GOOD MORNING: Caspar Weinberger, recently Presidentially pardoned by George Bush, has signed with Wm. Morris’ chairman and CEO Norman Brokaw for representation on an upcoming book. The former Secy. of Defense will pen an “intimate” account of the Iran-Contra investigation and its impact on the Reagan White House. And will cover events since the end of the Cold War, Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, Desert Storm and methods and manner of the special prosecutor. Brokaw repped Weinberger on his “Fighting For Peace: Seven Critical Years In The Pentagon” (Warner Books, 1990) … Ronald Reagan celebrates his 82nd birthday Feb. 6 at the R.R. Library in Simi Valley, where guests will include Margaret Thatcher. Merv Griffin m.c.’s … Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason did indeed sleep at the White House last week as noted here, first night in the Lincoln bedroom, the second in the queen’s room. They’re back here in full swing on “Hearts Afire,””Designing Women” and “Evening Shade.” Did you know that Linda has been donating, for four years, all of her salary from “Designing Women” to the Claudia Company (named for her mother) in Poplar Bluff, Mo.–to provide returns to college for battered women …”Evening Shade’s” Emmy winning Michael Jeter switches characters to play a man seeking a hit man to kill his wife in Interscope/CBS’ four-hour “Love Kills.” And Jeter takes on a “sleazy role” in I.R.S. Media’s feature, “Bank Robber”…”Cheers” starts shooting its final one-hour seg April 7. What happens to its bar set? They’re hoping it joins other TV memorabilia in the Smithsonian … Katharine Hepburn, producer John Dayton (“The Man Upstairs”), writer Garson Kanin and Anthony Harvey (who directed Kate in “A Lion In Winter”) met in N.Y. to plan a comedy about an aging actress–to be made for CBS.
RAYMOND BURR IS IN TOWN for a medical checkup which may result in “corrective surgery.””I want to be perfectly OK,” he said, “since I have so much work to do in the next two years.” Burr wound a two-hour “Ironside” and signed for seven more “Perry Masons” with NBC. Burr sounded strong as ever on the phone and was very positive … Russia’s AIDS campaign is kicked off with the showing of “Longtime Companion.” Bruce Davison, who received an Oscar nomination for “Companion,” helped put the Russian Cultural Ministry and the Samuel Goldwyn Co. together when he was at the Moscow fest last June … Barry Manilow stars at the “Simply Magic” Feb. 7 dinner honoring Century City Hospital’s Joel Bergenfled–“who had the courage and foresight to respond to this international crisis head-on” when others sought to avoid the issue of AIDS. Magic Johnson will be on hand and his foundation benefits … Hollywood Records’ group the Party is filming a public service announcement for LIFEbeat, the music industry’s non-profit AIDS awareness and resources org … Before heading to Baltimore to conduct their symph, Henry Mancini meets here with Leslie Bricusse to tape demos with Julie Andrews of the first seven tunes they’ve written for Blake Edwards’ upcoming B’way musical version of “Victor/Victoria.” Mancini and Bricusse had teamed on “Tom and Jerry, the Movie” and Mancini, of course, teamed on EVERYthing with Edwards, most recently the MGM “Son of The Pink Panther.”
FIRST THE GOOD NEWS: Friday night’s dinner at the BevHilton toasting my 40 years at Daily Variety is a sellout. The charities thank you and I thank you. If you haven’t been able to get a ticket there’s still a way to help raise money for those deserving charities: You do not have to be present to buy raffle tix to win American Airline first-class trips to London, Glasgow, Paris and N.Y. with stays at luxury hotels … Now the sad news: Henry Plitt lost a valiant battle with cancer. He won battles and was a WWII hero and we loved hearing him modestly tell stories of his parachuting adventures–and the romantic story of the courtship of his dear wife Sedge. Almost to the end, theater man Plitt exhibited the same enthusiasm for his Showscan as he had for everything he did. He personally guided us through the Showscan stages to make us experience the same thrill he had as he looked forward to a new era in movie houses. He will be sorely missed … Today, Miklos Rozsa, 86, heads to the Sony Studios and the same (MGM) recording stage where he once worked, to listen as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra records his music for Philips. Among Rozsa’s many credits–“Ben-Hur” for which he won the Oscar … John K. Potter’s first production since leaving Procter & Gamble is his “Stuff & Nonsense” revue–sort of a “Hellzapoppin” of the ’90s, bowing tomorrow at the Melrose Theater. Potter also directs–and wrote some of the material. He’s next Supervising Producer of CBS’ “People’s Choice Awards,” March 9 … The tent going up at Chasen’s tomorrow is for the Super Bowl Host Committee’s dinner attended by Gov. Pete Wilson. And Sunday at Chasen’s, Pierre Cossette hosts his annual Super Super Bowl party for the super celebs of Hollywood.