GOOD MORNING: Sixty-five countries are already lined up for a June 9 telecast gala from the Paramount at Madison Square Garden honoring “The Legends of Soccer,” a week in advance of the kickoff of the World Cup in the U.S. This week, Italy’s Pier Quinto Cariaggi, who produced the last World Cup gala from Milan in 1990, is in N.Y. huddling with partner Bruce Lucker for the event, which will be a tribute by the legends of B’way, Hollywood, sports and music to the international soccer greats. Now, maybe soccer will finally take off in the U.S. thanks to the World Cup and the excitement surrounding its games. A World Cup match is more exciting than the Super Bowl in the U.S. — with national pride at a fever pitch. Unless you’ve attended one, you can’t imagine the drama. I was in Milan at a match four years ago and can attest to it — and its security measures as well … Morgan Mason is departing the William Morris office after a 2 1/2-year stand as an agent and is moving to the south of France with wife Belinda Carlisle and their 20-month-old son, James Duke M. Morgan will return to feature film production. He says, “It’s a very positive situation” and is very happy about the career return. And he will retain his “personal and professional” relationship with the Morris men — as a client … Sophia Loren, during the weekend at the Palm Springs Film fest, told me she and husband Carlo Ponti (completely recuped) plan a return to feature filming “soon.” She says, “Now is the right time.” No TV is even thought of. She laughed, “I prefer to be free — for a long time.” Loren, Anna Galiena of Italy’s Oscar entry “Il Grande Cocomero” (The Great Pumpkin), Arthur Hiller and others were guests at Sonny Bono’s home Sunday, where he cooked up a pasta dinner for the desert’ers. Today, Bono declares his official entry (GOP) into the 44th Congressional District race. The ex-mayor of the Springs said, “Politix is similar to showbiz. All politicians are celebrities — they’re in their own arena — and like to perform, also.” I asked his opinion of the upcoming entry of Caesars on the Indian reservation land near the Palm Springs Spa hotel. “The city will bloom,” he claims. “It’s no longer a sleaze business and you’ll see entertainment increase here, too.” What about traffic on the main road into Palm Springs? He said additional funds for highways were already voted. Deal me in.
IT’S NONSTOP FOR STEPHEN REA, who spent one day in L.A. to loop “Angie” with Geena Davis, then took off for “Interview With the Vampire,” and follows with “Pret-A-Porter” and Roman Polanski’s “Death and the Maiden.” He’s now being negotiated for the Jon Avnet-directed Meg Ryan starrer “Waiting for Michael”… Barry Bonds, the San Francisco Giants great left-fielder, is doing a guestint in “BevHills, 90210″… And ex-Dodger and Padre Steve Garvey guested Monday on “The Young and the Restless” in a scene with Jerry Douglas, the show’s patriarch John Abbott … John Amos, who stars in Norman Lear’s upcoming CBSeries “704 Hauser,” plays his one-man show, “Halley’s Comet,” one night, Thursday, at the Tiffany, following its N.Y. stand. Ginny Durkin produces. Lear is most proud of the documentaries made by his Business Enterprise Trust — they are now being shown in over 200 schools … The Don Ohlmeyer-Warren Littlefield-hosted “all-star evening” at the Ritz-Carlton brought out the biggest turnout — 88 — of the web’s series players. Guests at a ritzy wedding in an adjoining ballroom segued back and forth from their party, and the celebs joined ’em in a conga line led by dancer-actress Stacy Haiduk of “seaQuest.”
ANOTHER SAD NOTE is the passing of Jet Fore at the Motion Picture and TV Hospital. Fore, a Marine Corps WWII veteran, was a member of Harry Brand’s grand publicity department at 20th Century Fox. He was a friend of the stars of the great era at 20th and looked after the roster, which included Marilyn Monroe, Victor Mature, Betty Grable, June Haver, Jeanne Crain, Tyrone Power, John Payne, etc. He pulled off some of the great press agent stunts in the days when no one took Hollywood news too seriously, and he was a great friend to the hungry Hollywood press corps … Over $ 25,000 was raised to benefit Comic Relief for Homeless Health Care at Sunday p.m.’s “Celebrity Server” at the Palm eatery. Even Mayor Riordan served tables while William Devane was official bartender. An auction, including some of the Palm’s famous caricatures, raised $ 11,000 … And Linda Guber and Carol Isenberg’s Education First received $ 10,000 for the Aspen Early Learning Center from the bow of Planet Hollywood in Aspen. Peter Guber, Mark Canton, Sid Ganis and Jonathan Dolgen were among the execs on hand. Jim Belushi and 11-year-old son Robert escaped injury when their snowmobile was totaled.