GOOD MORNING: It had to have been the longest standing ovation ever seen/heard at a Hollywood function. The accolade was given to Lilly Tartikoff by the 1,200-plus elegantly attired showbiz audience at the Fire & Ice Ball Wednesday night at Paramount. The night was dedicated to Brandon Tartikoff, as will every future Fire & Ice Ball. Lilly could barely break through tears speaking of her late husband, and had to leave the podium before winding her remarks. Brandon’s voice was heard narrating a short, biographical film of his too-short life. Believe me, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Suzan (Mrs. Don) Mischer produced the event; she is Lilly’s best friend and her co-producer on the docu, “Voices of Hope, Finding the Cure for Breast and Ovarian Cancer,” which goes out in new, syndie’d form Dec. 15. Jackie Smith co-hosts with Pierce Brosnan, whose wife Cassandra died of ovarian cancer. Brosnan’s also Ambassador for Women’s Health Issues of the Entertainment Industry Foundation and has raised $15 million to fight breast and ovarian cancer. Now p.a.’ing “Tomorrow Never Dies,” he next starts “Grey Owl” in April, with 19-year-old Native American Annie Gallipeau co-starring in the Richard Attenborough-directed epic … Paramount, Saks 5th Ave. and Isaac Mizrahi helped fund the night. Sherry Lansing, who co-hosted the event with Jonathan Dolgen, reminded, “Cancer has touched everyone in this room.” Lansing’s mother had died of ovarian cancer. Guest of honor, Harper’s Bazaar editor Liz Tilberis, admitted, “I am alive today because of the aggressive treatment of ovarian cancer.” Dr. Dennis Slamon, who heads the UCLA/Revlon Cancer Research Program (heavily supported by Ron Perelman), told of progress being made, thanks to funds raised by the Fire & Ice Balls. This year netted two more million-$.
TOM HANKS SAID, “I’ll be happy to take over one of his (Tom Cruise’s) ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchises.” Hanks took over Cruise’s chores as co-m.c. of the Fire & Ice Ball “as he (Cruise) starts the second year (!) of ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ for Stanley Kubrick in London.” Cruise and wife-costar Nicole Kidman were confirmed to co-emcee the event but were unable to get away from the pic. Hanks and wife Rita Wilson graciously (and immediately) agreed to sub. It’s not known whether the Cruises will be sprung for Christmas here: they got time off shooting the pic during the holidays last year! … The Fire & Ice speakers faced the ballgoers, whose tiered-tables in the mammoth tent were separated by a lengthy, glass-topped runway; that runway was over a river of water with fake ice, but with real flames, down which Isaac Mizrahi’s models dutifully paraded. They were the slimmest models I’ve ever viewed and as Jenny McCarthy (seated next to me) noted, “They could use a meal at McDonald’s.” Those sentiments were shared by other ladies at our table including Fran Drescher and Camille (Mrs. Kelsey) Grammer. The fashion show wound with the painfully-thin femme models (20) plus well-developed male models (20), appearing in white underwear-looking bathing suits, emerging from the now-rain-showering entranceway, slither-ing down the runway … The tents covered Paramount’s giant water tank and when Sherry was leaving, she accidentally dropped an earring into one of the pools. A gallant Par employee later fished it out for her. P.S. It was a birthday gift from husband Billy Friedkin (he’s in Switzerland readying “O Jerusalem”). Lansing said that non-complaining Par employees were shuttled to other parking areas during the 18 days required to set up the elaborate setting, including a moat with fires flaring, a giant tent with a 160-foot-long rain curtain in the bar-lounge entry, plus the main tent with built-in rain curtain for the models’ finale. When the show wound with the applause greeting Mizrahi, portions of the glass-topped runway were removed and fountains emerged!
MORE LIFE IS RETURNING to the Sunset Strip. Scandia (closed since 1989) becomes the Legacy restaurant next month. Actually, it will be six dining rooms with different menus, music and entertainment. Katherine Howard, alumna of Spago and Eclipse, and Danna Moore and Christopher Moore are in charge. Investors include MGM Grand Las Vegas’ CEO-president Terry Lanni, Avery Rennick Family Trust, Meshulam Riklis, Apollo XII astro-naut Richard Gordon, Marty Ingels & Shirley Jones, and the Paul Guerins. Howard promises the Legacy will “bring romance and glamour back to the Sunset Strip” … John (Jack) Lindley, brother of Loretta Young and Georgiana (Mrs. Ricardo) Montalban, died Tuesday. This is the fourth family loss for Loretta this year. Loretta, admitting to 84, says, “I may be coming in for my last landing, too.” Not so fast: she’s fine, looks and sounds great … Mike Toro, who has played dozens of heavies in features and tele-pix, shows he’s a softie at heart: he sings at the Toys for Tots benefit in Vegas, Dec. 12-13 and at the Texas and Arizona benefits for Sunshine for Kids.