GOOD MORNING: Terry McQueen (38), daughter of the late Steve McQueen and Neile Adams (McQueen, who’s now Mrs. Al Toffel) suffered a major medical emergency after experiencing liver failure. Because of the critical nature of her emergency, reports her mother, Terry received an almost-immediate liver transplant. She is expected to fully recover. The cause, Neile explained, was the cumulative effect of prescription painkillers on Terry’s severely damaged liver, already weakened from years-long hemo-chromotosis and pancreatitis … After keeping a very low profile, Altovise Davis, widow of Sammy Davis Jr., is visiting here from her home in a small town in Pennsylvania. After being absent from Hollywood over three years, she is here to get together again with their children. It has been seven years since Sammy died (May 16, 1990) and Altovise is still trying to work things out with the IRS. She admits she had been in rehab, has worked “for minimum wage” in various places, “in a kitchen, as a sales lady for women’s clothes, etc.” She is “physically well,” she says, and “coming through it all.” Altovise was taken to lunch by fellow SHARE ladies with whom she danced at many Boomtown bashes that Sammy head-lined. She is hopeful to put together some kind of filmed/TV tribute to Sammy and has met with Quincy Jones, who is readying the B’way musical, “Sammy” … Jerry Lewis, who has made a success-ful B’way and global career in the legit “Damn Yankees,” is now being pitched to don a toga and star in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” which, in this current B’way go-round, has starred Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg and currently David Alan Grier.
FINALLY, AFTER 176 WEEKS on the best-seller list, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” makes it to the No. 1 spot on the New York Times’ list next Sunday, John Berendt happily tells me. (“Midnight” has been No. 2 many times and often with an asterisk.) Berendt is now working on a story — not a book — probably for the New Yorker; it centers on “an event never before written about” and set in Venice (Italy, that is). He has researchers currently working on it. And there’s no violence involved in this (true) tale. Berendt says he wasn’t disturbed by the incorrect end title on the pic that called his book “a novel.” Although uncorrectable on the 831 prints out, it is correct on homevideos and DVD’s. Asked his opinion of Clint Eastwood’s version of his book, he said, “I enjoyed it, but I can understand the mixed response.” He admitted his book had too many plotlines and characters for a movie. “Clint said he wanted to make a character-driven movie, and he did. He had a four-hour rough cut, and I know it pained him to have to cut out some whole scenes.” Berendt was among the principals at the plush preem in Savannah, along with Jack Thompson and Kevin Spacey — but no Clint or Alison Eastwood. Over 4,000 turned out for the charity event in the town’s Civic Center, where $200,000 was raised to help revamp the historic Lucas theater and to benefit the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club. Spacey is a supporter of the town’s legit theater, and Eastwood a contributor to the kids’ clubs nationally.
“IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” lives on: Frank Capra Jr. wings to London Sunday on the invitation of Polygram and coordinated by the Feature Film Co. for the release of his father’s 1946 evergreen. He will introduce the pic at the Curzon West End Cinema preem Dec. 5 as well as making many press/TV appearances. After the bigscreen openings, Polygram Video will release the videotapes overseas as well. Capra says they have struck magnificent new prints of the classic. Young Capra is president of the Wilmington Studio in North Carolina, where he and Roland Joffe have produced “Waterproof,” starring Burt Reynolds as a 72-year-old Jewish shopkeeper. The Barry Berman scripted-directed pic was independently financed totally in No. Carolina at $5.5 million. Par has first refusal to distrib … N.Y. Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s performance(s) on the last “SNL” was one of the best ever seen on the show. Lorne Michaels said hizzoner — who had appeared before, but never hosted — “was thorough in his rehearsals and most conscientious” — and he was funny! Next hosts are Nathan Lane and Helen Hunt, and Samuel L. Jackson will launch the new year’s first show … Cindy Adams wings out from N.Y. next week to guest on “The Nanny” and to shpritz some of her new Gossip fragrance … Lorenzo Lamas and wife Shauna Sand L. welcomed their first (his fourth) child, Alexandra Lynn, Nov. 22 in the same Santa Monica hospital where Lorenzo was born (in 1958) to Arlene Dahl and Fernando Lamas … Traci Wald-Donat (daughter of Helen Reddy and Jeff Wald) and Lucas Donat (son of Michael Learned and Peter Donat) welcomed daughter Lily Michaela Donat Nov. 21 … Barry Mirkin is recuping at Cedars-Sinai following tumor surgery … Cameron Diaz and Matt Dillon were spotted dining at Dan Tana’s.