Evans family gets into ‘Gray’ area

GOOD MORNING: Joshua Evans, son of Robert Evans and Ali MacGraw, winged to Paris to meet with Roman Polanski to direct a “Dorian Gray” remake, to be produced by Evans pere and written by Evans fils … One thesp benefiting from the O.J. cause celebre is Rodney Saulsberry, who not only read portions as O.J. in the tape of “I Want to Tell You,” but will now also read as Simpson in the Dove audiotape of “Raging Heart: The Intimate Story of the Tragic Marriage of O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson.” And some of Nicole’s girlfriends will also read their own stories in this book/tape. This, too, is showbiz … I was surprised to see Florence Henderson plugging “The Brady Bunch” movie on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno — and Shelley Long, who plays Carol Brady in the bigscreen version. When last heard from, Henderson told me she nixed an invite to cameo in the pic as a truck driver (!), a role she considered unsavory. “And for a price for which I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed — or into it!” said Henderson. So wha’ happened? As she tells it, the pic was completed and into previews, and audiences complained about the missing original Carol. So, Henderson was paged from her La Paz vacation to talk with director Betty Thomas about a scene suitable to all. She returned — for an acceptable salary — to play Carol’s mother. “And it was fun,” she admits. Henderson reminds, ‘I’m the only one who has been going out every year talking about the series (wherever she concerts), all on my own. And answering all the fan mail — from 130 countries — all at my own expense. And I get no residuals at all” from the shows made from 1969-74. Henderson, who plays a recurring role as Harry Anderson’s mother-in-law on “Dave’s World,” is shooting a Mother’s Day seg this week with Audrey Meadows and Stella Stevens.

NO VIOLET CONTACT LENSES for Sherilyn Fenn, who plays Elizabeth Taylor in the NBC mini for producer Lester Persky. The beautiful Fenn told me, “I’m not Elizabeth — I’m playing her.” P.S.: She says they use a lot of appropriate violet makeup about her own beautiful blue orbs. In later scenes of the mini, appropriate prosthetics are also used. “It’s very complimentary to me to have been offered this role — to even have a resemblance to her. My concern was that this not be exploitive.” Fenn says she watched a lot of Taylor’s pix. Among ’em “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” of which there’s a sequence in the TV’er. “I’ve never seen two people rip each other apart like that,” she reminded us, adding, “It’s scary” playing the role of someone alive. “What would Elizabeth say?” Fenn wonders … Dick Crenna, fresh from “Jade,” previously played Billy Baldwin’s dad in “A Pyromaniac’s Love Story,” and is now Lauren Holly’s father in “Sabrina”; he wonders “if I’ll be Sylvester Stallone’s (“Rambo’s”) father” next. He’s talking more network vidpic characters like the seven successful telepix as Lt. Frank Janeks … Hans Zimmer, who won the Golden Globe for his score of “The Lion King” and is Oscar- and Grammy-nominated for it, says he has a 7-year-old daughter and “I wanted to do a movie she could see. It was thrilling to see the movie through my daughter’s eyes.” He segues to “The Crimson Tide” and “Nine Months” scores. “This is my passion — and my hobby — and they even pay me for it!”… Proudest papa in town: John Astin. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1969 for live action short, “Prelude,” and his son Sean Astin (mom’s Patty Duke) and his wife Christine were nominated in the same category this year for their “Kangaroo Court”… Milcho Manchevski, director of Gramercy’s Oscar-nominated “Before the Rain” (foreign-language film, from Macedonia) was celebrating its nod at the Women in Film screening of Fine Line’s “Once Were Warriors.”

TO ANSWER ANY POSSIBLE COMPLAINTS about the fact that “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” villains Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa danced the “Hava Nagila” after their wedding this week, the Anti-Defamation League’s David Lehrer tells me Saban showed ’em the clip and there’s nothing objectionable: “‘Hava Nagila’ may well be the universal accompaniment for joy.” Besides, he consulted with his 5 -year-old daughter, an avid Mighty Morphin fan … Rod Steiger’s daughter Anna stars as “Carmen” at France’s Lille Opera House March 7. Of course papa’s winging over … Mary Jane and Charles Wick dinner-partied Margaret Thatcher and husband Denis at Chasen’s; when Thatcher commented how sad the world-renowned “historical restaurant is closing,” Wick invited Ronnie Clint, the eatery’s well-loved general manager, to say a few historical words about the place to the elite group, which included Nancy Reagan (Ronnie was at home), the Lew Wassermans, Marvin Davises, Armand Deutches, Bill Wilsons, Pete Wilsons, Eva Gabor, Merv Griffin and Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, Abe Rosenthal and Diane Sawyer … Chasen’s will be the site March 1 for a Grammy-viewing party/dinner hosted by Al Joyner and Florence Griffith-Joyner, with proceeds going to her Youth Foundation.

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