Fonda will only return for a ‘Golden’ role

GOOD MORNING: Jane Fonda will meet with CAA’s Richard Lovett during her quickie visit to L.A. to present at the Oscars Sunday. But whether she’ll do another film, she says, “If I can find a script as good as ‘On Golden Pond’.” She emphasizes that she still loves the biz “and I love acting.” But, she returns to her home in Atlanta Monday. At the Oscars, Jane will be wearing a taupe-colored, satin gown by Vera Wang. And she arrives at the Awards with “my best friend,” Paula Weinstein. They had also partnered in pic projects but Jane says she no longer has her production company. “You can’t do that long distance. I’ve had a career in movies for 40 years and now I’m having sort of a second chance to show up for my kids — my own and I’m very close to Ted’s kids and six grandchildren.”. Howcum she’s presenting at the Oscars? “They (the Zanucks) asked me. And I’m footloose and fancy free and I feel great.” (And she sounded it!) The status of her marriage to Ted Turner is the same, she said, not divorced and not separated. “We’re friends.” She attended a board meeting of the Turner Foundation in Montana . She is on the board along with Turner’s kids. “He’s starting another nuclear disarmament foundation and we’re talking to Michael Douglas. Ted is making a real ($) commitment.” You recall Fonda and Douglas teamed in “China Syndrome,” the terrif 1979 drama about the cover-up of fallout from a nuclear plant accident … Next for Fonda is a trek to Nigeria to interview girls and their families on the important issues for women — raising their status with education in health, etc. It’s a continuation to move forward from the U.N.’s fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995 and its promises. “I’ve always wanted to bring back first-hand stories to the public,” she says of her forthcoming trip to Africa. “And this will follow through the Beijing commitments which we have to implement. The Vatican and right wing groups are trying to internationally undo those gains (of the conference). And — it’s not about abortion,” she insists. “I’m going to be very busy,” Fonda laughed … Before winging West, Fonda took in “The Messenger” by David Van Asselt at the Rattlestick theater (93 seats) in the West Village. It costars Fonda’s son Troy Garity (his father’s Tom Hayden and Troy portrays him in the upcoming pic, “Steal This Movie”), plus Robert Redford’s daughter, Amy Hart Redford, and Alan Nebelthau … Jane still maintains friendships in Hollywood, like with Jon Voight with whom she costarred in 1978 in the Vietnam War vet story, “Coming Home,” for which she and Voight won Oscars. She won her first as a hooker in “Klute” in 1971.

THE TOP FIVE REJECTED Billy Crystal entrances at the Oscars Sunday:

5. Billy comes out on a lawnmower with Richard Farnsworth, who drops Billy off and drives himself to his seat at the Shrine.

4. Billy comes out in an electric (execution) chair. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit models enter to wet his sponge.

3. Tony Clifton stumbles out and reveals himself to be John Malkovich, who is Being Billy Crystal.

2. Billy enters from the back of the house and climbs over seats to get to the stage, babbling effusively in Italian all the while.

And No. 1: A giant garbage bin comes out and cracks open, spilling out Billy, 55 Oscars, Debbie Allen and a dance number … So now, head writer Bruce Vilanch goes back to his drawing board. Any suggestions?

IT WILL BE LIKE WALKING down an historic street in Rome –holding a Palm Pilot in your hand.” That’s how Oscar show director Louis J. Horvitz describes how the “classicism” of Oscar movies will be telecast — with today’s highest resolution camera and transmission equipment although not shooting in high definition. It will be shot digitally “across the board,” says Emmy-winning Horvitz who will juggle 22 cameras plus two Steadicams for this year’s show … “The Pledge” director Sean Penn and its star Jack Nicholson wing in from the location to present on the Oscars. Nicholson, to friend Warren Beatty who receives the Thalberg award … This is a busy week for Elton John whose “Aida” bowed in N.Y. Thursday night, he wings to L.A. Saturday to celebrate his birthday with a party hosted by Ingrid Sischy and Donatella Versace. Guests include Elizabeth Taylor. And Sunday night, Elton hosts his Oscar party with InStyle … It’s the end of an era with the passing of the so-well liked, multi-talented producer-manager Ray Katz. He put the word “personal” into manager. Ask Lucie Arnaz, who had been represented by him for 20 years after she started in the biz. Even when Katz no longer represented her, he rushed to Lucie’s house when he learned Lucille Ball had died. He arrived in the early hours of the morning to be at Lucie’s side and to be of assistance. She called him “Uncle Ray.” “He was like my godfather.” It so happened Arnaz was in L.A. Wednesday (to talk to Les Moonves about next year’s 50th anni of “I Love Lucy”) when she learned Katz was at Cedars-Sinai. She rushed over to see him. In the room were Ray’s wife, Barbara, his cousin and former partner Sandy Gallin, longtime friend and client, Lily Tomlin, Gary Smith and Danny Welkes. A few hours later, he died peacefully. Ray Katz was one of those rare people in the biz who could get anyone on the phone at any time — and he was always available to all with solid, warm and generous advice. He was a mensch. … Pals who spoke at Stanley Ralph Ross’ funeral included Red Buttons, Alan Garfield, Dan Harrison and Jack Riley who said when Ross died (on March 18), “he went to heaven taking with him 54 Oscars.”

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