GOOD MORNING: Jeffrey Katzenberg stepped up to his leadership of Hollywood’s support group for the Motion Picture & Television Fund by committing his first major gift — $1 million. He confirmed his contribution to me Tuesday morning, shortly after groundbreaking for the Fran & Ray Stark Villa on the MPTVFund’s Wasserman campus, named for its major, decades-long supporters, Edie and Lew Wasserman. Katzenberg is leading the Fund’s Capital campaign to raise $115 million to complete additional assisted-living facilities in the back 20 acres at the site bought originally by Jean Hersholt for the Motion Picture Relief Fund. In 1997, Ray Stark donated $10 million to initiate the Villa building fund … Katzenberg told me he is “following in the long tradition of a lot of great people in our business. And I am proud that my generation and the coming generations are continuing that support. For instance, Tom Hanks visited here (the campus) last week to promise his support, Jodie Foster has been incredibly generous, as has been Michael Douglas (following the lead of Kirk and Anne D.), Ben Affleck is talking about his support, as are young agents, studio executives, people who realize the baton has to be passed. It’s never a question of ‘if’ (supporting) but ‘how much?’ We are all very proud of the fact this is the industry that takes care of its own.” Ken Scherer, CEO of the MPTF Foundation, says you can watch the building progress each day via the mptvfund.org web site … As reported here previously, Katzenberg also receives the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Humanitarian Award at the BevHilton Nov. 9, the 61st anniversary of Kristallnacht. On Oct. 14, the Museum of Tolerance will preem “Journey to a Hate-Free Millennium” by filmmakers Brent Scarpo and Martin Bedgone. It seeks solutions to the recent horrible hate crimes that have entered our daily lives. On hand for a Q&A will be TJ Leyden, a former recruiter for the racist movement and who now works at the Center’s Task Force Against Hate. Also featured is Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew S., the young gay man who died after being beaten and tied to a fence in Wyoming.
FURTHER INDICATION that Bob Daly and Terry Semel’s departure from WB is only 48 hours away: The duo, always an enthusiastic preem pair, were absent from WB’s “Three Kings” bow at the Village and party following at the Armand Hammer museum. But I found enthusiastic Alan Horn and Lorenzo di Bonaventura praising the courageous filmmakers — and the studio’s involvement in the $44 million picture. George Clooney, demonstrating dramatically his position as a committed performer, acknowledged his intense desire to have this film made, and the exex confirmed he lowered his fee for it. The studio, worried about hate groups, filmed entirely in the U.S. rather than on foreign deserts. Clooney said he wanted this film to show war has its victims on all sides, and reminded of classic war pix of the past, from “All Quiet on the Western Front” to “Young Lions.” He’s now starring in another WB actioner, “The Perfect Storm,” again sans romance. But WB (which has a feature-TV deal with him) has love stories awaiting his OK. Clooney said he’s agreeable to shaving off the three-day growth in “Kings” and Vandyke beard for “Storm” to bare his attractive side for the ladies: “It all depends on a script.” Whether women wants to see “Kings” depends on word of mouth, acknowledged the WB exex (who noted the long line outside Westwood’s Festival theater, where “American Beauty” is playing). Among guests at the preem was Wayne Rogers, costar of “MASH,” which also combined comedy with the pains and tolls of war. The preem party lightened up the pic’s drama with sidebars including GI haircuts for willing guests, and photos inserting first nighters into stills with the “Kings” principals. That’showbiz, folks.
WILL HE, WON’T HE? Warren Beatty, honoree at tonight’s ADA (Americans for Democratic Action) dinner at the BevHilton, is skedded to make a 20-min. speech (depending on pauses, of course), in which he’ll throw down the gauntlet for Democrats to behave like Democrats. Beatty receives the Eleanor Roosevelt Award, and his speech follows a 15-min. star-studded video of supporters (earlier noted here), with last-minute tape by Barbra Streisand. The tape will also include clips showing Beatty’s political feelings, as made evident in his films “Heaven Can Wait,” “Bulworth” and “Reds.” Lila Garrett will tell the ADA’s agenda, noting “the ADA would love to have a real Democrat to vote for.” Norman Lear will make the intro to Beatty … President Clinton will be guest of honor at a $15,000-a-couple evening, this Saturday at the home of Michele and Rob Reiner. Also cohosting are Cindy and Alan Horn and Paula Wagner and Rick Nicita. Entertainment’s by Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks. The evening’s for the Democratic National Committee to support all Demo candidates. Rob Reiner receives his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Oct. 12, next to that of his dad, Carl. Rob’s completed “The Story of Us’ starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer. He has the highest praise for both, claiming “people will discover Bruce for the first time.” And he hopes Acad voters will acknowledge a romantic comedy, and give a nomination to Pfeiffer.