Arab prince courts H’wood

GOOD MORNING: Hollywood royalty has a regal fan who is making a splash by supporting several industry events. He is Saudi Arabia’s Royal Prince Nawaf Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, who will underwrite Women in Film’s Lucy Awards Sept. 9, plus the Golden Globes, the Oscar nominees luncheon and possibly the AFI Life Achievement Award dinner as well. Joan Hyler, president of WIF, said the prince’s involvement came about since his U.S. rep, Kate Edelman, is a friend of Joanna Kerns, who chairs WIF’s Lucy Awards. This year’s honorees are Tracey Ullman, Imogene Coca, Brianne Murphy, Fred Silverman and, posthumously, Elizabeth Montgomery. Hyler said WIF almost supported a film fest planned for Saudi Arabia. Edelman told me the prince has a very special interest in women’s issues and he also will be at the White House next month on behalf of Save the Children … Personal manager Hyler has signed Michele Lee to her banner. The versatile Lee, who has a development deal with CBS, also has other projects perking … George Stevens Jr. is here meeting with Mike Medavoy on “six-seven” joint feature projects for Medavoy’s Phoenix banner … Sidney Lumet is readying rehearsals next month for an October start of “Night Falls in Manhattan”; he’s hoping Richard Dreyfuss will join Andy Garcia in the Spelling Entertainment feature possibly for Paramount … Monica Seles has been flooded with movies and book offers, but at age 21 says she is more concerned with resuming her tennis life than having her life story told. She made her return Tuesday in Toronto to her first WTA Tour match since the stabbing in Hamburg in April ’93 … Add sports note: Martina Navratilova, hailed by many as the world’s all-time greatest woman tennis player, will be a member of the broadcast team for the U.S. Open for CBS-TV — following her successful HBO broadcasting debut at Wimbledon. P.S.: She’s also credited with helping IMG’s Mark McCormack convince Seles to return to the tour.

“OVERWHELMING,” sez Ilya Salkind of the reaction to his announcement of “The Abominable Snowman” feature. Now here, Salkind is meeting with the major studios for the project, which will location in Tibet. When asked about the perils of shooting in snow, he assured it couldn’t compare to the water problems on “Christopher Columbus — The Discovery” and that dangerous scenes will be interior-filmed, where the snows can be controlled. Budget is estimated at $35 million-$40 million. Salkind, wife Jane (Chaplin) and their children live in Orlando, with offices at Universal Studios, where they are preparing several other projects for their Scent (S-alkind C-haplin Ent-erprises) banner. They include “The Sadistic Trainer” by Chaplin, and a “literary masterpiece” now being negotiated. They also hope the Chaplin estate will make a deal with ’em for Charlie Chaplin’s script of “The Freak.” Asked about his $10 million lawsuit against Alexander S., his father, Ilya said, “It is very sad, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.” They have an Oct. 2 date in L.A. court, having won the preliminary … Fries Entertainment’s “Screamers” is in the Midnight Madness seg at Toronto … And Diane Ladd continues the fest fun with her “Mrs. Munck” with screenings in Toronto and Chicago, following showings at the Seattle and Edinburgh fests … Danny Welton and his group play a memorial concert for Laurindo Almeida Thursday at Lunaria. Almeida died one month after recording his final album with Welton. Almeida’s wife, soprano Deltra Eamon A., intros the concert.

RICHARD PRYOR IS IN A HAPPY MOOD at the Comedy Store’s original room, performing Monday-Wednesday-Friday this week. Pauly Shore also went on Monday night, along with Chris Tucker and Carlos Mencia. Pauly’s mom, Mitzi Shore, the club’s boss, would like to cook up a sitcom set — in the boite … Billie Clevenger celebrates her 100th birthday today at Dodger Stadium. She’s a fan. Billie was chief telephone operator at NBC until retirement — then on to Ralph Edwards Prods. — until she was 85 … Gypsy Boots celebrates his 85th birthday Friday … Helping Benny Carter celebrate his 88th birthday at the Jazz Bakery: Joe Williams, Jay Livingston, Alan Bergman, Corky Hale and Mike Stoller, Saul Chaplin, Bill Claxton. Gene Norman m.c.’d … Connie Stevens celebrated her birthday (57) and the West Coast launch of her new fragrance, Kali, at the Warehouse in Marina Del Rey … Katharine Kramer debuts a new musical show at the Monkey Bar Aug. 24 … Debbie Gibson bows her new band at the House of Blues Aug. 30 … Fyvush Finkel was passing out cigars on the “Picket Fences” set — celebrating the arrival (Aug. 14) in N.Y. of his second great-grandson, Caley Jay F., son of percussionist Abott and Yasna Finkel … The mercury hit 105 degrees Tuesday in Pittsburgh and “Diabolique” producer Marvin Worth sent home his leading ladies, Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani. Also heading back there to swelter on the remake of the classic pic are Shirley Knight and Alan Garfield.

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