Winners’ words are timeless — but best if brief

GOOD MORNING and good luck, Emmy nominees. “The most memorable phrases from the Emmys — or Oscars — or Tonys — are not those written by the writers, but those delivered by the winners up there on stage in a moment of glory — the heart of what the awards are all about. So, I feel strange asking winners to keep their speeches short,” producer Don Mischer admitted. He likes them, he really likes them. Yup, but he’s still gonna tell you winners to keep it short Sunday! … As soon as he winds the Emmys, Mischer’s off to Greece to soothe sentiments there about the 100th anni of modern Olympics, to be held in Atlanta, opening July 19, 1996. The Greeks, of course, felt the games should have been played in Athens. So Mischer meets with the Hellenic Council, tells ’em he’s developing a segment paying tribute to the ancient Greeks who launched the games again in 1896 — after the Romans nixed ’em in 376 A.D. … Nominees Barbra Streisand and Glenn Close are scheduled to attend the Emmys … Last-minute changes in the cast for Sunday: Nominee-presenter Sissy Spacek’s unable to get off work and Ben Kingsley will present the writing award in a mini or special. Sam Elliott, nominated for Fox/Hallmark’s “Buffalo Girls,” winds “Blue River” in South Carolina late Saturday night, red-eyes in to Pasadena … Armani’s fancy threads will be paraded by this celeb cast at the Emmys: “Seinfeld’s” Jerry S. and Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be in Armani, she in black velvet sleeveless with a deep plunging neckline, he in a double-breasted shawl-collar tux. Michelle Pfeiffer and Emmy-nominated husband David Kelley are both in Armani, ditto Candice Bergen (in celadon beaded jacket, matching skirt), Victoria Principal in black satin slim floor-length gown with crossing front straps. And for those of us who wonder at the weekly wardrobe of Fran Drescher in “The Nanny,” her Emmy-nominated costume designer Brenda Cooper’s created this for herself at Sunday’s soiree: a designer (natch) oyster suit, oyster pumps, brocaded blouse … Gail O’Grady, in a leopard miniskirt and black vinyl boots, confirmed her status as a Major Babe at Wednesday’s TV Acad-Variety sponsored reception (250-plus attended) at the Westwood Marquis honoring nominees and past winners. Nominee Dennis Franz arrived late due to filming (earlier in the day, he’d helped hand out the LAPD’s annual Medal of Valor Awards). Accepting his nomination certificate, David Hyde Pierce said, “I’ve got nothing to say because I have no writers here.” He told me of the terrif experience playing John Dean, working with Oliver Stone and Anthony Hopkins in “Nixon”… Nominee Jean Stapleton said she’s excited to be playing the wicked queen in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” coming to Lincoln Center. “It’s a non-singing part,” she laughed … Leigh Taylor-Young femceed the evening along with Dr. James Loper, exec director of the TV Acad, and Variety’s Gerry Byrne … Emmy-nominated writers are honored tonight at a Four Seasons reception hosted by the WGA West. It’s an Emmy weekend.

THE DOUGLASES — KIRK, MICHAEL AND JOEL — hold a reunion with members of the family living in Albany, N.Y., this weekend. Kirk and Michael are looking at a new draft of “A Song for David,” in which they’d co-star as father and son … Gregory Peck is elevated from Chevalier to Commander status in France’s Legion of Honor in Saturday ceremonies hosted by President Chirac at the Elysee Palace … Corky Hale and the Louise Baranger Big Band bowed to an SRO celeb crowd at the Moonlight Tango Cabaret Tuesday and they repeat tonight at the BevHills Hotel. Among music lovers on hand for the debut of the group: Liza Minnelli and Billy Stritch, Mel Torme, Ray Anthony, Jerry Vale, Ginny Mancini, and of course Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (Corky’s composer-husband). … Sidney Sheldon’s newest book, “Morning, Noon & Night” (Morrow), hits the stalls this week with “Drippy” (Dove) next, a children’s book by Sidney and daughter Mary with illustrations by Sidney’s wife, Alexandra. Meanwhile, David Gerber wound shooting the CBS mini version of Sidney’s bestseller “Nothing Lasts Forever”– mebbe, except Sheldon … And here’s a book you must get for your coffee table, library, night stand, etc.: It’s “Manhattan With Love” by artist-author Dorothy Rice (Glen House). Her paintings and prose perfume the borough from the Battery to the Bronx. Rice is the wife of producer Stanley Chase.

THE FEED IS ON: Penny Marshall’s honored by the ACLU of Southern California Monday at the Century Plaza with the Torch of Liberty award … Isaac Hayes is honored today in his hometown, Memphis, as a state marker’s placed in front of his old high school. Hayes just wound “Flipper”… Phyllis Diller (78) attends tonight’s 60th reunion of her Lima, Ohio, high school … Ginny Mancini, who has headed the UCLA Center for the Performing Arts Donor Committee, hosted the preem-party for “Stomp” at the Veterans Wadsworth Theater with a party at her home — it’s the last bash at the house, which she’s sold.

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