So. Methodist U. to give Spelling award

GOOD MORNING: It’s a well-known fact Aaron Spelling’s travels are limited to driving from his home in Holmby Hills to his Hollywood office plus an occasional drive to Las Vegas. So, what to do when his alma mater, Southern Methodist U. in Dallas, wants to honor him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award? No problem. The SMU alumni board unanimously voted to bring the presentation to L.A. especially for Spelling. Thus, for the first time in the school’s history, the award will be presented outside Texas: on Oct. 8, SMU president R. Gerald Turner wings here to make the presentation to Spelling at the BevHilton at a special reception. Spelling, Class of ’49, was a journalism major — and head cheerleader. He also received the school’s Harvard Award in 1947 for best original one-act play, which he titled “Is Everything Always Black & White?” dealing with racial prejudice … Hofstra U. in Hempstead conducts a conference, “Frank Sinatra: The Man, the Music, the Legend,” Nov. 12-14 with keynote speakers, panel discussions by fellow entertainers and family including daughters Nancy Jr. and Tina. Plus a full concert by Vic Damone and the Harry James orch and the keynote address by Alan King … Four Sinatra portraits by artist Steve Kaufman and commissioned by F.S. a year before his death — and now on exhib at the BevHills Gallery of Lucien Wolff’s Art Intl. Trust — are being sent to D.C. to be shown to the committee that reviews stamps for the “Legends of Hollywood” stamp series … Barbara Sinatra partied son Robert Marx and expectant wife Hillary at Malibu Saturday night. Barbara is making plans to wing to China with L.A. friends for the Zubin Mehta-conducted “Turandot” … Add accomplished alumni: Marc Marriott, winner of UCLA’s $25,000 James Bridges Award whose “Snow Child” also won fest kudos from Cannes to Palm Springs, is now readying to direct his first feature, “Of the Farm” for producer Jack Larson. Marriott has set John Ritter to star. And Jerry Molen (“Schindler’s List”) who was exec producer on “The Snow Child,” wants Marriott to direct “Nobody don’t love Nobody” by writer Stacey Bess.

HOW DID JERRY SEINFELD celebrate putting his (old) stand-up act to bed? Monday, following Sunday’s HBO “live” “I’m Telling You for the Last Time,” Jerry and longtime manager George Shapiro headed to Coney Island to ride the Cyclone! It’s a ritual with the two of ’em. (Actually it started with Shapiro and Andy Kaufman.) Sunday night, after the HBO taping, Jerry partied at the Rainbow Room, where guests included Gerald Levin, Ron Meyer (Universal will CD the HBO material) and NBC’s Rick Ludwin. “Seinfeld” regular cast members were not on hand. The opening funeral sequence of the HBO show, in which Seinfeld’s material was buried, was taped July 21 at the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena; it was also the site for the funeral of “Susan” in the “Seinfeld” seg in which she died after licking poisonous glue on the wedding invitations! Marty Callner, director of the HBO special, got the following group to tearfully perform in the sequence at the graveside of Jerry’s material: Garry Shandling (who nabbed a couple of routines from the coffin!), Paul Reiser, George Carlin, Robert Klein, Alan King, George Wallace (Jerry’s longtime pal, with whom Jerry will now break in new material), Larry Miller and Ed McMahon. The “Last Time” special was Seinfeld at his best, a delight to watch and hear — again and not for the last time … After President Clinton makes his appearance next Monday via closed circuit before you-know-who, Larry King will have a two-hour show (9-11 EDT) in which he hopes to assemble a formidable cast of past and present characters. This Thursday, King says he’ll have a cast of former Presidential Chiefs of Staff including Leon Panetta, James Baker, Donald Regan, Howard Baker, and Mack McLarty.

COLUMBIA PICTURES DECIDED TO MOVE UP the release date of Phoenix Pictures’ “Urban Legend” to Sept. 25 following terrif test screenings of the pic, which only wound production in Toronto four weeks before the test screening. The youth-oriented horror pic is set on a college campus … There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the WGA Sunday, at the memorial for Shari Lewis. Her production company prepared a three-minute clip of her final seg (“Charlie Horse Music Pizza”), which Shari wound two days before being hospitalized for the last time. In the seg, she sings “Hello, Goodbye.” Shari was lovingly remembered in the farewell service by manager Jim Golden, Lan O’Kun, Judy Krantz, Nathaniel Brandon, Dom DeLuise (who got his first break on Shari’s show), Mitzi Welch, Saul Turteltaub, husband Jeremy Tarcher and daughter Mallory … Aline Mosby, who covered the UPI in Hollywood during the halcyon days of the ’50s before heading to other bureaus in Moscow, Beijing and Paris, has died following a stroke in San Marcos, Calif. … TV producer Joanne Brough — who produced hundreds of network drama series segs before heading to Indonesia and Singapore to produce serials there — has returned here following the Jakarta riots. She’s resuming her TV career here, well as writing a book on those foreign experiences — things that never made the international news.

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