GOOD MORNING: “She believed in love–above all else. No matter what the problem or ailment, love could heal, cure, fix it,” said Audrey Hepburn’s son Sean Ferrer last night from her home in Tolochenaz, Switzerland. Sean, a young producer-writer, had been at his mother’s side along with Rob Wolders since she departed L.A. last month in the private plane arranged–as a “Christmas present”–by longtime friend Givenchy. The services will be Sunday at 1 p.m. in the cemetery of the little town’s church, “Where she can have a view of the house,” added Sean. “She went painlessly–without a long, drawn-out suffering–we surrounded her with love. I can’t blame God for wanting her at his side”… Back here yesterday, Billy Wilder had spoken with Doris Brynner, who was also at Audrey’s side when she died. “We were prepared for it,” Wilder said sadly. Billy had undergone the same surgery some time back, he revealed. “I was lucky”… Gregory Peck recalled when Wilder tested Hepburn for her first movie, their “Roman Holiday.” The test was little more than Wilder talking to her. “Her inner glow was obvious and she was very funny,” said Greg. “Although she said she was very nervous, after the first day she breezed into it. I’m sure Billy knew she was right for the part even before he tested her.” Hepburn and Peck had made award presentations to each other over the years at: the Lincoln Center, Museum of Modern Art, UNICEF, etc. “We called it the ‘Audrey and Greg Show,’ ” he laughed. “We wondered where our next booking would be. She was extremely brave”… Irving Lazar, who has been ill since the deaths last week of his wife Mary, and friends Milton Pickman and Sammy Cahn, was further felled by Audrey Hepburn’s death yesterday. “You have no idea the anguish you feel when your friend of 30 years (Mary) dies. And then your friend of 70 years (Pickman) and two of 35 years (Cahn and Hepburn).” Yesterday, it was feared Lazar would not be able to make today’s services for Mary. He assured me he will be present. And tomorrow, it’s Cahn’s services … We also had the sad task of telling Deborah Raffin of Audrey Hepburn’s death yesterday. Raffin had produced “Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales” for Dove Audio about eight months ago. The audio book–for children, whom Audrey loved–contains such tales as “Tom Thumb,””Sleeping Beauty” and “Beauty and the Beast,” narrated by Hepburn and backed by Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite.” It’s due to be released Feb. 15. Dove is thinking about asking a friend to add an introductory tribute to Hepburn. By Gregory Peck?
ONLY ONE MAJOR performance didn’t make it to the final airing of the inaugural gala, Tuesday p.m. As forewarned here, CBS insisted the show wind up in two hours. In order to comply, Gary Smith, who produced the pretaped (by one hour) show with partner Dwight Hemion, had to ax “In Others’ Words,” a seg with Jack Lemmon, James Earl Jones, Sally Field and Richard Dreyfuss reading the words of Jefferson; the Kennedys, Jack and Bob; the Roosevelts, Franklin and Eleanor; Truman; Reagan; Martin Luther King Jr.; and William Jefferson Clinton. The 18,000-strong “live” audience at the Cap Center saw/heard/cheered ’em. “We really don’t care,” the quartet of stars told Smith when told in advance their number would be cut from the TV’er. “All we care about is–being here,” they said … And Barbra Streisand decided not to sing “Some Enchanted Evening” and instead subbed Clinton’s favorite Streisand rendition–“Evergreen” in her trio of tunes … It’s expected Streisand will be seen often on the Washington scene in the next four years … Clinton backstaged afterwards to thank all the performers. He had arrived almost 30 minutes late due to the overflowing skeds … James Earl Jones, a favorite in D.C. during the past four-day celebration, had become accustomed to many people addressing him as “general.” He was often mistaken for General Colin Powell! …”Designing Women’s” Meshach Taylor, who hadn’t sung since his B’way days in “Hair,” tuned “Tenderly” last night at the inaug ball … Thesp Peter Berg, at the D.C. doings with fiancee (they’ll wed in September) Elizabeth Rogers, a development exec working as a Clinton media coordinator, reports that the events of the past four days “have been an education for the visiting actors. They all have been very quiet–and listening”… Tipper Gore was the willing Washington hostess to screenwriter Janus Cercone (“Leap of Faith”) when she was writing her script of “The Senator’s Wife” for Par. The project died–but Cercone says Tipper took her to lunch and was most gracious in telling her about life as a senator’s wife. It was hoped that Whoopi Goldberg would play a senator’s widow, who takes over on his death. Following “Leap of Faith,” Cercone’s writing another spec script, “Achilles Heel,” a romantic caper. Although “Faith” didn’t deliver the hoped-for box office, Cercone says, “Steve Martin is our generation’s Fred Astaire–he’s so multitalented. And I would like to write only for him”… The Regent Beverly Wilshire ballroom will be the site for the Jan. 30 final wrap party for “Knots Landing,” winding its 14 years.