Directors say ‘cheese’ for Leibovitz

GOOD MORNING: Who takes direction better than — directors? Twenty-four of the town’s top feature directors happily took direction from photographer Annie Leibovitz as they posed prettily for one of Vanity Fair’s coups in April’s tribute to Hollywood and the 100th anni of movies. The group: Barbra Streisand, who posed between Billy Wilder and Herb Ross; Ivan Reitman, Mel Gibson, James L. Brooks, Sydney Pollack, Penny Marshall, Alan Pakula, Richard Donner, John Singleton, Barry Levinson, Andrew Davis, Quentin Tarantino, Bob Zemeckis, Tim Burton, Wolfgang Petersen, Ron Howard, Lawrence Kasdan, Oliver Stone, Adrian Lyne, Norman Jewison and Tony Scott. They posed in rows of theater seats at the SmashBox photo studio in Culver City and gabbed about — the lack of good scripts to direct. (When writers get together, you know what they complain about!) Steven Spielberg, who took off on a 10-day, long delayed honeymoon with wife Kate Capshaw (they have three children since the marriage three years ago!), missed the Vanity Fair directors’ shoot but he and Kate tossed a celebration party at Granita for Bob Zemeckis and wife Mary Ellen, noting “Forrest Gump” passed the $ 300 million box office mark. Also on hand, Tom Hanks, Eric Roth and Alan Silvestri and their wives … Spielberg and Zemeckis date back to “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” in 1977 … Director-producer Ivan Reitman hasn’t found a script he’d like to direct but has a full slate of pix to produce including his next, “Beethoven’s Third” (“Eroica”), natch. Another Reitman producing project is perking for Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Bones,” an actioner … Michael Jackson hosts King Nana Amon Ndoufou IV of the Ivory Coast for four days in L.A. When Jackson visited him three years ago, the king made Jackson a “king” of his own Senwi Ghana region, says a Jackson spokesman, who adds, “This visit is a personal one.”

AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES Saturday night, Armani will tuxedo John Travolta, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as well as these ladies in tuxedo pants suits: Candice Bergen, Jodie Foster and Leigh Taylor Young. But we’ll be able to tell ’em apart … Emmy winner Fyvush Finkel (“Picket Fences”), who will be 73 next month, sings “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Any More” on the Cerebral Palsy Telethon, which airs Saturday and Sunday. Tonight, Finkel crosses over to David Kelley’s other Fox CBS drama with a guestint on “Chicago Hope.” Seven of the top interview show hosts give special message segs on the Cerebral Palsy Telethon. National hosts include John Ritter, Henry Winkler, Julie Brown, Brian Austin Green, Dennis James, Florence Henderson, Clint Holmes and Charlie Daniels. Ritter was named man of the year Thursday by KNX Radio for his work with the CP telethon, which he’s hosted for 16 years … George Kennedy, who makes a pitch on the Breath ASure commercials, is assured a new pact — and a raise for his breathy blurbs. Kennedy also completed a guestint as Michael Chiklis’ father on “The Commish”; his role will become a recurrent one … At the curtain call for Wednesday’s opening night of “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Pantages, Jean Stapleton made a surprise appearance onstage to present pal Theo Bikel a bouquet of posies as she told the applauding audience Theo’s performance that night was his 1,200th as Tevye — a record in the role. “Fiddler” continues until the 29th in its 30th anniversary production … CAAgents David Styne and Greg Pulis are advising the Hudson Theater on the one-act play festival. Jack Carter appears in one, “Dinosaur Limbo,” by Wm. S. Leavengood. Carter’s back from a sad mission, having taken the body of his mom, Anna Chakrin, from L.A. to N.Y. for burial … After starring in three critically well-received plays with husband Bruce Davison, Lisa Pelikan stars in Willard Simms’ one-woman show, “Only a String of Pearls” as Zelda Fitzgerald, opening Feb. 24 at Theater Geo. Jules Aaron directs.

JAY LENO SEX-SURVEY’D Melrose Avenoo’ers for tonight’s show … Pia Zadora and director/writer Jonathan Kaufer are engaged to wed. No dates set, but she says all’s amicably settled between her and her ex, Meshulam Riklis … After the army of press and photographers completed covering the George Burns-Gracie Allen street-naming ceremony yesterday, the gang broke into a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to Burns, who’s 99 today. Add our voice …”Northern Exposure’s” Darren E. Burrows and wife Melinda welcomed their first, William Franklin, Dec. 29, in Seattle … February’s Town and Country tells about Dina Merrill’s growing up years with her mom, Marjorie Merriweather Post (Davies), at their Palm Beach, Fla. home, Mar-A-Lago, now owned by Donald Trump. Dina guestars on “Something Wilder” this week.

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