Next Beatty-Bening project: a baby boy

GOOD MORNING: Warren Beatty and Annette Bening’s second child, due next month , is a boy. Their daughter Kathlyn is almost 2 years old. The happy couple’s “Love Affair” for WB is only the first of the movies they plan to make together, Warren tells me from N.Y., where he visited with co-star Katharine Hepburn (“She’s in great shape”), looped a line and headed to Europe for a quick meeting with Ennio Morricone. He returns here Wednesday. The movie bows Oct. 14 or 21. It runs 108 minutes. There is nothing remaining to shoot — or re-shoot, he says , except an insert of a telegram. It came in for $ 22 million below-the-line, as skedded. Warren showed it to WBrass, who are in love with the “Affair”– he’ll do another movie for ’em … The Beattys have not yet been able to move back into their severely earthquake-damaged home and are redesigning it. Add another dramatic stroke of nature at Beatty: Last Friday, during the severe N.Y. storm, lightning struck the hotel in which Warren was staying, knocking out all the power. We continued our conversation via cellular phone, later from his car. And yes, Warren will go the interview route for the picture. “I’ll try to be newsy,” he laughed. It’s not easy for him — or the interviewer …”When American history is woven into entertainment, you can’t beat that,” Sidney Poitier told me as he talked his return to TV in the CBS miniseries “Children of the Dust” for producer Frank Konigsberg. Poitier’s last TV outing was George Stevens Jr.’s 1991 Emmy-winning “Separate But Equal,” in which Sidney’s portrayal of Thurgood Marshall won him an Emmy nomination. He’ll now play an 1880s gunfighter in Oklahoma. “This is a real impressive piece of American history. It’s massive,” he explained, “with seductive relationships. It’s an ensemble piece with many parts in a wonderful script by Joyce Eliason from the novel by Clancy Carlile.” The setting and period take in post-slavery years, land-grabbing of former Indian territories, the government, the Army, etc. It’s big. And a September start is planned. Meanwhile, Poitier’s plotting a continuation of American history and entertainment with his TriStar bigscreen feature “The Golden 13” for which the script by Stephen Glantz and Caliope Brattlestreet was turned in last week. Poitier will direct this story about the first group of black naval officers at Annapolis in WWII.

THE WORK OF THE Permanent Charities Committee and the Westside Children’s Center was lauded by James Garner, James Woods, Jack Lemmon and Rip Torn (subbing for Gene Hackman), honorees of Encore Media Corp. at the Universal backlot bash launching Encore’s six genre-specific movie channels. A giant Jumbotron screen unspooled hundreds of major movies to be shown on the multiplex cable system and the thesps praised TCI prez/CEO John C. Malone and John J. Sie, Encore’s chairman/CEO, for keeping these pix alive via the entertainment lane of the emerging information superhighway “which is now open,” said Sie … Lorraine (Mrs. Sidney) Sheinberg and Bruce Davison accepted a $ 150,000 check from Sie for the PCC and the kids’ center … When I noted to James Woods he’d effectively played such real people as Richard Boyle, Bill Wilson and Roy Cohn, Woods laughingly said his next role might be Robert Shapiro. The Encore awards party was spread over the European and Western streets of the Universal backlot … And Tuesday, the “True Lies” preem will take over Westwood at both the Bruin and the Village theaters — with fans in the street gifted with souvenir T-shirts. The pic’s followed by a parade of the preemgoers through Westwood to a giant party … Bob Palmer has resigned as Faye Dunaway’s manager.

THE WORLD CUP RUNNETH OVER: Kenny G toots the national anthem in the pre-game show starring Whitney Houston at the grand finale, 11:15 ayem Sunday at the Rose Bowl. The show boasts a cast of more than 2,500, will run a half-hour and is budgeted in excess of two million-$ . At the cup presentation to the winner, the theme “Glory Land” will be sung by Daryl Hall with the Sounds of Blackness plus a special daytime pyro show, promises Chuck Gayton, exec producer and VP of the committee for the World Cup. As noted here previously, the pre-game show is not to be televised in the U.S. — the game, of course, is. But don’t be surprised if the U.S. gets to see it all … Daily Variety‘s Todd McCarthy and filmmaker wife Sasha Alpert welcomed daughter Madeleine Alpert M. July 5 at Cedars-Sinai … Sarah Sutton, mother of publicist Joe S., agent Victor S., Leona Falls, Joyce Gindi and Chuck Sutton, died Friday. She had many friends in the industry and will be missed … Also sad to note the passing of playwright Robert E. Lee, whose talents were always matched by his smile and enthusiasm … Karl Malden signed with CAA.

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