Douglas set for 2nd Bar Mitzvah

GOOD MORNING: Kirk Douglas will be Bar Mitzvah’d Dec. 9 at L.A.’s Sinai Temple, Rabbi David Wolpe officiating. It will also be Kirk’s 83rd birthday. Yes, he was Bar Mitzvah’d at age 13 in Amsterdam, N.Y., but he points out that in Hebrew tradition, a man has lived his full life at 70, “therefore I’m becoming 13!” (again). Douglas has been studying religiously for the occasion and promises to deliver his Haftorah (reading from the Bible, complementing the Torah portion) as well. Coincidentally, this week, Douglas’ latest book, “Young Heroes of the Bible” (Simon & Schuster) is hitting the stalls. For someone 83 (or, if you please, 13), Kirk is a very busy (young) man. In addition, he is getting ready to p.a. for his new film, “Diamonds” … Rabbi David Baron of Temple Shalom for the Arts will sign copies of his book “Moses on Management” (Pocket Books) Oct. 15 in the lobby of the Wilshire Theatre prior to/following services, which will include the 70-voice Zurich Boys Choir … John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of N.Y., has selected Bob Newhart to be featured speaker at the prestigious Alfred E. Smith Dinner Oct. 21 at the Waldorf. The dinner, named for the former N.Y. governor and Demo Presidential nominee in 1928, is chaired this year by Alfred E. Smith IV … John Landis is directing a commercial with Drew Carey for DirecTV. It’s coincidental that Landis’ banner, St. Clare Entertainment, has been airing its “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World” via DirecTV. This week, the series starts airing also via syndication on the Tribune Service and New Line TV. Landis has also directed one of the segs of the banner’s “Honey I Shrunk the Kids.” And he will direct wraparounds of stories in New Line’s feature, “Really Scary,” with the individual stories directed by Joe Dante, Walter Hill and Guillermo Del Toro.

“ARE YOU READY TO TALK to the Duchess?” I was ready, and was quick to wish Sarah Ferguson a happy 40th birthday Thursday, although she laughingly told me her birthday isn’t until Oct. 15, when the Donny & Marie seg she taped will probably air. “I love it here (in L.A.). People are so kind — people want you to succeed” (as opposed to some you know where). The very warm and friendly Duchess said Marie Osmond (three days older than she is) is “a total delight” and admitted she’d always admired Donny. She starts her NBC “Today” job in two weeks as special correspondent. “I’m an apprentice,” she admitted. “I’m going very slowly and getting good advice.” The mother of two girls, 11 and 9, says, “Life is getting much better.” She is also spokesman for Wedgewood in the U.S. and said it’s no longer the staid product of the past. “You can use it every day, like I do” … David Wolper is the subject of Sunday’s “60 Minutes” seg with Mike Wallace, who first worked for Wolper in ’59 hosting a docu, with film that the then-young Wolper uncovered about Soviet space! They’ve been friends ever since. The Wallace interview includes a tearful Wolper recalling receiving news (from Daily Variety) that a plane with his cast and crew from ABC’s “Primal Man,” March 13, 1974, had crashed with all 31 on board killed. “It was horrendous,” Wolper recalled to me. Another seg’s about the making of “Roots” with Wolper remembering scenes in the slave ship with some chained actors so emotional they asked to be excused from the film. “It was difficult for us, too,” admitted David, “but they were the ones in chains!” His 20-hour “Celebrate the Century” re-airs on CNN and a 90-min. Wolper bio will be on the History Channel Nov. 27. For the year 2000, Wolper will produce another 10-hour historical series.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS WILL HOST NetAID’s Geneva portion of the Oct. 9 website launching. The other, “live” sites are London and N.Y. Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bono are among celebs hosting gut-wrenching filmed segs from around the world. Oscar-winner June Beallor produced the footage, which will also be on the web site. Producers Don Mischer, Jeff Pollack, Ken Kragen, David Goldberg and Harvey Goldsmith meet in N.Y. Monday to ready the launch … The 14th annual N.Y. High School Reunion honoring Jerry Vale will be held Saturday at BevHills High. Vale finally gets his Evander Childs diploma; he never graduated … Comedian Sal Richards, class of ’56, will be honored as Man of the Year by L.A. alums of Brooklyn High Sunday at Studio City’s Sportsmen’s Lodge … The Beverly Hills Tennis Club celebrates its 70th anni Saturday in its original and present site on Maple Dr. in BevHills … Among those (700) at Thursday’s SRO fundraising luncheon for George W. Bush at the Sofitel in Redwood City was Shirley Temple Black. Tix were $1,000 per guest, $500 for those 35 and under. A large percentage of those on hand: the young crowd from Silicon Valley, reports Shirley … At Wednesday night’s Warren Beatty ADA toasting at the BevHilton, Faye Dunaway, Beatty’s costar in “Bonnie & Clyde,” told me enthusiastically, “I would vote for him.” And that was even before Beatty’s statistics-filled, emotional, humorous, candidate-like speech. In the prepared films clips; Rob Reiner said he’d like to be Beatty’s VP; David Geffen asked to be his Social Secretary. CAA’s Richard Lovett asked of Beatty’s Presidency, “What’s in it for me?” Garry Shandling advised, “Get your name above the title — of the United States!”

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