GOOD MORNING: Aaron Spelling is recuping post-surgery at UCLA Medical Center. He will be confined to bed for two-three weeks but is A-OK and grateful there were no traces of any cancer in the bladder procedure. Being forced to go to the hospital was the only way to keep Aaron from working around the clock! … “Patrick Swayze showed us a couple of dance steps to prove to us he was OK,” said “Black Dog” producers Mark Koch and Peter Saphier. Swayze broke both legs in a fall off a horse during filming of “Letters From a Killer” on May 9. In Universal’s “Black Dog,” Swayze will not dance, by the way: He’s an ex-con who drives an enormous semi-truck. And don’t look for Swayze to do any stunts in the explosive-loaded pic, which the producers promise will have “unprecedented vehicular stunts and the suspense of ‘Wages of Fear’ and the action of ‘Speed.’ ” Meat Loaf, who co-stars, has a new look in the pic: he’s dropped 100 pounds. And he took time off the pic to carve turkey for Las Vegas homeless youngsters at the Harley-Davidson Cafe … Kevin Hooks directs “Black Dog” and Kit West brings over his special f/x crew from England. The pic is budgeted at $30 million — “in a responsible way,” promises producer Saphier. “Dog” is made in association with Raffaella Prods. … And talking above of avoirdupois, Ernie Hudson had to gain 80 pounds for “Bang.” “I tried to do it, but it would have been ridiculous,” he admits. So he’s wearing a body suit. He’s also shaved his head to play “a 45-year-old virgin.” The versatile Hudson, who is a CIA operative in “Mr. Magoo,” will also be seen in more segs of “Oz.”

THANKSGIVING AT BARBARA and Frank Sinatra’s will find Tina, Nancy Jr., and Sr., Frank Jr. and all the grandchildren on hand … Meanwhile, the demand to reprint vintage Sinatra pix has put a big smile on the face of vet fotog Phil Stern: his front and back cover pix of F.S. on Bill Zehme’s “The Way You Wear Your Hat” have unexpectedly brought Stern $40,000 from HarperCollins. And that’s just the tip of the fedora for Stern’s other Sinatra pix to other publications … Thanksgiving morning at BevHills’ Planet Hollywood will find a tasty assortment of celebs serving homeless teens from the Covenant House California … Congrats to Johnny Grant, who receives the USO’s Spirit of Hope Award Dec. 5 aboard the Intrepid in New York City. Grant makes his 50th USO tour next month, to our troops in Bosnia … “Puppies for Sale,” originally skedded for only a three-day Academy Award qualification run, will continue to play through Sunday at Mann’s complex in Westwood (it screens prior to “The Little Mermaid”). The short stars Jack Lemmon and youngster Jesse James, who will soon be seen in the Jack Nicholson starrer, “As Good as it Gets.” Producer Ron Krauss made “Puppies” for $3,500. “Virtually everyone worked without pay,” Krauss said, “including composer Elmer Bernstein, who wrote and performed the score” … “Dr. Quinn’s” Jonelle Allen will be one of the hosts on CBS’ “All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade.” She’ll host from Detroit, then continues to the 30th Hollywood Christmas Parade on Sunday … Kevin Thomas celebrates his 35th year as a movie reviewer for the L.A. Times on Friday … CAA toasted Mike Menchel’s 20th anni with the agency with a reception in his honor … Amanda Margulies, daughter of Alan M. who manages Burt Reynolds among others, won a role in “Stringer” filming in N.Y. She auditioned on her own without telling her dad — and does her scenes in the pic with Reynolds.

THE DAYS WHEN THE BISTRO buzzed and Romanoff’s roared will be the subject of Kurt Niklas’ book “The Corner Table,” written with Larry Hamm. Marti Blumenthal of the Writers and Artists Agency is repping … Carroll O’Connor’s completed his memoir, “I Think I’m Outta Here,” for Pocket Books and he’s now well into his first novel, tentatively titled “The Ides of September.” It’s a mystery about an old-fashioned New York lawyer who dabbles in detective work as well. (Does this sound like a series or what?) Carroll’s literary agents Arthur and Richard Pine say Pocket Books, natch, is among publishers anxious to see Carroll’s first fiction … Quincy Jones receives the National Academy of Songwriters’ first Lifetime Achievement Vanguard Award Dec. 3 at the BevWilshire … The National Foundation for Jewish Culture honors Theo Bikel with its Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts, Dec. 16 at the Waldorf-Astoria … Alan King is “1998′s Outstanding New Yorker,” per the N.Y. Society of Assn. Executives on its 20th anni celebration of “We Love New York Day” Feb. 5 at the Marriot Marquis … Over $245,000 was raised for the Richstone Family Center for Abused Children at the Caritas Award dinner m.c.’d by Merv Griffin at the BevHilton and honoring Chris McCarron … Don Mischer, en route to D.C. for “The Kennedy Center Honors,” stopped in N.Y. for confabs on a pilot with Michael Moore (“Roger & Me”) for Col TriStar TV.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more