Beatty puts Shapiro & co. on hot seat

GOOD MORNING: They were calling Warren Beatty “Mr. District Attorney” as he asked more questions of Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey and Shapiro’s staff of 20 co-workers — at a party at Robert Evans’ BevHills home. It was during the long weekend break from the O.J. Simpson hearings. Shapiro had earlier hosted his co-workers and staff for dinner at pal Nicky Blair’s Sunset Strippery. They then proceeded to Evans’ home for dessert and to see “Beverly Hills Cop III.” Shapiro , you recall, represented Evans in the “Cotton Club” murder case. They’d since become close friends. Also at the latenight party were plastic surgeon Dr. Harry Glassman and his wife, Victoria Principal, Sue Mengers and the eight-months-pregnant Annette Bening, there with husband Beatty. The conversation, of course, revolved around the O.J. Simpson case. And the discussion went on so long, Evans never showed “BevHills Cop”… It was an emotional night at Blair’s eatery — not only because of the presence of the Shapiro group, but also because Tony Curtis’ daughter Kelly came by to talk to Nicky about the death of her brother, Nicholas (23). Blair and Tony Curtis are lifelong friends and they’d been on the phone all day. On Tuesday, Tony, Kelly and her sisters Jamie, Alexandra, Allegra and brother Benjamin winged to Boston for today’s services for Nicholas, whose death reportedly was caused by “a seizure.” Tony Curtis earlier this year underwent successful open heart surgery … The O.J. Simpson case is getting the expected coverage in all publications, but now also gets the July 11 New Yorker cover via “How the tabloids could help O.J. beat the rap,” with Jeffrey Toobin reporting that the “tabloid media may actually be the best friend a famous defendant can have.”

HE CAN LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT. After 21 years, Karl Malden’s American Express pact was not renewed. But he says he’s ready to travel on to other commercials. Malden, as chipper as ever, visited his pal Marlon Brando on the “Don Juan De Marco and the Centerfold” set. They reminisced about their three movies, “A Streetcar Named Desire,””On the Waterfront” and “One-Eyed Jacks.” And the Broadway “Streetcar” on which they shared a dressing room for two years, as well as the short-lived “Truckline Cafe.” After the set visit, Malden smiled, “My love for him is as always.” When there was a delay in setting up the next take, Marlon (jokingly) got word to director Jeremy Leven saying he and I were going off the lot to have a drink. Leven quickly appeared in Brando’s trailer and announced, “I can replace you with Malden!”… Right time, right place: Manager Faye Nuell Mayo was having a postponed lunch with New Line Cinema casting VP Valerie McCaffrey (“Don Juan”). Faye showed her a photo of new client Jo Champa. McCaffrey handed Nuell her cellular phone and said, “Call Champa immediately to read for director Leven.” She did. Champa started work Tuesday as the Sultana in a sequence with Johnny Depp … After an almost two-years-long lawsuit, Jack Harris and his Worldwide Entertainment Corp. settled its suit vs. GoodTimes Home Video Corp. re ownership of the copyright of the 1958 classic “The Blob,” the bow of Steve McQueen. GoodTimes paid Worldwide $ 300,000, acknowledging Worldwide’s ownership, and Worldwide licensed to GoodTimes, for seven years, the homevideo rights to “The Blob” plus nine other Worldwide pix in its library. A special 36-year anni of “The Blob” homevideo will be out later this year under license to Worldwide … And GNP/Crescendo Records, in a licensing deal with Turner, is rereleasing the Henry Mancini score from “Victor/Victoria”– with four tunes by Mancini that were originally cut from the first album. Hank personally selected ’em for this album exec produced by Neil Norman. His father, Gene Norman, was friends with Mancini dating back to 1954, when Gene reunited the Glenn Miller band for a Shrine concert where Hank conducted ’em in “Too Little Time,” which he wrote for the movie.

THEATER LOBBIES ARE ALSO the unquestioned domain of “The Lion King.” AMC’s Southern California director of marketing Tony Adamson tells me they’ve just about run out of toys and souvenir items in their lobby “Lion” stores. And Toys ‘R’ Us and Burger King also are experiencing the jungle fever’d attack on their items. AMC is now talking about store sales in conjunction with the upcoming “The Mask.” And if you’ve seen the trailers on this Jim Carrey starrer — look for some eye-popping items with this next (expected) blockbuster … Robert Duvall joins Demi Moore in “The Scarlet Letter” for Dodi Fayed and Roland Joffe at Cinergi/BV … Don Johnson is feeling fine, thank you, and out of the Betty Ford Clinic, relaxing at his Aspen home with son Jesse. Wife Melanie Griffith and the two children are in Maui.

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