Injured prez bows out of L.A. fundraiser

GOOD MORNING: Among dates KO’d by the President’s torn knee tendon is the March 23 Demo fundraiser here ($10,000-$25,000 a couple) for Demo senators led by Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Bob Kerrey, Tom Daschle and Bob Torricelli. The cocktail and dinner soiree will still be held at the home of Eli Broad. There were those here who had hoped the planned L.A. visit by the President might have meant he’d stay over a day for the Oscars. But that dream is KO’d, too. The security for a Presidential visit at the Shrine would have been a logistical nightmare. But wouldn’t it have been something to see Bill and Billy Bob? … “I’m waiting for them to do ‘Sling Blade’ next,” laughed Harvey Weinstein: in last week’s “Seinfeld” seg, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ character trashed “The English Patient” and she was ostracized by everyone else in the seg. Weinstein said the TV’er had a positive effect on weekend box office of the movie. “After all, over 30 million people saw the TV show,” Weinstein logicked. He loved the storyline and said, “Castle Rock sent us the script six weeks in advance (of the airing). They asked if there was anything offensive in it. I told them it was fabulous. I loved it.” And while her character hated the pic, Louis-Dreyfus allowed off-camera, “I wanted it to be even longer!” … Barbara Walters’ Oscar night interviews (airs pre-Oscars in N.Y., follows in L.A.) will feature interviews with nominees Woody Harrelson and Lauren Bacall plus Harrison Ford. Walters caught up with Bacall on Sunday as both returned to N.Y., Walters from a vacation in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia. “A true vacation — no cameras, no tapes, no notes.” Today, Walters is honored at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with the Goldsmith Award for lifetime achievement.

MORE CONFLICT on “Final Conflict,” the feature in which Notorious B.I.G. was to have appeared. Monday, the film’s star Paul Mormando told me, “I don’t think I’ll be in it.” They were to have played foes in the movie. The script of the Brooklyn-based Bedford Entertainment film had called for Biggie’s character to be shot down in a hail of bullets. But, as noted here last week, B.I.G. had reservations about it and a meeting was upcoming to modify the scene. Monday, Mormando told me, “It’s become a circus. And unless they come to my terms — . They changed a lot of the script. I don’t think I’ll be in it.” Mormando, a former World Kickboxing champ who appeared in “King of the Kickboxers II,” said he’d given that sport up “to concentrate on a film career.” He’s also appeared on stage in N.Y. in “Tony and Tina’s Wedding”. … Hollywood’s “Mayor for Life,” Johnny Grant, gets his hand and footprints immortalized in cement in the forecourt of Mann’s Chinese Theatre May 15. Grant, chairman of the Hollywood Walk of Fame Selections Committee, also chairs the Hollywood Historic Trust, which approved $100,000 to repair the Walk of Fame, damaged by heavy pedestrian traffic. The first repairs are being done at the Chinese, where the Star belonging to yours truly is included in the repair job. Thanks. … Arnold Schwartzman — who designed this year’s Oscar poster, which cleverly features the trophy formed by the titles to all the Oscar-winning pix — has directed the Oscar-winning docu feature “Genocide,” plus “Liberation” and “Echoes That Remain”; he will next direct “Vision and Values.” It’s producer Paul Heller’s feature of “Jewish life from antiquity to America.” He is financing and donating it as a video to be sold in the gift shop of the Skirball Museum. Dustin Hoffman said he wants to narrate. His daughter Becky’s bat mitzvah was celebrated in the Skirball Center last year.

SWIFTY LAZAR’S OSCAR PARTIES at Spago are Hollywood memories, but now, Wolfgang Puck and businessman-environmentalist Robert Selden have teamed for an Oscar party at Puck’s Oba-Chine eatery on Beverly Drive. It will benefit the Earth Communications Office, “the environmental voice of the entertainment industry,” plus the American Equine Rescue Org and People for Children & Animals. And they promise a hefty celeb list. … Over at the Comedy Store, it’s Paul Sorvino welcoming Oscar party guests to raise funds for the Sorvino Asthma Foundatio. … The Elton John AIDS Foundation benefits from his party at Maple Dr., where he gathers a heavy group of pals for the cause each year. … The GLAAD Media Awards raised over $1.2 million to “continue the efforts of GLAAD to honor those whose work exemplifies the tremendous improvements that have been made in the media coverage of the gay and lesbian communities”. … Barbara Sinatra receives the Gloria (Mrs. Jimmy) Stewart Humanitarian Award March 19 at the Hotel Bel-Air kickoff for the annual Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon (April 20) benefiting the Child & Family Development Center at St. John’s Health Center. … Caroline Lagerfelt gives birth to Cheech Marin’s baby on the “Nash Bridges” seg filming next week in SanFran. Lagerfelt will commute to Santa Barbara, where she bows next month at the Lobero in “Death Takes a Holiday.”

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