GOOD MORNING: In case you wondered, as did Shirley Temple, who will play Bill (Bojangles) Robinson in the long-planned two-hour ABC version of her (first) autobiog, “Child Star” — Well, Paula Hart who exec produces, along with daughter Melissa Joan Hart says the offer’s out to Gregory Hines for the telepic (to shoot in Australia!). With the Harts also set to remake “The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer,” with Melissa (“Sabrina, The Teenage Witch”) to play the Temple role, who’ll play the Cary Grant role? Hart (mom, that is), says Pierce Brosnan has expressed interest; they’d be ecstatic if he does it, natch. The Shirley Temple “Child Star” pic takes Temple to the age 15. The book went up to her marriage to Charles Black. They celebrate their 50th wedding anni, Dec. 16 in Beijing. They’ll be there along with Henry Kissinger for the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Inc., of which Temple has been a board member for several years. She’s no stranger to China, having first visited in 1977 when she completed her term as chief of protocol at the White House. Shirley is now at work on an autobiography on the second portion of her life — as yet untitled — and on which the Harts (Heartbreak Films) say they already have first rights to televise. As for Shirley’s involvement in the telepic of the first part of her life, which will have moppet auditions in L.A. Sept. 16, she laughingly asks, “Do you think I should apply?” Seriously, she will be a consultant on the script (by Joe Wiesenfeld), but don’t look for Temple to be a movie mother on the sets. Her one restriction: “that they be as truthful as I expressed in my book.” She has approved her foto to be used on the badge for the look-alike (dance-alike, sing-alike?) contestants. I asked Shirley how did she really feel about working since the age of 3-1/2? She quickly answered, “I loved it!”
STAN LEE WAS WARNED not to change one word of a speech prepared for him to address the Chinese-Japanese Manga Assn. of animators, cartooonists in the Great Hall of China last week. But as he listened to the four speakers ahead of him deliver the identical message, he thought differently. “I apologized, and told them I might start an international incident …” but, he went on to speak of the importance of cartoons worldwide. He was roundly applauded. He met with the Daily People’s editor and told her he’d try to do a cartoon for their paper. “Single-handedly,” he laughed, “I could enhance the peace movement. Isn’t this a wonderful way to work together?” He was given a police escort everywhere and as a result of his visit, along with Ken Williams, Stan Lee Media prez-CEO, Lee says he is the only American approved by the Chinese government to engage in any activity in China with no further approval. He also formed Stan Lee-Japan during the Asian trip. It may be increased to Stan Lee-Asia. In Japan, Sumo champ Aki Bono (he’s Hawaiian) sidled up to Lee and started singing the “Spider-Man” song! He told Stan “I’d like to be a Stan Lee (cartoon) superhero.” “So now,” says Lee, “I have to do a cartoon strip about him, too!” Back in the U.S., Lee is sifting through the many projects, which now include the cartoon version of Gene Roddenberry’s “Starship,” for which he says he’s made a deal with Roddenberry’s widow. Also on tap is “Cops,” about cops of the future.
ROB LOWE WILL BE THE HOST of “Saturday Night Live’s” season opener, Oct. 7. Eminem musicks. Lowe last hosted “SNL” in 1990 and went on to star in Lorne Michaels’ “Wayne’s World” feature and “Austin Powers II.” Michaels wings to L.A. next week to prep the feature “August Blowout” starring “SNL’s” Will Ferrell … Simon & Schuster has pushed up the publication of “My Father’s Daughter,” by Tina Sinatra to Oct. 10. She’ll launch her interview route via “60 Minutes,” Oct. 8. And next week, Tina talks the book for Simon & Schuster’s audio … Sammy Davis Jr.’s mother, Elvira Sanchez Davis, 95, died Saturday in N.Y. The funeral will be Tuesday at Bentas Funeral Home in N.Y., according to Altovise Davis (Sammy Jr.’s widow, who is making the arrangements along with Gloria Williams, Elvira Davis’ niece). Elvira was a showgirl in “Holiday in Dixie” when she met Davis Sr.; Sammy was born to them in 1925. Altovise is currently consulting to Quincy Jones and Leslie Bricusse on the B’way-bound “Sammy.” And to Gary Smith, Dwight Hemion and Mark Wolper on the Davis Jr. miniseries … May Britt, once married to Sammy Jr., has moved back to L.A. with her husband businessman Lennart Ringquist from their Nevada home to be closer to her three children (with Davis). Britt will have five of her paintings as part of an exhibit of well-known Swedish artists at the Hagen Parken Hall in Stockholm, with the opening set for Sept. 15. It’s her fourth show … Hot young comedian Jeffrey Ross has signed with Bernie Brillstein. Coincidentally Brillstein and Brillstein-Grey management rep Jeff(rey) Ross, longtime producer of the Conan O’Brien show … Comedian (also director) Dick Martin receives the Pacific Pioneers’ Lifetime Achievement Award Sept. 22 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge … Jack Jones starts his “Man of La Mancha” tour Sept. 18 in Elyria, Ohio, and winds April 8 in Scranton, Pa., where his dad, Allan Jones was born and is buried. It’s especially emotional for Jack, as his father also toured in “La Mancha” for years. Jack also received a Grammy nom for performing “The Impossible Dream” — a standard in his nitery act.