Reynolds looks to revive career

GOOD MORNING: Burt Reynolds is back. He’s taken a long lease on a Hollywood Hills home and his UTAgents are working to revive his film career — taking a page from the success of John Travolta. The agents want to remind pic makers of Burt’s dramatic abilities in “Sharky’s Machine,” “Deliverance,” etc. Reynolds starts it off again in “The Devil Inside” (possibly titled “Bigger Than Life”), playing the national head of “Baby Savers,” a pro-life advocate — which will take some acting for Burt, whose feelings are pro-choice. Laura Dern stars as a single parent-to-be who is the target of both “pro” groups. Alexander Payne directs. He’s one of many young directors who are now eyeing Reynolds for roles. Coincidentally, Burt is paged for a role in “Get Shorty,” which stars Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld … If you saw the Ann Richards-Mario Cuomo commercial for Frito-Lay during the Super Bowl, you can understand why Mike Wallace and “60 Minutes” want to do a seg with the duo. And what went wrong with their campaigns? … While the Reagan Alumni Assn. Monday evening was holding its “Tribute to President RonaldReagan in celebration of the 45th anniversary of his 39th birthday” at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in D.C., R.R. was returning from a birthday celebration here with his staff at the Regency Club. He put away his favorites — meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, chocolate mousse cake. The staff gifted him with a saltwater aquarium for his Century City office. A quiet dinner with wife Nancy followed Monday night. On Sunday, the family toasted him at Maureen’s house … Tony winner Christopher Plummer joins Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt in Terry Gilliam’s time-travel thriller ” 12 Monkeys” for Universal. Plummer’s daughter, Amanda, starred in Gilliam’s Oscar-winning “The Fisher King”… Brillstein-Grey bought U.S. TV rights (ABC) to England’s Channel 4 wild and zany “live” show “Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush,” and Don Mischer, Mike Seligman and Stu Blumberg winged over last weekend to see the show in action — all over London! Mischer will exec produce and direct the pilot.

OSCAR AWARD FOUND: The Acad miniature statuette awarded in 1944 to Margaret O’Brien (as outstanding child actress) and stolen from her when she was 17 (in 1954) is returned to her today at the Acad by attorney Steve Neimand, who, with Mark Nash, bought the trophy at a swap meet … Benny Carter gets his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame Thursday. His star is sponsored by Lucille Ostrow, who exec produced the Carter docu “Symphony in Riffs.” Carter says he is “very grateful.” He’s up for three Grammys, has a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, honorary doctorates from Harvard, Princeton and Rutgers, and is off to concert in Japan in May. He’ll be 88 Aug. 8 … Joe Sinay partied his “Dr. Ruth,” wife Ruth Sinay, on her 75th with a gala black-tie’r Thursday at Hillcrest. With Monty Hall at a benefit, wife Marilyn emcee’d. And Roxanne Carter also subbed with the jokes for working husband Jack Carter. But Jan Murray did his own shtick, as did Norm Crosby, Red Buttons (76 on Sunday), Paul Alter, Selma Archerd and yours truly, and Sinay family members, Fred Schiff, Elise, Audry, and Joanna Spilker, plus songs by Joe himself. Rudy Varon ably accompanied the varied voices, tunes and keys! … Same night, Ray Evans was partied on his 80th birthday with a Chasen’s-catered soiree at Joan and Fred Nicholas’ art-filled home, also filled with music. Guests included Shirley and Jay Livingston, Nancy (Olson) and Alan Livingston, and Corky Hale. Ray continued on to N.Y. for the Songwriters Guild meet this week. A suit continues vs. Bourne Music in re “When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbing Along,” a hit of the 1920s.

THIS IS YOUR LIFE, Debbie Reynolds. The BBC crew caught Debbie by surprise Sunday onstage at her Las Vegas Star theater. Among those who winged up to surprise her: Eva Gabor, Jane Russell, Virginia Mayo, Rip Taylor, Ann Miller, Jack Haley Jr., Ruta Lee, Marvin Paige, Ben De Pinto, Margie Duncan, Duke Hazlett and Debbie’s son Todd Fisher. Daughter Carrie F., in London, taped her greetings … Matthew C. Blank, prez/CEO of Showtime, is Women in Film’s guest speaker today at the Hotel Nikko. Sherry Lansing intros … At Sunday’s AFI Associates’ Intl. Film Society screening of “Mon Amie Max,” Canada’s Oscar entry , Charlton Heston spoke for NEA support. His daughter-in-law Marilyn (Mrs. Fraser) Heston hosted the evening with Alizia Gur Schrager, also Canadian. The party followed at Consul General Dennis Browne’s home, where guests included Acad prez Arthur Hiller and wife Gwen (also Canadians). Next Sunday, “The Promise,” Germany’s Oscar entrant … Heavyweights having a light lunch at the Grill Monday: Mike Ovitz and Warren Beatty and Brandon Tartikoff and Len Goldberg.

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