Howard benefits from write-in campaign

GOOD MORNING: How many Oscar write-in votes will there be for “Apollo 13’s” Ron Howard as best director? One for sure is from Kathleen Quinlan, herself nominated for supporting actress in the pic. She was unable to be on hand for Tuesday’s nominees feed at the BevHilton, as she is busy fooling around with dolphins in the waters of the Bahamas for “Zeus and Roxanne.” “It’s very remote,” she said of the location; even a phone connection is difficult, so Oscar balloting was really hard, “but I got to vote for him.” Quinlan’s co-starring with Steve Guttenberg in Rysher’s pic, produced by Frank Price, directed by George T. Miller. Quinlan segues from this water opus to a terra firma film, “Solace of Open Spaces” with husband Bruce Abbott and partner Ted DeNere. She’ll play a woman alone in Wyoming sheep country. In “Zeus,” she accompanies the dolphins in open ocean. “But I am a complete water person,” she said. Is it dangerous? “Yes, but the 600-pound dolphins are the sweetest creatures in the world, more sensitive and intelligent than we are. We have a spotter in the water for me in case there are sharks.” Were there ever any? “Yes, the day the spotter wasn’t in the water with me. I jumped out in a hurry. But I might go on a shark dive at the end of the picture!”… I caught up with another Oscar contender, Kevin Spacey, nominated for supporting actor in “The Usual Suspects.” He, too, is in a different mode: in post-production on his first directorial feature, “Albino Alligator” for Miramax-MPCA. Does Spacey think he could have directed “Usual Suspects”? “Not in a million years!” As a matter of fact, he asks “Suspects” director Bryan Singer for advice on “Albino” “Constantly!” Spacey credits Singer with his being in “Suspects.” “The producers didn’t want me because I didn’t have a name,” he told me. Spacey doesn’t act in his directorial bow; “I did all my acting conning everyone to be in this movie.” They include Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway, Gary Sinise, Viggo Mortensen, William Fichtner, M. Emmet Walsh and Joe Mantegna. Everyone worked for very little and he’s bringing it in for about $5 million. He says everyone on “Suspects” also worked for little upfront, and the pic came in at about $6 million. Spacey says, “My heart’s now telling me to get back on stage,” so he’s headed for N.Y. and Dennis McIntyre’s “National Anthems.” But he’ll be back to direct more pix –“The needle is fully in my arm,” he laughs.

ANOTHER PREVIEW PEEK at the Museum of TV & Radio in BevHills confirmed my early prediction: It will be an SRO attraction for civilians and showbizzers of all ages. TV curator Ronald Simon — one of the well-informed and enthusiastic (entire) staff out here from N.Y. — took me on another tour; we stopped in the computerized research library, where he demonstrated its versatility, “mousing” in “Burke’s Law” onscreen — and up came a 1964 seg in which yours truly guested in Aaron Spelling’s original Gene Barry starrer. There’s far more serious stuff, of course, and it’s all there for the taking … A 43-year star on Rodeo, Carroll & Co. (launched by former WB press agent Dick Carroll) is moving Aug. 1 to quarters on Canon Drive, having bought the former site of the Premier Market … Edward James Olmos told me it only took one phone call (from him) to get the showbiz community together to install bulletproof windows on the Figueroa St. school after the near-fatal driveby shooting of a teacher last month. Olmos said Universal, DreamWorks, King World, Par, Disney, WB, 20th, Ralph Food For Less Foundation and Olmos Prods. quick-pitched in and got the windows installed pronto. (Mayor Riordan also made a personal contribution) … Shirley and Arthur Canton celebrated their 53rd wedding anni (and her birthday) with sons Mark and Neil C., their wives and grandchildren Thursday … Leonard Goldberg delivers the commencement address at Penn’s College of Arts & Sciences — where daughter Amanda’s a class of ’96 grad.

MARCIA CLARK AND CHRISTOPHER DARDEN are together again — along with fellow Headliner Award winners Martin Landau, Ralph Edwards and the Dodgers’ Tommy Hawkins at the Press Club’s 50th annual Headliner Awards today at the BevHills Hotel’s Crystal Room. It’s a long cry from the ink-stained wretches’ booze-stained clubhouse of yore on Vermont! NBC News senior producer Arthur Lord is Club president … West Hollywood’s salute to Oscar this year includes 18 street banners and goodie bags to the hordes of hungry media not invited inside post-Oscar parties … Elaine’s in N.Y. is the site for Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar bash — limited to 150 celebs and media … Marion and Francis Lederer at Palm Springs Givenchy’s classy le Restaurant along with new desert residents “Dynasty’s” Bob and Mike (Eileen) Pollack. Also sunning there — as if he needs a tan — George Hamilton … MCA’s Ron Meyer and Peter Guber lunching at the Grill in BevHills … Michael Caine celebrated his birthday at London”s Chelsea Canteen — one of Michael’s eight eateries in London, including Langan’s Brasserie.

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