GOOD MORNING: Kevin Spacey is not afraid to tackle any role — how about playing Bobby Darin? I heard about Spacey’s involvement in the Darin biopic on Monday, which was the 26th anniversary of Darin’s death. He was only 37 when his heart gave out following open heart surgery. The film had long been in the works at WB, where it had gone into turnaround, before Spacey’s involvement. Arthur Friedman has been working on the pic 12-1/2 years and will produce, with Bob Rehme as exec producer. Spacey has also had talks with Darin’s son, Dodd, on the biopic. First on Spacey’s agenda is “Pay It Forward,” in which he co-stars with Helen Hunt and “The Sixth Sense” youngstar, Haley Joel Osment. This pic, too, is evidence that Spacey is not afraid to tackle anything: in the story, he is a school teacher and burn victim … Arthur E. Friedman and Esparza Katz have “Price of Glory” from New Line going into release March 31 from a script by Phil Berger … Add biopic news: Pulitzer Prize-winner Jason Miller (“That Championship Season”) is signed to write the Showtime teleplay for “The Jackie Gleason Story.” Miller was formerly married to Gleason’s daughter. Paul Sorvino will play the great one. He also starred in Miller’s “Championship Season” for Showtime. Merritt Blake set the Gleason deal for Miller … Victoria Principal will guestar in three segs of “Providence” in a role which she laughingly describes as “very Mrs. Robinson-like!” You know what that means.
WE FEEL WE ARE LIVING a Hallmark Christmas story about humanity,” admits producer Scott Mauro. He and his wife Harriet were struck by a car Nov. 13. She finally is home from Cedars after suffering severe multiple injuries. He suffered two broken legs and remains on crutches. Showbiz friends (stars and exex alike) have been calling, visiting from all over the world, sending gift baskets, cooking ’em dinners, even leaving food at their doorsteps! Ironically, Scott has produced dozens of fundraising benefits, and Harriet has booked specials for all the networks. She returns to do the Soap Opera awards Jan. 17, and he produces the Palm Springs Film Fest Gala Jan. 15 honoring Annette Bening, Milos Forman, Alan & Marilyn Bergman and M. Night Shyamalan, with Swoosie Kurtz as femcee. Kurtz is returning to the screen to star in the Mathew Irmas-directed indie “Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes” … Sportscaster Gil Stratton is home from the hospital after a 33-day stay following complications from bypass surgery … Youngstar Jessica Madison Wright remain in the Cleveland Clinic’s Pediatric Clinic, where she will probably require a heart transplant. Contributions can be made in her name to Kids With a Cause, 11110 Ohio Ave. No. 205, L.A. 90025 … Hillary Clinton is honoree at An Unforgettable Evening, the fourth Saks Fifth Avenue-Cedars-Sinai Research for Women’s Cancers. Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks, Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg are honorary chairs; national spokespersons remain Candice Bergen and Bonnie Bruckheimer with Natalie Cole, who has been with the group since its beginning … Jan and Mickey Rooney are back from Australia where he underwent emergency colon surgery. He sounded as feisty as ever on the phone and hopes to soon return to work, he says … The back of the memorial program at Mickey Rudin’s services Monday showed a picture of Rudin and this quote: “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter. Winston Churchill” … The L.A. Children’s Hospital benefits from personalized Christmas cards postmarked “North Pole” — bought through http://www.getacard.com.
THE JERRY SEINFELD-JESSICA SKLAR wedding is upcoming between Christmas and New Year’s … Shawn Blake, director of publicity for Touchstone, and photographer Peter Blancke are engaged to wed in December — 2000 … At Barbara and Marvin Davis’ holiday celebration, guests were entertained by Peter Duchin, Natalie Cole, Lee Ann Rimes, 16 Rockettes and strolling fiddlers. When guests departed, they were presented a box of Krispy Kreme donuts, hot chocolate and the next ayem’s N.Y. Times … Ralph Edwards hosted his 60th staff Christmas party at the Hollywood Roosevelt, where guests included Bob Barker (who starred on Edwards’ “Truth or Consequences” for 18 years), Phil and Ida David (who attended the first party in 1940 in N.Y.) and Bob Warren (announcer on “This is Your Life” for 12 years) and the Magic Castle’s Milt Larsen, an idea man during the Barker years … It was SRO at the weekend performances of the Westside Ballet company’s presentation of “The Nutcracker.” The audience, filled with delighted children, parents and grandparents included Dustin Hoffman and family, also Stephen Collins … Once again RADD (Recording Artists, Actors, & Athletes against Drunk Driving) is campaigning for “Designated Drivers” during the holiday season. Celeb spokespersons include Jamie Lee Curtis, Lisa Loeb, Judd Nelson, Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Franz.