Robertson at work on autobio

GOOD MORNING: Cliff Robertson is writing his autobiography — reading a portion of it today at Barnes & Noble’s bookstore at 86th and Lexington in N.Y., and sez he’ll follow with a reading in L.A. What’s he going to say now, about the late David Begelman and his check-forging of Robertson’s (and others’) checks? “I’m going to tell it the way it was — and is,” said Robertson. “His flaws in his character self-destructed him — but in that process he also hurt others.” Robertson, in that latter category as an innocent victim of Begelman’s, found himself, believe it or not, persona non grata in the biz. But he claims his book will not be a “kiss and tell” or a “sexploitation” book. “I’m writing it for my grandkids,” of which he doesn’t have any yet, he admits. (He was married to Dina Merrill from 1966-89.) Career-wise, next month Robertson starts his 45th movie, Par’s “Escape From L.A.” for John Carpenter. Kurt Russell reportedly gets $10 million to reprise his role from Carpenter’s 1981 “Escape From N.Y.,” which cost a total of $7 million. In “Escape From L.A.,” Robertson plays the U.S. president. He also played the future president JFK in “PT 109,” and a McCarthy-like presidential candidate in “The Best Man.” Robertson won the Oscar for “Charly” in 1968 … The “love nest” where the tabloids had Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden hiding out was — the Valley home of their mutual attorney-adviser Mark Fleischer and his wife, Susan, who had invited ’em for dinner away from the madding crowds. They (O.J. prosecutors) are not an item, Fleischer assures. Mark joins his father, Richard Fleischer, and family in N.Y. Monday when the Intl. Museum of Cartoon Art honors the late Max Fleischer (Richard’s father) with the award for distinguished contributions to the art of animation. The Fleischer Studios are still going strong, plus merchandising via King Features. But a Betty Boop feature has gone into turnaround at MGM — where Mark F. is senior VP and deputy general counsel.

THE GREEKS HAD A WORD FOR IT — bitter. Don Mischer, producer of the centennial Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, is back from a visit to Greece via Atlanta, the 1996 Olympics’ site. He says the Greeks are not mad at the U.S., but at the Olympic committee — for not giving ’em the Games, since they started there. Mischer said, “I was trying to assure them we will pay (’em) proper tribute, and how we’ll do it is very important.” While there, he learned fascinating stories about the origins of the all-male, all-nude games — the earliest were recorded from 776 B.C. The 1996 opening ceremonies (July 19) will run 3 1/2 hours, the closing (Aug. 4) 2 1/2 hours, on NBC. Mischer’s back from Atlanta and first auditions (for 7,000 finalists) of cheerleaders, dancers, steppers, etc. … Add Bruce Springsteen, singing “Angel Eyes,” to the star performers on ABC’s “Frank Sinatra: 80 Years My Way” Dec. 14 special, taping Nov. 19 at the Shrine. And Bob Dylan does “That’s Life” on the George Schlatter-produced show … Charlton Heston’s back in the Shakespeare arena when in England on p.a.’s for his autobiog, “In the Arena” (Simon & Schuster) — in “Hamlet” for Kenneth Branagh. It’s Heston’s third bow with the Bard on the bigscreen … East is east and west is west — and audiences agreed favorably at the Agoura, Calif., and Wayne, N.J., sneaks of the Sally Field-Ed Harris-Kiefer Sutherland starrer “Eye for an Eye.” Producer Michael Levy calls director John Schlesinger “a gift from God — he never had to reshoot one scene.” The story’s about a family coping after their daughter is murdered and the obvious killer declared “not guilty.” Levy said the studio’s distribution department saw the movie the day the O.J. verdict was announced.

THESE WERE GIANTS: George Burns, Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra were dining at adjoining booths at Matteo’s. Boss Matty Jordan has recuped from shoulder surgery … Vet producer Sam X. Abarbanel is recuping at Cedars-Sinai where he’s been fitted for a prosthesis after leg amputation, a complication from a crushing car accident last December … George C. Scott guestars in three “New York News” segs as Sausage King Ollie Herman, the paper’s owner. Scott’s busy agent, Charles Stern, also set George to play Clarence Darrow in “Inherit the Wind” for producer Tony Randall in February on Broadway. But first, Scott and wife Trish Van Devere do “Love Letters” in Dallas in December … Henry Winkler was birthday-partied on his 50th by wife Stacey with a family toasting at their home. Winkler’s banner sold a seg of its (fourth year) syndie’d “Sightings” to NBC for a telefilm. The hourlong show, in 95% of the nation’s markets, is also on radio, in book form, homevideos and, upcoming, a CD-ROM … Third generation: Lee Newman (ne Kafafian), great-grandson of Eddie Cantor and tunesmith Jimmy McHugh, debuts “Relatively Singing” (Original Cast Record) with grandpas’ hit tunes including “When My Sugar Walks Down the Street,” “Making Whoopee,” “Sunny Side of the Street,” etc. They’d love sonny boy … Kirstie Alley receives her star on the boulevard Nov. 9.

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