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H’w’d still reeling in wake of quake

GOOD MORNING AFTER: “I have no idea when we’ll get back into production,” Aaron Spelling admitted Tuesday from his home where he and wife Candy had taken in 18 family members/employees who were earthquake’d out of their own houses. All Spelling employees were sent home Tuesday and the offices closed. “Melrose Place,” which films at Santa Clarita stages, is shuttered –“And I don’t know for how long,” said Spelling. Ditto “Beverly Hills, 90210.” And he said they were determining the damage to the stages of his new series, “Burke’s Law.””And we have airdates to make.” As for the Spelling house itself, it suffered internal damage and breakage of irreplaceable collectibles … Warren Beatty, Annette Bening and their baby daughter were forced to move out of their hilltop home because of damage. Nearby, in the same neighborhood, Jack Nicholson’s house suffered structural damage; it will require extensive work. When the quake struck, Nicholson’s two young children were at their mother Rebecca Broussard’s house as Jack has started work on Sean Penn’s “The Crossing Guard” with Anjelica Huston … In the same neighborhood atop Mulholland, Ted Kotcheff’s modern house suffered major damage. He was awakened by the quake when a 4-by-6-foot painting above the bed fell on him. “I thought the roof caved in,” he admitted. Fortunately, he was only stunned. The main water line to his house was severed and he has been sans H2O since the initial shock. “I’m using the pool for everything (except drinking water),” he laughed … Charlton Heston, who starred in the too-realistic 1974 “Earthquake” with Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene, etc., for Mark Robson and Jennings Lang, took in several friends whose homes were destroyed — they included “Bible” producer Gwen Field. The Hestons’ son Fraser and his small son Jack also moved in from their canyon home. But the senior Hestons were without power or phones until Tuesday.

THE TOWN BECAME MORE GHOSTLIKE as Monday progressed: CAA, whose building was designed to be earthquake-proof, showed no signs of damage, except bits of powder. The staffs were sent home at noon … The three William Morris buildings were emptied by 4 p.m. … The new ICM quarters showed minor cracks but they, too, departed at 2 p.m. … The former ICM h.q. at 8899 Beverly Blvd. suffered water damage from the top floor and its many showbiz occupants were not permitted to enter … And several industry offices in the Maple Plaza building, one of ’em Dolores Robinson’s, found their doors jammed shut. At home, Dolores found herself without electricity and unable to leave her electric-gated house. She finally had to climb over the gate. She had just moved in to her new home last Saturday. And, also, the chimney fell down. But she says that’s all inconsequential — and, she was happy to meet her new neighbors because of all of this … Tonight’s Writers Guild of America Tribute to Mel Shavelson and Jack Rose is postponed … And the American Jewish Committee’s BevWilshire dinner, Thursday, honoring Clint Eastwood with the Sherrill C. Corwin Human Relations Award, also is postponed. The Committee and WB are sending the centerpieces over to the MPTV Fund’s Country House and Hospital where, Tuesday, emergency water facilities were brought in … Barbra Streisand lost several antique pieces …”Ruthless” at the Canon was closed because of the curfew … Dan Tana’s and Spago remained open … Jonathan Tisch, chairman of the N.Y. Host Committee of the Grammys, put aside the feud with L.A. and, at Tuesday’s “N.Y. It Ain’t Over” lunch at Elaine’s, pledged $ 5,000 to quake relief.

I WAS ON HAND FOR THE 7.5 MAGNITUDE earthquake in Yellowstone on Aug. 17, 1959 . Can you imagine what that strength quake would have been like in L.A.? I wrote here at that time: “The hotel room (in the Old Faithful Inn) overlooked Old Faithful and it seemed like the old geyser was merely spouting off when the first tremor hit — but that dream soon disappeared when we were knocked out of bed … Water pipes burst in the rooms and we were taken to a timber-supported hall. The importance of any kind of communications was obvious to all in this isolated area. No one knew what had happened or what to do. There’s no TV in Yellowstone, radio reception is spotty and in the early hours, confusing. The hundreds of bewildered vacationers had to depend on word-of-mouth communications. This can be the worst kind. A story that originated as a rumor is passed on as fact … When we finally heard of the nearby damage — new geysers erupted, new lakes opened, swallowing cars — other cars were crumbled by toppling giant mountain boulders. When we finally heard of the actual damage and death toll we realized how fortunate we had been … And how important communications are.” Fade in.

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