Wasserman towers at MCA fete

GOOD MORNING: MCA’s Black Tower on the Universal lot will now be called the Lew R. Wasserman Building, Edgar Bronfman Jr. announced at Tuesday night’s “Building on 60 Years of Experience” tribute to Wasserman on the “Phantom Stage” (No. 28) on the lot. … Bronfman also announced a pledge of $1 million to Edie Wasserman’s favorite charity, the Motion Picture & Television Fund, as he presented her a bouquet of orchids. Bronfman was welcomed as a new charitable source in the industry. Bronfmans Sr. and Jr., and the studio’s top execs — including president and chief operating officer Ron Meyer — were on hand for what was a very emotional evening for the Wassermans and the MCA “family.”

Sid Sheinberg called Wasserman his “friend, mentor and partner.” Steven Spielberg thanked him “as a man who led us through the golden age and has been an inspiration to me.” … Wasserman, wearing his presidential medal (he rarely does) thanked all with his usual brevity, reminding, “You know me, I don’t like to talk very much.” Others spoke for/about him, like Jamie Lee Curtis, who said he is the real — her real — Godfather, and planted a big kiss on his lips. Her mom, Janet, whose role in U’s Hitchcock “Psycho” lives on, was also there, plus another historical U alumnus, Tony Curtis (“Yondah lies the castle of my faddah” fame) … Angela Lansbury femceed and the star roster of remarks continued with Charlton Heston, John Forsythe, Peter Falk as the raincoated (needed for that night!) Columbo, Donald O’Connor, Fay Wray, Steve Allen, Sharon Stone. Trisha Yearwood sang, and John Williams played the “Schindler’s List” melody … Among the many on hand: Aaron Spelling, Jeff Katzenberg, Walter Mirisch, Tom Pollock, Herb Steinberg, David Foster, Michael Mann, Larry Gordon, Jack Valenti, Judge Matt Byrne. New, large offices are being readied for Bronfman Jr. and Wasserman on the top floor of the Lew R. Wasserman Building.

CHRISTOPHER DARDEN MET WITH CBS’ Les Moonves to talk hosting a talkshow. Both were among BevHills Hotel cocktail party guests of GQ editor-in-chief Art Cooper , who hosted a reception honoring Peter Bart, Daily Variety/Variety‘s vice president and editorial director — who is also a GQ columnist … Also in the mix of industry-community celebs at the party was attorney Bob Shapiro, who said he is invited to join Mother Teresa, Henry Kissinger and Dan Rather (!) on a Bombay panel before the Young Presidents Organization. GQ’s new publisher, Richard Beckman, was giving Shapiro tips on India as they dined after the GQ party at Mister Chow’s … Party guests included Frank Mancuso, Sharon Stone, David Caruso, Barbara Hershey, Robert Evans and Beverly D’Angelo, Peter Guber, Bernie Brillstein, Arnold Kopelson, Joe Eszterhas, Abby Mann, Arnold Rifkin, Jeff Berg, Jim Wiatt, Rick Nicita, Faye Resnick and Paula Barbieri. Resnick has her next book, “Shattered” (Dove), upcoming, and Barbieri, also putting her past behind her, is renewing her acting career. Her manager, Tony Hahn, is negotiating for author Daniel Keyes’ book, “Unveiling Claudia,” as a feature for her. It’s scripted by Chris Devore.

SO MANY PHOTOGRAPHERS were expected to gather to try to capture pics of Frank Sinatra on his 80th birthday dinner at L’Orangerie that the site was quick-shifted by the George Schlatters to their own house. No family — only wife, Barbara S., plus friends Veronique and Gregory Peck and Anne and Kirk Douglas with ’em. It was a “very warm” evening, Greg and Kirk agree. “We talked about old times,” said Peck — about FDR, the first president they were able to vote for. “We never talk politics any more,” said Douglas, “but I believe his (Frank’s) views are Democratic — he’s always for the underdog.” Peck recalled the first time he and Sinatra met in 1942, “when he was at the Paramount and I was at the Morosco in ‘The Morning Star.’ We got together late one night at the Rio Bomba, where he appeared in a midnight show after five at the Paramount (!). A picture was taken of two skinny kids!” Peck also reminisced about the time, on the railroad station in Menton, France, when Frank, in uniform, showed up to meet the Pecks at 7 ayem (!). Sinatra was wheeling a large baggage cart to surprise — and save — the Pecks, who arrived at the porter-less station with 10 bags following months of filming in Rome on “The Scarlet and the Black.” Douglas, who has known Sinatra over 40 years, said, “It was the warmest evening I ever spent with him. I felt very close to him (that night). He joked about my singing career — my record of ‘Whale of a Tale’ from ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.’ ” Douglas toasted Sinatra with, “What a difference you’ve made — you’re a part of our lives. When you go to bed tonight , give yourself a pat on the back — and thank God for the great talent he gave you and how you’ve used it.” Peck will be 80, April 5, ’96. Douglas celebrated his 79th last Saturday (Dec. 9).

BLAKE EDWARDS UNDERWENT successful angioplasty here and is recuping before returning to N.Y. and wife, Julie Andrews, next week. “Victor/Victoria” continues to be a sellout … Walter Matthau is A-OK and home from the hospital following his procedures last week … Your favorite local newscasters can be found today at the Citicorp Plaza helping the Salvation Army “Ring a Bell for the Season.” NBC’s Fritz Coleman emcees; also there: 4’s Colleen Williams and CBS’ Ann Martin, KTLA’s Gayle Anderson, Ch. 11’s Christine Devine and Diana Koricke, Mario Machado, Donna Douglas and Jack Carter.

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