GOOD MORNING: The latest threats to Madonna’s life on the Buenos Aires location of “Evita” brought this response from her longtime manager and friend Freddie De Mann: “I’m one minute away from calling her out of that country.” But Andy Vajna said the reports of threats “are all lies.” He insisted “the country is giving all cooperation — this movie will help their economy.” The latest threat, from a former secretary of the late First Lady threatened to kill the star. “We want Madonna dead or alive. If she does not leave I will kill her,” Clara Marin announced to TV reporters gathered at a protest camp opposite La Prensa building where Alan Parker is slated to film interiors. “She (Madonna) is not going to offend any longer the name of our revered Evita.” Marin added, “Evita is our mother, our flag, our motherland.” Vajna countered, “If she (Marin) threatened death to Madonna she would have been arrested on the spot.” He said his staff there (Buenos Aires) reported no such happening … Since her arrival last Saturday, Madonna has been besieged by fans, plus devotees of Eva Peron and by space-seeking politicians of the ruling Peronist party. And a state security agency has declared that Madonna could be at risk when she appears in public. Following the death threat, Interior Minister Carlo Figueroa said he would look into stepping up security around the singer … De Mann told me he has spoken to Vajna about the conditions in Buenos Aires and, obviously, whether they should remain. Vajna insisted to me Madonna’s besieged only by fans, who just want to see her … The company has locations duplicating Buenos Aires planned for Budapest and interiors to shoot in London’s enormous former Rolls Royce assembly plant. De Mann told me Madonna’s hair was pulled when she appeared in public. Meanwhile , “Evita’s” publicist Alex Ritchie denied to Daily Variety‘s correspondent Beatriz Goyoaga reports in Thursday’s (Buenos Aires) papers that the $59 million Cinergi pic, due to start Feb. 8 would depart Buenos Aires earlier than scheduled for Budapest. Goyoaga reported further evidence of the threatening atmosphere down there when Argentina President Carlos Menem publicly attacked the musical — which hints that Evita was once a prostitute –“as a disgrace.” Cinergi’s Geoff Ammer assured me “Madonna’s security is uppermost in our minds.” He also said they had not heard from their production staff of the latest “death threat” described above from Daily Variety‘s correspondent.
“TO GET PRODUCT A ‘GO’ is a lot tougher,” Brandon Tartikoff decided at the close of NATPE, which he said was “different — it demonstrated the new era of consolidation and mergers.” Well, Tartikoff’s New World fared well despite the above — gaining 70%-80% of markets for “Access Hollywood,” “Loveline” and Steven Cannell’s “Two.” And his local New Orleans show, “N.O. It Alls,” is going out in national syndication as “Know It Alls.” While he was observing the action of the latter show at the booth it shared with a wild-life series, Tartikoff got too close to a cheetah, which bit him on the ankle! … On yet another front, Tartikoff’s book arm has an imprint at Warner Books — he’ll be at Brentano’s Century City today with author Cathy Cash Spellman and her “Playground of the Gods,” a big, sexy action romance. A second book, “Superstition” by R.L. Stine, will be headed to Miramax. On Saturday, Tartikoff puts on another hat (which he wears equally well) as host of “CNBC Live,” with a panel including Les Moonves, Tom Shales and Elvis Mitchell (NPR) plus “Party Of Five” thesps Matthew Fox and Lacey Chabert. “I love all this stuff,” admitted the always exuberant Tartikoff — it’s all fun”… Ron Perelman who owns New World, also Revlon, Marvel Comics, Consolidated Cigar, etc., is the subject of an (unauthorized) bio, “Billionaire Bulldog” (Dove) being written by Richard Hack. The author, coincidentally, grew up in the same Haverford, Pa., as Perelman and his family. Perelman, shy of the press — even where his enormous ($100 millions) charities are concerned — turned down Hack’s request to interview. Hack said the Perelman book could be a primer for business students. “Unlike corporate raiders, he builds up companies he buys and is extremely generous,” reminded Hack. And everyone in L.A. is more than familiar with his multimillion-$ grants to Revlon-UCLA Women’s Cancer Research and the “Fire And Ice Balls,” headed by Lilly Tartikoff.
A RARE EVENING WITH a rare gentleman — Itzhak Perlman launched the new Wings at DC3 intimate theater (299 seats) with a generous concert to benefit TreePeople. Lauren Shuler-Donner, the evening’s co-chair, and sister Barbara Shuler welcomed the guests. Michael York intro’d Perlman, accompanied by Janet Goodman Guggenheim, who played several sonatas and John Williams theme from “Schindler’s List”… Pierre Cossette’s Super Bowl bash, this year held at Sardi’s will boast a mixture of N Y.-L.A — Donald Trump and George Steinbrenner; Lew Wasserman and Sidney Poitier.