Disney’s comedy “Pals” and the dramatic “Penal Comedy” for director Martin Campbell and producer Gale Anne Hurd … And Macaulay Culkin’s paged to join Melanie Griffith (who plays an exotic dancer) in Par’s “Milk Money” directed by Richard Benjamin.

RICHARD MOLL AND SUSAN BROWN WILL WED this fall. He’s the Bull Shannon alumnus of “Night Court” and she’s the designer-daughter of Lorna (Mrs. Milton) Berle … Dodd Darin, publisher-son of the late Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, will wed costume designer Audrey Tannenbaum, daughter of Tom Tannenbaum, June 5 … Gwen and Arthur Hiller celebrate their 45th wedding anni Sunday in N.Y. … Kurt Russell and James Spader will co-star in Mario Kassar’s “Stargate” sci-fi’er for Hexagon Pictures with Canal Plus … Not everyone was home watching Michael Jackson with Oprah (but those who weren’t were no doubt taping it). The BevHilton international ballroom was filled with showbiz and sports celebs for the “Old-Fashioned Italian Family Dinner With the Lasordas” (complete with red checked tablecloths) where $ 200,000 was raised for the Tommy Lasorda Jr. Memorial Recreational Facility. It was the kind of evening where Larry King said Orel Hershiser would someday fill the shoes of “Mr. Rogers.” The entertainment included Fred Travalena, Norm Crosby, Pia Zadora and daughter Kady. And Monty Hall conducted an auction of sports celebs’ memorabilia. The house was most moved by the words of Jo and Tommy Lasorda about their late son, “Spunky.” Gary Smith was exec producer of the evening, Tim Swift, producer, Carleen Cappelletti , associate producer … And over in Hollywood after the “Strictly Ballroom” screening at the Galaxy, the Hollywood Roosevelt was packed for the AmFAR benefit hosted by Detour mag and Miramax. Rita Moreno judged a dancing contest and among those on the floor were Timothy Dalton and the pic’s star Tara Morice. Also there, Nicole Kidman, “Strictly” star Paul Mercurio, Rebecca De Mornay, Harry Dean Stanton, Ally Sheedy, etc.

A MEMORIAL WILL BE HELD FOR MARK GOODSON March 3 at the Directors Guild theater at 11 ayem. Among the speakers will be Bob Barker, Betty White and Barbra Lazaroff. Meanwhile, Mark Goodson Prods. continues to expand with son Jonathan Goodson at the helm. The company is developing many new kinds of shows–and with its association with Sony and the partnership in the Game Show Channel, Goodson can also sell shows to themselves … Billie Jean Campbell, former wife of Glen Campbell, died of cancer last Friday. Her children conduct a memorial at their home Sunday … A newly restored version (by the Library of Congress’ Motion Picture Conservation Center) of “Coquette” screens tonight at the Acad’s Samuel Goldwyn theater. UA’s “Coquette” preemed April 5, 1929, at N.Y.’s Rivoli. And Variety’s Sid. reviewed the “talker” (not “talkie”) saying, “‘Coquette’ ought to get plenty in the program houses. It’s Mary: she talks and she looks different with the new bob”… Ben Gazzara stars in CBS’ “Mafia Marriage.” Eric Roberts is his son … Dodo (Mrs. Stanley) Meyer, special adviser to Tom Bradley for 25 years, fractured her right knee in a fall.

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