Hispanice presence felt in H’w’d

GOOD MORNING, or should I say “Buenos Dias,” following last night’s Latin Grammy Awards, the eve of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15), the publication of “Hispanics in Hollywood” by Luis Reyes and Peter Rubie — and the start of filming the 20th seg of Showtime/Viacom’s “Resurrection Blvd.,” the first Latino drama series. Despite all this good news, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts reports the paucity of Latino actors employed by the webs while too many roles are stereotypical. Denny Leoni, creator and exec producer of “Resurrection Blvd.,” tells me for the final segment of the show, “We have made an offer to Gloria Estefan.” The story involves the series’ Alex (young thesp Nicholas Gonzalez) going after the championship; he will actually fight in the ring against the real No. 1 lightweight contender Hector “Macho” Camacho Jr. in a bout at the Olympic Auditorium. They also hope to cast Oscar de la Hoya and Sugar Ray Leonard. The fight sequences are handled by Jimmy Nickerson, who did “Rocky” and “Raging Bull,” plus nine other boxing features. Smokin’ Joe Frazier and Kelly Wiglesworth (“Survivor”) are among those so far also set. Starting Monday, Showtime re-airs the 13 segs that have already run of the series (which bowed June 26). Producer Leoni tells me “I’ve hired at least 100 Latino actors since we started. Our writers, producers, directors and stars are predominantly Latino and our crew is 75-80% Latinos. But I am willing to bet we are the most diverse series on the air,” with Asian-American, black and Anglo actors. “We try to show it the way it is.” He reminds that L.A. is 44% Latino and growing. “The Mexican-American community feels there are those stereotypical roles. We try to show that racism is alive but ‘Resurrection Blvd.’ focuses on the positive.” If you need reminding of the positive Latino influence in films and TV, get a copy of “Hispanics in Hollywood — A Celebration of 100 Years in Film and Television.”

“REGIS TELLS ALL” front covers US Weekly. But Reege really is his usual lovable self in his book “Who Wants to Be Me?” (Hyperion, out on the stalls Sept. 26). He tells humorous stories of his experience on both his daytimer and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” So don’t look for any tabloid garbage. Like how did he get the “Millionaire” host job? “I called producer Michael Davies and reminded him ‘I’m still here after 33 years.’ ” Regis said Phil Donahue and Montel Williams were among those they were considering for the host … I caught up with the fantastically busy Philbin between Wednesday’s morning show and the late-afternoon taping of “Millionaire,” both of which are sustaining and topping their record-making ratings. He’ll continue to do six “Millionaires” a week until October, when it drops to four. Next week’s guest co-hosts on the morning show will be the “Survivor” cast, with winner Richard Hatch on Friday. The week of Oct. 2 will boast “real people” as co-hosts; in Nov. there will be a return of celeb contenders (for charities) with Rosie O’Donnell already set to return, and in Dec. college kids. Philbin does not plan to expand on his clothing commercial tie-ups (with Van Heusen). “I’m just a shirt and tie man”; so don’t expect Regis Jeans. He thrives on all this activity, and the 68-years-young Regis will soon have his semi-annual checkup. He had a blocked artery cleared in April following a 1993 blockage removal. You’ll see how fine he is, in person, when he signs copies of his book at Barnes & Noble, Sept. 28 at Rockefeller Plaza … The chip champs chip in for the campaign of one of the first politicos to be Web-savvy: Al Gore on Tuesday in Atherton, Calif., silicon heaven. Elton John will perform a full set for the fundraiser at the home of Dr. Eric Schmidt, chairman-CEO of Novell, a leader in Net software covering all networks and operating systems … On another campaign: Super*Tone co-founding member Franchot Tone, grandson of actor Franchot Tone, is among featured performers at the “Rock and Roll Strike” rally Sunday at the Roxy on the Sunset Strip to unite in support of the SAG strike. Guitarist Tone’s grandfather was a founding member of SAG.

PETER MALKIN, THE ISRAELI Intelligence agent who captured Adolph Eichman, will be Rabbi David Baron’s special guest at Temple Shalom for the Arts’ Kol Nidre Service, Oct. 8 at the Wilshire Theater. Rabbi Baron’s sermon “Justice and Mercy” will cite Malkin’s compelling first-hand account of the capture and his personal conversations with Eichman as the best refutation of his Nuremberg defense “I was only following orders.” His involvement was documented in the murder of 6 million Jews and 5 million gentiles. The world premiere of the docu “The Concert” directed by Oscar-winner Richard Dornhelmer and produced by Bram Roos will also be at the Temple on Yom Kippur Day (Oct. 9), after which Malkin will conduct a Q&A. Both during “break time” between morning and evening services … Arthur Allan Seidelman is directing Maya Angelou, America’s poet and social activist in “Runaway,” a Hallmark Hall of Fame for CBS. Seidelman says, “She brings amazing ability and richness to the role of a ‘conjure woman,’ a mystic. She exudes an aura of great spiritual warmth whenever she’s in a scene.” The telepic also stars Dean Cain, Debbie Morgan, Katherine Erbe and Pat Hingle.

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