GOOD MORNING and congrats Oscar nominees: Academy president Arthur Hiller and Gil Cates were on the search at 6 p.m. Tuesday for a substitute to stand by for Marisa Tomei, who was skedded to announce the nominees at the Acad with Hiller this ayem. Tomei was winging in from Gotham when all planes were temporarily (?) grounded at JFK because of the severe snow storm. By the time you read this, you’ll know if she snowshoe’d in … Hiller and wife Gwen received honors — last Saturday — from the Venice Family Clinic at a dinner hosted by Paul Mazursky at the Ritz Carlton …”Whoopi Goldberg’s on her own turf now, and she should be very exciting for the Oscars,” said Grammy producer Pierre Cossette. Whoopi, you recall, hosted his 1992 Grammys. “She’s exactly what the Oscars need ,” added Pierre. “She might shake things up — but she’shighly professional.” Quickly set to write for Whoopi on the Oscars is Bruce Vilanch, who worked with her on those Grammys, plus Comic Relief — he also did Oscar writing duty four years for Billy Crystal … Whoopi will be a guest subject next week on “One on One with Magic Johnson,” the latter’s one-hour interview spec directed by Malcolm-Jamal Warner and exec produced by Arsenio Hall … There will be two “live” cameras at the Board of Governors Ball capturing the arriving winners (and — ). The ball’s activities will be projected on screens around the giant tent for the post-Oscars bash guests. Chairman Alan Bergman has also set Jack Shelton and his 17-piece orch to music … Everyone’s getting into the Oscar act — the Gap is prepping a campaign using past Oscar winners who wore khaki in photos by the town’s top lensers.
IT’S CAINE AND CONNERY in “Bullet to Beijing”– that is, Michael Caine and Jason Connery (Sean’s son). Caine’s playing the Harry Palmer character for the fourth time; the others, “The Ipcress File,” “Funeral in Berlin” and “Billion Dollar Brain.” The pic, for Allied Entertainment, starts filming April in Moscow. Caine just completed David Rintels’ “WWII: They Were Giants” playing Josef Stalin. These Moscow scenes were filmed in Prague with Joe Sargent directing Bob Hoskins as Churchill, John Lithgow as FDR and Ed Begley Jr. as Harry Hopkins. John Alonzo was on camera shooting in high-definition TV. Although it won’t be telecast on U.S. sets in the 1,000-plus lines, the laserdiscs will be high-definition … New Line’s “Three Card Monte” will be directed by Richard Benjamin, starring Rosie Perez and hopefully Walter Matthau. They start filming in N.Y. in July. Benjamin’s now winding post on “Milk Money” for Par starring Melanie Griffith and Ed Harris … Castle Rock’s “North,” directed by Rob Reiner, now has a July 8 release date … Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson two’d for lunch Tuesday at the BevHills Daily Grill … Forty-five restaurateurs showed at Spago Monday to kick off the restaurant division participation in the April 10 Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon. Stewart and Robert Wagner co-host the event, which also includes a celeb race. Stewart was unable to attend the launching party, but Wagner was there with wife, Jill St. John, and they later dined with Jimmy Murphy, who is chairman of the restaurant division, at his Jimmy’s. The event benefits the Child Study Center of Saint John’s Hospital — for abused and emotionally disturbed children. The quake-damaged St. John’s is restoring the south wing for an August opening … More quake stories continue to sift in: Shirlee Fonda says she had luckily stored many of Henry’s paintings and other art works since she was renovating the house. However, several huge cast iron sculptures toppled and the house suffered structural damage throughout. “There’s not one room that’s not trashed, ” she sadly reports. And she recently sold the N.Y. house.
PLAYWRIGHT DAVID MAMET shops the screen version of his controversial drama “Oleanna” on his arrival (hopefully) here from N.Y. Friday. He was unable to see his show, inspired by the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings, at its Tiffany Theater bow here because of the simultaneous opening of “Ricky Jay & His 52 Assassins,” which Mamet directed at N.Y.’s Second Stage. But those on hand for the L.A. opening included Anjelica Huston, the expectant Marilu Henner, David Brown, Freddie DeMann, Rita Rudner — and Kevin Bacon, whose wife, Kyra Sedgwick co-stars … Kelley and Nick Styne welcomed their first, son, Jack Parker S., Feb. 1 at Cedars-Sinai. Papa is with the Writers & Artists Agency and mom’s VP of Renaissance Pix at Universal. Jack is Jule Styne’s seventh grandchild … Scripter Mary Petrie-Lowen and singer Eric Lowen welcomed twins, Samuel de Forest and Annie-Claire, Jan. 25. Happy grandparents are Dorothea and Dan Petrie — he’s editing a pic the kiddies can eventually see –“Lassie”… Johnny Francis is toasted on his 70th today at the Friars … And Henry Slate gets a feed by the Friars Feb. 25 — to benefit the American Cancer Society.