Richman Agency licenses the legends

GOOD MORNING: Legends do last forever: James Cagney, Audrey Hepburn, Glenn Miller and Lawrence Welk are the latest additions to the client roster of the Roger Richman Agency. An Audrey Hepburn doll is in the final planning stage. Glenn Miller and Lawrence Welk collectors’ plates are among items being finalized. The agency, celebrating its 15th anni (as well as Roger R.’s 50th birthday), has also licensed fashion dolls of Marilyn Monroe; trading cards of her stills via Sports Time — they include a hidden diamond in some of the packages; also a line of hosiery (in Spain); calendars, of course; Marilyn Merlot wine, etc. The agency clients range from Louis Armstrong to Mae West and to Albert Einstein, who continues to be important to advertisers in Japan and France as well as the U.S., where he’s utilized for scientific and technical promotions. The legends are licensed for ad campaigns as well as merchandising and look-alike and sound-alike services … Photog Phil Stern, whose copyrighted James Dean stills have been sold to many outlets, has now been asked for his Bogart-Bacall pix by France 2 TV, which is readying a series, “Lovers of the Century”… And talking of legends — Milton Berle’s readying a pilot, “For Heaven’s Sake,” and signed with the Lenhoff/Robinson agency’s Lloyd Robinson and Dan Pasternack, as did the series’ co-creators Stanly Ralph Ross and Buddy Arnold … Jason Robards returned to Clifford Stevens, a partner of the Paradigm agency, after a five-year absence. Stevens had repped Robards for 25 years … Ten clients of the late Irving “Swifty” Lazar signed with former Lazar agent Alan Nevins, now a principal partner with Joel Gotler and Irv Schwartz in Renaissance. Among the authors, Joan Collins, who signed more than 1,000 copies of her “My Secrets” (Boxtree) in London’s Harrods last week — breaking the record of Margaret Thatcher’s book-signing stint. Also inked with Nevins: Larry Collins, Rich Devoe, Judith Gould and Cordelia Biddle … After 10 years in the agency biz, Joannie Burstein has unfurled her own artists’ management banner: appropriately, it’s called the Burstein Company.

GUESS WHO LIKES NIGHT SHOOTING? Jack Nicholson. He has been enjoying working in the dark hours in downtown L.A. with director Sean Penn on “The Crossing Guard.” Nicholson has high praise for Penn as a director and reminds, “He turned down a lot of acting parts to direct this.” Nicholson admits that he too would like to direct again –“But I got myself too booked up (with acting jobs).” He still has looping (loup’ing?) to do on “Wolf,” which is due out in March … Director Fraser Heston was bitten on the chest by a wolf as he checked out animals for his forthcoming feature, “Wolf in the Heart.””The trainer told me, ‘He likes you!’ — the wolf drew blood, then started to lick me,” laughed Heston. He says it’s a family movie a la “Born Free” and “Free Willy.” It’s his second for Castle Rock; the first, “Needful Things”… His dad, Charlton Heston, is readying a documentary on generals — he’s known a few … One of the “priorities” Billy Crystal had to take care of in making his decision to KO his Oscar hostint was shoulder surgery, which he underwent last Friday. He had postponed it until after his “Comic Relief’er”… Jenifer Lewis (“What’s Love Got to Do With It”) joins the talent lineup for Thurday’s AIDS Project L.A. Commitment to Life benefit at the U Amphi. She’ll be backed by Madonna’s male dancers in a Paul Jabara disco medley … And — Ann Blyth and Eddie Fisher join the Women’s American O.R.T. fundraiser Feb. 13 in Palm Springs.

A SURPRISE 70TH BIRTHDAY BASH was given for Robert Halmi last Friday at the Metropolitan Club in N.Y., with Walter Cronkite as narrator of the retro and Jon Voight and Ellen Burstyn among players of Halmi’s pix on hand. He was gifted with — a’79 classic Harley-Davidson! … Ernie Kovacs’ 75th birthday was celebrated in Trenton, N.J., where a street and a TV studio were named for him. His widow, Edie Adams, on hand, said she’s readying digital CD-ROM versions for Ernie’s classic TV shows — and she is returning to the singing stage … A memorial to the late Jet Fore was held at Russ Meyer’s home Thursday night. Fellow 20th flack Chuck Panama read an obit written by the inimitable press agent Fore in 1980. In it, Fore suggested donations be sent to the St. Anne’s Home for Unwed Mothers, since, he said, he was “known to contribute any number of unwed mothers.” Roger Ebert sent a taped video tribute to Fore, one of his first friends in Hollywood … Wally George is out of the Panorama Community hospital — regaining strength at home — before returning for prostate surgery … Cedars-Sinai’s Women’s Guild raised $ 400,000 via a screening of “Intersection” at Par’s new theater and party that followed on the lot..

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