GOOD MORNING: First the good news: Jack Lemmon is one of the five Kennedy Center honorees this year (Dec. 8), as are playwright Edward Albee, composer-musician Benny Carter, country’s Johnny Cash and dancer Maria Tallchief. But Lemmon’s sked had him “Out To Sea” literally, in the Caribbean on a Holland-American cruise ship for the Fox feature co-starring Walter Matthau. What was the Kennedy Center Honors’ George Stevens Jr. to do? John Davis, whose banner produces the pic, spoke with 20th, and they agreed to scuttle the cruise for a week thus bringing Lemmon (and presumably a presenter, Matthau) to D.C. for the honors. Fox picked up the tab rumored in the millions to delay the sea scenes, got another cruise ship, and reserved another 150 staterooms for after the Kennedy Center awards. Said Davis: “We all pitched in, putting the movie on hiatus for a week. We felt the tribute to Jack meant more, and decided to stand down to another ship.” Davis said Lemmon’s fellow thesps Dyan Cannon, Elaine Stritch, Brent Spiner, Donald O’Connor and Hal Linden agreed not to ask for added pay due to the pic’s delay. He wouldn’t confirm the cost, but admitted, “It is expensive, but the studio graciously is taking care of all the costs.” The Kennedy Center Honors weekend will include a White House reception Sunday, Dec. 8, with the Clintons hosting and later taking their seats in the presidential box at the K.C. On Saturday, Secy. of State Warren Christopher hosts the State Dept. dinner at which the honorees are officially medaled. Stevens produces the CBS show with Don Mischer, Lou Horvits directing. Liz Stevens produces the Saturday p.m. State Dept. event. And Walter Cronkite again emcees the “Honors.” The next week, George Stevens Jr. and son Michael produce the “Christmas in Washington” special for NBC. Father and son also team Oct. 6 for a “Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond” two-hour special, “live” on UPN from a specially decked Par stage. This one benefits the Permanent Charities of the Entertainment Industries, to raise funds for the American Oceans Campaign, Communities in Schools and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights. This event will also boast “Star Trek” fans from showbiz and politics, such as Christian Slater and Ben Stiller. In addition to the expected classic clips, the show will also feature comedy and music by Dennis McCarthy and a 35-piece orch. The Stevenses follow with the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, Feb. 20 the honoree to be chosen next month. Stevens arrives in L.A. this week to attend the Emmys as a nominee for last year’s “Honors,” and as a four-time winner. NO PROBLEM,’
SAID CHRISTOPHER REEVE about directing the HBO one-hour drama “In the Gloaming” “10 minutes from my home” in Bedford, N.Y. He was in production meetings when I spoke to him Tuesday, readying for the Sept. 23 start of a six-day rehearsal period, 20-day shoot and six weeks of post-production. His d.p. is Fred Elmes, who has worked with David Lynch. Reeve says he will have a video assist alongside the viewfinder. “It will be no problem. They will build a ramp for me to get around into the house, and for second-story shots I will be raised in a scissor-type lift and into the window,” said Reeve. In the drama, Robert Sean Leonard plays a young man who has seven weeks to live and returns to reconcile with his family, played by Glenn Close as his mother, Bridget Fonda as his sister, and Whoopi Goldberg as his nurse. Reeve told me he feels “very strong. I’m very stable. I used to go to bed at 6 p.m. I can now go 13-14 hours at a time.” He says directors Dick Donner, Paul Newman and James Ivory are a few who have “given me encouragement. I’ve always wanted to direct. And when I told Donner I was directing, he said, ‘So what’s new?’ ” Reeve next wants to direct a feature and hopes to get a go-ahead on the project for next year. “I already have a lot of feature offers to direct,” he said proudly. He shot a one-day acting job for CBS during the ParOlympics in Atlanta. “It was fun being an actor again,” he laughed.
ELIZABETH TAYLOR IS IN SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS to return to acting in a feature drama, “Walking Through Egypt.” She’d play a 75-year-old woman (she’s only 64). When Taylor played an older woman in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” she lamented that many people thought she looked it! This is a busy homecoming for Marlo Thomas: Today she tapes wraparounds for the NBC Museum of TV and Radio Standup Comics Retrospective, to air Sept. 14. Marlo says her dad, Danny, and fellow comedians called ’emselves “Matadors,” because “we have to face the bulls every night!” This week Marlo receives the Lucy Award: “I remember her (Lucy) well — she was my landlady at Desilu (on Cahuenga), where we shot ‘That Girl.’ Saturday night Marlo’s an Emmy nominee as a “Friends” guestar as Jennifer Aniston’s mother. (Thomas will return for another “Friends” seg.) Sunday night, she’s a presenter on the Emmys telecast. Then Sept. 24 Marlo and husband Phil Donahue return here, as he receives the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from Americans for Democratic Action at the BevHilton. And she reminds that the 15th St. Jude gala will be held March 6, also at the BevHilton … Talking “Friends,” the sextet host the Rape Foundation brunch Oct. 6 at Greenacres, the home of Ron Burkle … Jack Carter, guesting in “Coach” on Stage 43 at Universal, ambled next door to Stage 41 to the “Something So Right” stage where he was spotted and signed to guest there as well.