H’w’d to Heston: ‘Stop sending plagues!’

GOOD MORNING: “To all Talent Representatives,” read Wednesday’s bulletin from Breakdown Services’ Richard Heft: “Will the agent or manager for Charlton Heston please tell him to stop sending plagues upon Los Angeles. We think he is a fine actor, but he’s taking his job way too seriously. P.S. We will let his people go. Contact Pharaoh.” “I’m working on it,” laughed Heston, who recently donned Moses’ robes again for “Saturday Night Live”… Bill Cosby was on the phone Wednesday in N.Y. with writer Mike Milligan here in L.A., talking the comedy football spot Cos will do on the NBC Super Bowl telecast. During their conversation, at 1:19 p.m., an earthquake aftershock struck. “What was that thumping noise?” Cosby asked. “That was my knees,” said Milligan. “Why don’t you leave L.A.?” Bill continued. “What!” said the writer, “And give up showbiz!” Cosby’s up to his knees in showbiz — his first of four to six “Cosby Mystery Theater” segs airs on NBC Jan. 31 and his “Return of I Spy” airs on CBS Feb. 3. The latter was filmed in Budapest, the “Mystery Theater” in N.Y. “It’s a bright, clean N.Y.,” adds Cosby, who plays a criminologist. He added he’ll also open up a laundry and dry-cleaning business in L.A. –“for pajamas and nightgowns”… Carroll O’Connor closed his 15-year-old BevHills eatery, Carroll O’Connor’s Place. The quake caused extensive damage and that was the coup de grace. “The amount of money to repair it — plus the losses during the repairs — make it unwise (to reopen),” he said, also admitting, “Beverly Hills restaurant business has been bad since the riots.” But he hopes to open another boite further west … Meanwhile, Morton’s delayed the opening of its new site (across the street from the old) until Tuesday when the Natural Resources Defense Council postponed its Monday event due to the quake/curfew … Nicky Blair suffered shoulder injuries at home during the first shaker when a bookcase filled with hundreds of videotapes tumbled on him. He shuttered his Sunset Strippery Tuesday (now open again) and showed up across the street on busman’s holiday at Spago … Today’s Walk of Fame star ceremonies for the Pointer Sisters is postponed … And as a result of Wednesday afternoon’s severe aftershock, the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters also tabled their tribute to Norman Lloyd at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Sherman Oaks.

TALK ABOUT TIMING: “Nostradamus” producer Ed Simons arrived here Monday for the movie’s first screening Tuesday — the $ 20 million movie opens with a major earthquake scene over the titles! And Nostradamus declaring, “The earth is breaking up, the earth is breaking up!” The quake was supposedly predicted by Nostradamus to take place in 1993 — what’s a few days’ mistake over a 500-year prediction? The scene was filmed with special effects in London — with an unidentified city skyline. The rest of the movie was shot in Romania. The movie stars Tcheky Karyo in the title role, plus F. Murray Abraham, Rutger Hauer and Amanda Plummer. Simons admits he’d hate to “capitalize” on L.A.’s quake for the movie, but admits, “From a marketing point of view — it’s sensational.” And the 65 majors and indies who viewed it here and in N.Y. agreed. Foreign’s sold everywhere — except France and Italy … Juliette Binoche, Golden Globe nominee for “Blue,” arrived here Sunday. “I came early to relax a little,” she laughed. “Now I know why they (Miramax) sent me — the cowards!” She arrived with her 5 -month-old son and friend-coach Vernice Moskowitz (widow of onetime Variety Paris bureau chief Gene M.). Binoche admits that their first night in L.A. turned into “a nightmare, and remains a memory of a nightmare” as she and her infant son huddled under the hotel doorway in the dark. She is philosophical about the fact that “Blue” was nixed for foreign-language Oscar eligibility, and says a film should be judged “like a person for what he (it) is.” As for choosing her next movie, Binoche admits, “It is more difficult to find the right film than it is to make it.” Her choices to date have been excellent.

THERE WAS NO CURFEW at the Improv as co-owner Budd Friedman returned only a week after successful gall bladder surgery at Cedars-Sinai. Pre-quake Sunday, at the club, Jerry Seinfeld put in an appearance, honing one of the (clever) monologues for his TV’er … Because of the I-5 freeway closure problems, Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows moved into a hotel in La Mirada, where they’re appearing in “Love Letters” through Sunday … Arthur Cantor, producer of B’way’s “Beau Jest,” caught Michael Spound’s closing-night performance in “The Twilight of the Golds,” asked him to take over the lead in “Beau Jest,” which was playing across the street — he did. And so, Spound, wife Heidi Bohay and son Zachary have relocated to N.Y. … Nancy and Gregory Laemmle welcomed triplets Jan. 8. Grandpa Bob says, “We’ve got a new triplex.”

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