GOOD MORNING: “It took a ton of courage,” Nancy Sinatra Jr. admits of her pictorial in the May issue of Playboy, which she covers. When I first reported she was doing the Playboy layout, she said it was not total nudity but “topless” and “tasteful.” Well, it remains tasteful but now Nancy has bared all. “Once you get involved,” she said, “it seemed stupid to be shy.” Nancy, sister Tina and brother Frank Jr. were celebrating mom Nancy Sr.’s birthday at Chasen’s, along with Jack Haley Jr. and Guy McElwaine. Although Nancy had a hot-off-the-presses copy of Playboy with her, she didn’t think it was the time or place to show the magazine to them. They haven’t seen it yet. Nor has father Frank. But Nancy says , “I got his OK. He told me to double the money!” Sister Tina told me she’s “totally supportive” of Nancy and will attend the April 6 party at the Playboy mansion, where the magazine will be unveiled and Nancy will sing three tunes from her new album, “One More Time” (Quality Records). She’ll play the House of Blues April 19 and tour the East in May with a date at the Limelight May 10. Asked howcum she did the layout in Playboy, Nancy said, “I wanted to stir things up a little. It’s a positive thing for women to feel sexy and attractive at my age (54).” She admits, “I would never have considered it in the ’60s (when I had many hits).” And she says even though her family and two daughters (19 and 20 years old) approved, she finally decided to go ahead with it when her lawyer’s secretary said she should “strike a blow for middle-aged women.” Nancy also is writing a book, “Sinatra, An American Legend” (General Publishing Group). And she’s working with Jack Haley Jr. on a docufeature on Frank. In addition, she’ll record a new album while re-releasing her nine Reprise platters on CD. Nancy kicks off these new boots (and everything else) via Playboy next week.
KEEPING IN TUNE WITH Thursday’s in topic of conversation spurred by the uncovering of the ICMigration, the “Swimming With Sharks” preview announcement brought out an overflow of requests from the town’s assistants. An ad in Wednesday’s Daily Variety invited “unappreciated, harassed” assistants (only) to attend the movie about those who work for “bosses from hell.” Trimark was flooded with calls for the pic written/directed by George Huang, a former assistant. Trimark’s voicemail system collapsed from all the calls and the screening was filled by 10:15 ayem. Attendees will be asked to identify who the pic’s based on, what studio, etc. — with the prize that the winner gets an assistant of his/her own. Ah, there’ll always be a press agent … Meg Ryan covers the May issue of Vanity Fair and uncovers stories of her mother and husband … Shirley MacLaine segues from “West Side Waltz” with Liza Minnelli to “Mrs. Winterbourne” with Rikki Lake. And then, the “Terms of Endearment” sequel, “Evening Star”… HBO wants Bette Midler to do a “live” special in Central Park … Meg Tilly, who joined sister-nominee Jennifer Tilly at the Oscars, is writing and will direct her novel “Singing Songs” for UA in ’96. John Calley says her script is “wonderful”… Bob Stack (remember, he was an Oscar nominee for supporting actor in “‘Written on the Wind” in ’56) was set by Charles Stern to film a commercial for Taco Bell fat-free items. Stack’s “Unsolved Mysteries” was 17th in the ratings last week … Ed McMahon hosts/produces a May 19 concert to benefit South Central’s Frederick K.C. Price III Schools. Kenny G, David Foster, Tramaine Hawkins, Billy Orter, Tom Dreesen are set for the gala at the Crenshaw Christian Center’s Faith Dome … Peter Jones is set by A&E to produce “Biography” specials on Edgar Bergen and Sidney Poitier. Frances and Candice Bergen are set for the former, with Edgar’s son Kris as editor and co-producer. He edited the ’94 CableACE Award-winning A&E special “Blue Angels.”
“I ALWAYS GO ON,” said Debbie Reynolds, suffering from the flu but still performing at her Vegas hotel as she readies for the “official” opening of her museum Saturday night. Among those coming up, Connie Stevens, who was also wed to Eddie Fisher. She arrives with her two daughters by Eddie. And Debbie’s children by Fisher, Todd and Carrie, will be there, but Debbie says, “I didn’t invite Eddie.” MGM alums winging up: Esther Williams, Russ Tamblyn, Ann Miller, plus “Wings’ ” Crystal Bernard — Debbie played her mom in the NBC series … Larry King, Sumner Redstone and Jeffrey Katzenberg help launch a campaign against Russian anti-Semitism Sunday, sponsored by the Jerusalem Fund with satellited show “Help Our People Know” from Paramount, where Sherry Lansing also will be on hand … Dana Freedman, 20th TV publicity VP, and Matthew Walden, senior VP of Fox Music, will wed in mid-December … The Cesar Chavez Legacy Awards are held tonight at the Biltmore …”South Central” co-creator Ralph Farquhar and wife Melba host a NEA rally and a toast to Congressman Ed Towns (D-N.Y.) at their home Saturday.