British give Kelly’s ‘Royals’ little regard

GOOD MORNING: Kitty Kelly’s “The Royals” (Warner Books) is No. 1 in the U.S. but it’s not being sold in Britain, where, Kelly decries, Andrew Morton’s revised (since Princess Di’s death) “Diana: Her True Story” is a sellout — except at Harrod’s, where owner Mohammed al-Fayed (Dodi’s dad) has withdrawn it from sale. Kelly says that (unlike Morton) she’d never reveal anyone who told her anything in confidence. “If Frank Sinatra died, I’d never release the names of anyone who gave me interviews in confidence (of anonymity).” Kelly, you recall, wrote “His Way,” another of her “unauthorized” bios, the others being Nancy Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie O! Kelly reminded me I had alerted her (in print) that Frank Sinatra was going to sue her — “Even before I started to write that book,” she exclaimed. Today, attorney Mickey Rudin laughs, recalling, “That was my way to try and warn them (writers) off.” In “Royals,” Kelly treats Princess Di kindly. “I thought the world of her. Her death knocked me on my socks — I was stunned.” She places the eulogy by Diana’s brother Charles, ninth Earl of Spencer, in the class of Churchill or Disraeli! But Kelly asserts that Diana’s family didn’t give her that kind of support when she was alive. Kelly claims the timing of Diana’s death “was awful” for the already-set release of her “Royals” — but it doesn’t seem to be hurting sales! Who’s next for Kelly’s pen (she may soon have a computer, she acknowledges)? “I can’t imagine anybody,” she claims. Clinton? “I don’t know if I have the stomach for it,” she said, “four years of your life (four each for her five books). I don’t think so”… Talking about Sinatra — there are three major books on F.S. being readied for publication and six major magazine stories … And talking about royalty, Prince Albert of Monaco flies to Durango, Mexico, to play the role of an artillery sergeant — who gets blown to bits — in “One Man’s Hero,” starring Tom Berenger. He was recruited by his pal Bill Macdonald, who is co-producing with director Lance Hool. As noted here, the pic’s about the Irish battalion that fought with Mexico against the U.S. Army 150 years ago. Ah yes, you recall Prince Albert’s mother’s name was — Grace Kelly.

THE STORY OF THE HEROIC SWISS CITIZEN who blew the whistle on account-shredding banks of Switzerland is en route to the screen — and he is hopefully en route to L.A. Christophe Mielli caught those banks in the act of destroying files of Nazis who confiscated Jewish properties and deposited them in the Nazis’ Swiss bank accounts. The story is being co-produced by Joe Sargent and Lauren Tayler. Sargent, who will also direct, further reported that Mielli has been invited here by Temple Shalom’s Rabbi David Baron to be a guest/speaker at the temple’s Kol Nidre, Yom Kippur services, Friday evening. Mielli, now in N.Y., had received death threats from Swiss ultra-nationalists. Sargent, who was not nominated but who directed the double Emmy-winning “Miss Evers’ Boys” and the multinominated “Mandela and deKlerk,” is also nominated for both in the CableAce Awards — but he makes this suggestion for future award shows: Best Picture nominations at any of the awards (Oscars, CableAce, etc.) should automatically include the film’s director and writer, as well as the already-acknowledged producer in that category. “Thus, it would eliminate all inconsistencies,” i.e., when a Best Picture does not have a nomination for its director or writer. “It’s always a creative team effort,” Sargent reminds … American-born Mary Jayne Gold, who helped rescue thousands of Anti-Nazi refugees in France — in the effort headed by American Varian Fry — died Oct. 5 at her French Riviera Villa. Her story is planned for film by Pierre Sauvage — whose parents sought help from the Fry committee. Sauvage is now also completing a docu on Fry, “And Crown Thy Good With Brotherhood.”

ANN MILLER, AN EX-STRIPPER? She’s delighted to have been asked to play that role — and the grandmother of Cindy Ambuchi in Col TriStar’s syndie’d “Head Over Heels.” “And they didn’t even ask me to bump or grind,” laughed Annie. “And producer Jeff Franklin didn’t even ask me to read — ” she adds proudly. Miller receives the Spotlight Award Nov. 2 from the BevHillls Theatre Guild at the Friars. Fay Kanin makes the presentation and Monty Hall m.c’s … At today’s dedication of the Burns & Allen Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, these longtime pals are due to tell reminiscences: Milton Berle, Carol Channing, Phyllis Diller and Jack Carter … “Young and Restless’ ” Lauralee Bell and photog Scott Martin were married Saturday at All Saints-By-The Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara … “BevHills 90210’s” Hilary Swank and “ER’s” Chad Lowe were married Thursday in L.A … Leeza Gibbons and husband Stephen Meadows welcomed son Nathan Daniel M. Friday — after 36 hours in labor. A special nursery will be added to the “Leeza” show for him … Gloria Greer, well-loved and respected columnist and TV entertainment editor in the desert, receives her star on Palm Springs’ Palm Canyon Drive Oct. 31 … It’s always fair and funny weather when NBC4’s Fritz Coleman m.c.’s the “Annual Comics 4 Kids” at the Comedy Store Oct. 10, benefiting the ERAS Center.

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