Peck, Osment team up for MPTF

GOOD MORNING: Kevin Spacey told me, “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that sight of Gregory Peck and Haley Joel Osment.” On Tuesday night, the duo was on the (improvised) stage in the open air theater created on the tennis court of Kate Edelman Johnson’s home, where the Spacey-created Motion Picture & TV Fund “awareness” night was coming to a fabulously successful finale. Peck and Osment were to introduce the last tribute segment, to MPTV Country House resident Hal Riddle. But before going on, they huddled in the “green room” in the mansion and decided to open thus: Peck to Osment, “How old are you?” Osment to Peck, “I’m 12. How old are you?” Peck, feigning being taken aback: “I’m 84 –so we’d better get on with this (segment).” Spacey starred in several memorable moments himself. At the start of the evening, he broke into his Bobby Darin mode, singing, “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You.” He swung the mike a la Darin and jumped off stage a la Darin — although admitting, “I think I hurt myself!” At the close of the evening’s presentations, Spacey again segued to Darin country singing “The Curtain Falls,” with which Darin closed many of his performances — with the final line appropriate for this showbiz audience: “People say we were made for this — and to think we get paid for this!” The orch, “The Spacey Band,” was led by Roger Kellaway, who, Spacey reminded me, had orchestrated many of Darin’s numbers. It’s no secret the actor has long planned to do the Darin biopic; “And to think,” he smiled, “I rehearsed tonight in front of the entire industry!” Before completing a film deal, Spacey insisted he wants the Darin family to know he will treat the project “with respect and to honor him.” Spacey’s now en route to N.Y. to honor Michael J. Fox with GQ’s award for courage … MPTF Foundation chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, praising Spacey’s work for the Fund, appointed him the newest member of the Foundation’s board of directors “in perpetuity.” Katzenberg also announced the Mary Pickford Foundation pledged $1.2 million to establish the Pickford endowment for residential care at the MPTF … Among the many touching moments of the evening: the tribute to resident Stanley Kramer, intro’d by George Clooney and Spacey, with thanks also by Stanley’s wife Karen Kramer who said to me, “I wouldn’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t been for the MPTF.” Among humorous moments of the night were an airport skit by Harvey Korman and Tim Conway, and Robin Williams’ tribute to resident Pat McCormick. In the green room, Williams was convulsed by Buddy Hackett, who dropped by, as did Jay Leno who left a check — ditto Keanu Reeves ($10,000) and many others who lingered at Johnson’s home long after the show was over. She reminded me her late husband, Dean Johnson, along with Charlie Feldman, who owned 80% of the film “A Streetcar Named Desire,” had donated its revenues to the MPTF. Kate administers those funds and says she’ll gladly donate her house once a year for an event like Tuesday’s. Others participating on stage were: Vince Vaughn and Jack Lemmon, Marisa Tomei and Helen Hunt, Jewel, Jenna Elfman and Frances Fisher, Angie Dickinson (who costars with Spacey, Hunt and Osment in “Pay It Forward”) and Thora Birch. Jackson’s catered, Chuck Pick parked. Others contributing to make the night succe$$ful: St. John, Sony, Mercedes-Benz USA.

ADD SHOWBIZ GOOD SCOUTS: the AFI (celeb) Golf Classic will be held Oct. 30 at Riviera. Bud Yorkin again chairs … The “Arli$$” (celeb) Golf Classic will be held Saturday at Las Vegas’ Badlands Golf Course to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital … Tina Turner donated $250,000 to the St. Jude hospital for pediatric AIDS research. Tony Thomas accepted the donation … Auction of memorabilia from Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other celebs helped raise $235,000 for UCLA’s Neuro-Oncology Dept. to help find a cure for brain cancer … At Saturday’s “Carousel of Hope” to benefit childhood diabetes research, Barbara (Mrs. Marvin) Davis will install TV monitors throughout the BevHilton’s silent auction and cocktail rooms (not the main ballroom!) should the World Series go seven games … Michael Crawford headlines BAFTA’s 10th annual Britannia awards show, Nov. 4 at the Century Plaza, where Steven Spielberg receives the first Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film. Prince Andrew , the Duke of York, makes the presentation to Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg femcees … The American Ireland Fund Dinner honoring Roma Downey at the BevHilton raised $350,000 in its program to “support programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture in Ireland, North and South.” Downey’s from Derry, “practically flattened by bombs,” she reminded … The original Chasen’s facade on Beverly Blvd. remains, as a Bristol Farms market envelops it at its formal opening Nov. 15, preceded the night before by a private black-tie party to re-create Chasen’s, 1936. Chasen’s chili will be sold there year round, frozen or served in the market’s cafe, boasting six of Chasen’s original red leather booths … The incomparable Corky Hale, who wowed ’em at Hollywood’s Cinegrill, bows in the Oak Room at the Algonquin, Dec. 5-9. Good timing: Corky has a new album, “Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas.” She’ll help make it so.

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