GOOD MORNING: “The Rat Pack Is Back” — and they may get sued! The show, now appearing at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, had a surprise visitor Tuesday night: Tina Sinatra. In the revue presented by David Cassidy and Don Reo, Bobby Caldwell portrays Frank Sinatra, Tony Tillman is Sammy Davis Jr., Steve Apple is Dean Martin and Hiram Kasten is Joey Bishop. The show is billed as “the celebration of Frank’s birthday (1961), live each night”; eight shows a week at $30 per ducat. Tina’s reaction to the show: “The guys are really good — but fair is fair!” Frank Sinatra Jr. confirmed that family attorney Robert Finkelstein has sent a letter to the DI to “cease and desist” … In other Sinatra family news, Nancy Jr.’s daughter A.J. (Angela Jennifer) Lambert will marry Joel Friedman Nov. 6 at the Hotel Bel-Air. Auntie Tina will give the first shower … Jerry Lewis, hospitalized in Darwin, Australia, with viral meningitis, should be released today, reports longtime manager-pal Joey Stabile, who spoke with Lewis Wednesday. He’d completed four of 12 concerts; the remainder are canceled, but will be reskedded. Jerry wings home soon, as he’s OK for the 17-hour fight, and will prep the Labor Day telethon. Lewis will be OK, Stabile assured. He heads to Venice, Sept. 11 to receive the Golden Lion Career Award at the Film Fest … Talking about recovering: Sandy Gallin, making the fastest quadruple bypass recovery on record, is conducting his Mirage business from his house in Malibu … And Jeff Wald is back at his office following surgery (his fourth in 13 months) at St. John’s … And to answer those worried about Arthur Hiller: That foto in Monday’s Daily Variety of Hiller in a wheelchair (Andre deToth’s) at the 100th Hitchcock bash, was a gag. Arthur is fine, thank you, plays tennis twice a week, works out and never felt better … Friends of the late Hollywood press agent Tom Gray can remember him by taking a moment of remembrance Aug. 15. At Gray’s request, there were no obits, no services. He died mid-May and his ashes were scattered over the hills of Laguna.
ONE FOR THE BOOK and the millennium: I spoke with John Tesh Wednesday evening at QVC h.q. in West Chester, Pa., immediately after he introduced — and simultaneously recorded — his “Heart of the Sunrise” CD, which will be part of his New Year’s Eve Millennium concert, from “the first light,” Gisborne, New Zealand. The session, with singer-writer Cindy Morgan, was unique, said Tesh, as the master is already en route to be processed with sales within the month! It sold 1,400 CD’s in the first 12 minutes on QVC yesterday! He holds the record for selling 300,000 records in one weekend. Peter Max designed the cover for the CD and joins Tesh at today’s press briefing at N.Y.’s Public Library on 53rd St.; they’ll announce the millennium show and the Millennium Wall (one kilometer long) to go up at Gisborne. Save the Children will benefit from contributions that people call in to QVC to have a name inscribed on the Wall; QVC donates $25,000 to get the contributions started. First, Tesh starts a world tour Sept. 1 in Detroit, winding Oct. 17 at the Greek … I’ve received my first calendar for the year 2000. The limited edition is by Anne Francis, with photos of her from the 1955 “Forbidden Planet” on the cover and monthly photos of Francis from days at MGM, 20th and “Honey West.” “What wonderful stills we contract actresses had to endure while posing in the studio galleries to use along with film credits or seasonal pitches.” Each month’s photo in the calendar is accompanied by one of Anne’s thoughtful poems. She’ll appear with the calendar at collectors’ meets in Arlington, Va., D.C. and N.Y. “You cannot believe what goes on at these meets.” She’ll tithe the earnings of the calendar to various worthwhile causes.
GREAT RESTAURANT NEWS: Jimmy Murphy reopens his Jimmy’s in BevHills first week in Oct. The classy eatery has been shuttered one year. It’s being redecorated with an added entrance on Santa Monica Blvd. Joining Jimmy are his children Sean, Jamie and Geraldine (who had been working at Wolfgang Puck’s eateries). Chefs are Neal Fraser and Chris Goosen from Rick’s and pastry chef is Darcy Tizio … Add to All in the Family typecasting: Joel Grey will play daughter Jennifer Grey’s father in ABC’s “It’s Like, You Know …” taping this week in L.A. Joel then returns to N.Y. to rehearse for the Roundabout’s “Give Me Your Answer Do” by Brian Friel with John Glover, Kate Burton, Lois Smith and Michael Emerson. The cast starts being coached in Irish dialect immediately … Luise Rainer, in N.Y. for the opening of her film return in “The Gambler” (which opened in London two years ago), told me she’d be happy to work again (she’s 89), “if I get a big, beautiful picture.” The pic, being distributed by Independent Artists, follows the N.Y. date with L.A. Aug. 13. In Daily Variety’s review out of London, Nov. 16, 1997, Derek Elley said, “The pic briefly gets a real lift when veteran Luise Rainer bursts on the scene in a wonderfully showy part as a gambling-addicted granny” … Columbia issued a press release Wednesday noting that Brad Grey and Bernie Brillstein’s names — noticeably missing from credits earlier spelled out to your truly — are now listed as “executive producers” of “What Planet Are You From?”