GOOD MORNING: The Bruins and the Brits are teaming to establish the Living Memory Fund for Princess Di. This fund will sponsor an annual Diana, Princess of Wales/British Academy of Film & Television Arts-L.A. fellowship for British students in UCLA’s Dept. of Film & TV. It all started with a donation by an ex-Bruin, SanFran resident Michael Richards (not the “Seinfeld” thesp), and will be matched by BAFTA-L.A. In 1993 BAFTA-L.A. established a fellowship for Brit students in the department. Of course, everyone is welcome to contribute to the Princess Di fund. … Tony Bennett will perform at BAFTA-L.A.’s Britannia Award dinner honoring Dustin Hoffman Sept. 24. A few days earlier, Sept. 20, Hoffman joins Ronald McDonald at the 15th anni of Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times (for children with cancer), of which Hoffman’s a co-founder. … It was only a month ago when Princess Di visited people of the former Yugoslavia in her bid to eliminate land mines; this week in Sarajevo, over 2,500 people in an open-air arena viewed the first Hollywood pic about the devastating war in their country, Miramax’s “Welcome to Sarajevo.” Watching with civilians were U.N. troops. All were audibly moved. And, sad to say, land mines still lurk in places like school yards and adjoining fields — a tragedy Princess Diana called upon the world to end. Emira Nosevic, who stars in the pic as the orphan taken out of Sarajevo, was on hand along with thesp Stephen Dilane, director Michael Winterbottom and the producers, who will be here for U.S. preems.
THE FIRST LEGAL ROUND between Priscilla Presley and Currie Grant, the man who reportedly introduced her to then-G.I. Elvis Presley stationed in Germany, will take place Sept. 17 in Santa Monica Superior Court. Each is suing the other for statements made to author Suzanne Finstad in her book, “Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley.” The author says she, too, had been threatened with suits from Presley (Priscilla) and her church (of Scientology). Meanwhile, producer Bud Grant and his 3rd Coast Entertainment are proceeding with plans to film the book, either as a theatrical or TV movie, having paid “high six figures” for those pic rights. … Producers Dwight Brooks and Richard Essex tell me they are proceeding full steam with plans to film a contemporary “Casablanca” (or “Rick’s Casablanca”), having obtained copyrights to the titles. The script is being written by William Carville and Donna L. Brookes. And producer Brooks says they are funded for $40 million and have a confirming letter of intent. … Although Pete Hamill quit as editor of the N.Y. Daily News, he may be heartened to know his screenplay, “Jack,” about Jack the Ripper, is on its way to Bob Weinstein from producer Jay Weston, who regained the rights in turnaround from Universal. Weston also has “Bell, Book and Candle” readying to start at the Weinsteins’ Miramax. Hamill’s “Jack,” unlike other Rippers, is based on a book with evidence he was the bisexual Edward, Duke of Clarence, son of Queen Victoria. … Jenny McCarthy received a million-dollar advance for her autobio, “Jen/X” (Regan Books, Harper/Collins), reports manager Ray Manzella. He is also consultant on her new series, for which Jenny studies every night — by watching “I Love Lucy” shows. … When “Voice of Hope Finding the Cures for Breast and Ovarian Cancer” airs Oct. 16 on Lifetime, 1-800-FLOWERS will be a sponsor and introduce a special floral bouquet, with 25% of the proceeds going to support the research. The show, exec produced by Lilly Tartikoff and Suzan Mischer, is a project of the Entertainment Industry Foundation/Permanent Charities.
THE BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL has a new general manager — who is no stranger to L.A. He is Alberto del Hoyo, who first served at the BevWilshire under Hernando Courtwright, former owner of the BevHills. Del Hoyo returned there, serving again from ’91 to ’94 and most recently (’95) opened the Ritz Carlton in Singapore. He takes over next month and Jacques Villeneuve will be resident manager. Former g.m. was Kerman Beriker, now involved in legalistics with the Pink Palace’s owners, the Audley Hotels and Resorts Europe Ltd. … At the Hollywood Bowl’s Sept. 19 “The Big Picture Concert — A Salute to 20th Century Fox,” songs from “Anastasia” by (“Ragtime’s”) Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens will debut, sung by Liz Calloway. Sequences from the debut of 20th’s animated feature unit will also unspool 20th Century Fox TV, celebrating its big year with 28 nominations, will hold a post-Emmy party at Chasen’s (the original on Beverly Blvd., that is). Sandy Grushow, 20th TV prez, hosts Nancy Cartwright, the voice of 20th’s “Bart Simpson,” is set to play Louella O. Parsons, Hearst’s halcyon days’ queen of gossip columnists, in Steven Peros’ “The Cat’s Meow,” play about the Thomas Ince death (murder or heart attack?) which bows at the Coast Playhouse Oct. 19.