Whoopi knows Oscars ‘In and Out’

GOOD MORNING: Although the Oscars aren’t until March 24th at the Shrine, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg and Kevin Kline have already filmed their appearances at the Awards — but it’s for a sequence in Par’s “In and Out.” The scene was lensed at N.Y.’s. Lincoln Center, where Close made the presentation to the winning actor in a leading role, Matt Dillon. Of course Whoopi won’t be at the Oscars — she’s in N.Y. performing the lead role in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” in which she starts previews Feb. 2 for the March 6 opening. “In and Out” had hoped also to have Paul Newman in their Oscar sequence losing to Dillon but that didn’t happen. Whoopi will be on hand for the Inaugural Ball on Sunday night, 9-11 p.m. on CBS, at the D.C. USAir Arena. She co-hosts with Jimmy Smits, Candice Bergen and Michael Douglas. President Clinton follows the showbiz folk and speaks at the finale of the special. … “It scared the shit out of me,” admitted Eric Braeden, playing John Jacob Astor in “Titanic,” of the scene in which 150 tons of water poured on him and 30 stuntpersons in the first class salon staircase where he (Astor) was searching for his dog. Along with Braeden and the other thesps in the frightening barrage of water were director Jim Cameron and the camera crew in wetsuits and oxygen masks. Braeden says, “We had the buddy system to make sure we were all safe, and as soon as Jim Cameron said ‘Cut,’ the waters receded. Rescue divers dove in immediately to make sure we were all out. We had undergone two hours of safety instructions before the shot. In my 33 years in the business, this was the most unusual and most exciting thing I have ever done. You don’t have to act — it scares the shit out of you! Jim Cameron is brilliant, creative. We all have enormous respect for him. He is always in focus and never wanes in 15-hour days.” Braeden wound the scene at 3 ayem Tuesday and drove up (in two hours, 20 mins.) from Fox’s Rosarito Beach “studio,” built for “Titanic,” to report for work in “The Young and the Restless.” He’s made the speedy drive here 12 times during filming of the feature. “I love it,” he quickly added. “I’m allowed to act every day — a privilege many of my actor friends cannot indulge in.” He’s been starring 16 years on the soap, on which he does 30-50 pages a day! And blesses every one of those days.

A BIG SWITCHEROO for Bill Cosby, who for over 20 years has been associated with Harrah’s clubs. He now will be appearing for Harvey’s in Tahoe and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the Wagon Wheel in Central City, Colo. In addition to regular stands at the clubs, Cosby does one-night benefits. And he’ll also tape a commercial for Harvey’s Corp. Marvin Hamlisch makes his first appearance at Carnegie Hall, conducting his symphony “Anatomy of Peace,” based on Emery Reves’ book. Hamlisch’s orch will be backed by a children’s chorus as well. He’s also written five new tunes along with David Zippel and Don Black for Neil Simon’s reworked “The Goodbye Girl,” to bow on London’s boards. The busy Hamlisch will also speak before the National Press Club Jan. 21 on the importance of the arts in public education. The cuts in those budgets “are horrible,” notes Hamlisch, who says he’s studied the effects of music appreciation on students’ grades in subjects other than music like math which improved ,etc. While here for Golden Globe nominations, he’ll also appear in Vanity Fair’s photo shoot of movie composers, his latest being “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” … Howie Mandel, who has been on the road with his standup for 200 days each year, tells me he’s now “toning down” those appearances to return to the serious acting for which he made his mark on “St. Elsewhere.” He was paged for a heavy dramatic role — three characters, including one retarded on “Outer Limits.” The episode, co-starring Jennifer Rubin and titled “Second Thoughts,” appears on Showtime Jan. 19. But Mandel reminds that he continues his comedy with the eighth season on his “Bobby’s World” animated series, as well as the “Ernest” series in pre-production for the Fox net. And he’s involved in several CD-ROMs aimed at kids’ education.

ROSEMARY CLOONEY AND HER “PROTEGE,” as Rosie calls Dolores (Mrs. Bob) Hope, have started rehearsing for their Jan. 24 date at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert. P.S. Dolores will also chirp with Rosie at the latter’s Rainbow and Stars stand this spring. … Cathy Lee Crosby, who survived — and how — the Epstein-Barr virus, several palimony suits and the deaths of her mother and father in a short period of time, celebrates her happy return with a “kickoff party” for her book, “Let the Magic Begin” (Random House), on Feb. 5 at the Peninsula with an impressive list of pals who’ve seen and cheered her return. “When you’ve been to the mat,” Crosby smiles, “and you come back — you lunch with God!” She’s got a CBS telefilm, “Kidnapped,” upcoming, and her personal life’s brightened with Dr. Joel Friedman who’s also a songwriter for Randy Travis. … Dr. Steven Hoefflin, plastic surgeon to many top stars, was on vacation in Fiji when he learned of a village 50 miles away that had no doctor of any kind. He chartered a plane and spent two days giving medical aid. He told a friend those two days reminded him why he became a doctor. … Dodo and Stanley Meyer celebrated their 50th wedding anni with their four children at the Bel-Air Hotel. … Dining at the new Crustacean restaurant: Nancy Reagan, Betsy Bloomingdale and Harriet and Armand Deutsch. … The Pacific Pioneer B’casters salute octogenarian character actor Parley Baer, the original Chester of “Gunsmoke,” Friday at the Sportsmen’s Lodge.

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