Spacey gives $100,000 to SAG relief

GOOD MORNING: Kevin Spacey is a guy who puts his money — and his talents — where his heart is. As reported Tuesday, he has contributed $100,000 to the SAG Foundation’s assistance relief fund to help thesps in dire financial straits due to the strike against the ad industry. Spacey has also been active on another front: He is readying an event, “Remembering Our Past” to benefit the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Country House & Hospital. The event will be held Oct. 24 at the home of Kate Edelman Johnson. Kevin is pro-ducing the evening and will host and participate in a night to which he is inviting 200 of his generation of successful thesps to make them aware of the MPTF. The event is not primarily a fundraiser that night, he explains, but to launch a commitment from this generation for the future of the Fund. Sure, the past giants of the industry have made it what it is today — but what about tomorrow? That’s what Spacey wants to accomplish. He is no stranger to its setting; when he was at Chatsworth High, he recalls, “We used to go out there to sing Christmas carols.” The actor eloquently described his desire to “see the continuity” of what was established by the likes of Jean Hersholt and John Ford and continued on with those like Ray Stark, Kirk Douglas and of course, Lew Wasserman. “I’m trying to galvanize my generation,” he told me. During the evening, “We’re going to give readings to personalize some of those who are out there now — like Stanley Kramer, John Chambers, Hal Riddle, Pat McCormick. This is a place where people with whom we worked every day — makeup, script, crew — can continue to live in a com-munity of their colleagues in their sunset years.” So he is personally doing the inviting. “I’m very excited about it,” he enthused; “I’m dedicated to it.” After this initial evening for the MPTF Country House & Hospital, he will start work on his next film, “K-Pax” for Universal; in the sci-fi’er he plays a character in a mental institution — who may be from another planet. Jeff Bridges is the psychiatrist who tries to find out if he really is from outer space. Spacey still intends to do the Bobby Darin biopic, “but only when it can be done the right way.”

JENNIFER LOPEZ WINGS IN from London to be one of four hosts on the initial Latin Grammys tonight. She was originally to duet with Mark Anthony, who bowed out to be with his expectant wife. Lopez still agreed to participate — while not singing on the show which airs tonight on CBS from Staples Center. Pierre Cossette promises the awards show will be “very pure. We’re not sneaking in things that don’t belong on the Latin Grammys.” Cossette started producing the live Grammy Awards telecast in 1971 and three decades later he’s kicking off the Latin Grammys show. Next for Pierre is “Melissa Etheridge: The Truth Is” for Broadway … Lorne Michaels, who after 25 years celebrated an Emmy win for “Saturday Night Live” Sunday night, was on Par’s Stage 30 Monday heading a reading of the planned feature, “August Blowout” with “SNL” star Will Farrell … Michael J. Fox covers George mag’s Oct. issue. He is also one of the seven initial George Awards winners for being “citizens first.” The others: Kelly Stone, Lisa Belzberg, Fred Rogers, Frank Martin, Glenn Geelhoed and Unita Blackwell. The event is Sept. 28 at N.Y.’s Four Seasons restaurant. The issue, on the stands next week, also has an article, “Jack Valenti’s Long Goodbye” by Sharon Waxman. Judging by Jack’s strong stance again this week in facing showbiz adversaries on the Hill, it’ll be a long time before there’s any goodbyes from Valenti. In the mag, he says, “I want to live to an age when I can wake up and work out and do 15 hours of work every day. When I can’t do that, I’ll shuffle off this mortal coil.” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is quoted as saying, “I think he (Valenti) is, without a doubt, one of the most effective spokesmen for his industry, for any industry up here. It’s far and away the strongest of any movie industry in the world and he can claim a lot of credit for that.”

THE TABLES ARE TURNED on Carl Reiner who usually (and masterfully) emcees any and every type of toasting. But on Oct. 24 at the Kennedy Center, Reiner receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, where he will be saluted by: Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Belzer, George Wallace and — Rob Reiner. Thankfully, it will be taped for future airing … There are only three of the Lone Ranger’s/Clayton Moore’s masks. One is at the Smithsonian; his daughter Dawn will keep one. And she will auction the third: It’s among items of her late father’s memorabilia on exhibition at Sotheby’s, L.A., Sept. 16-19 and on auction at from Oct. 20-31. The three were made from a plaster mask of his face, after the first masks given him made it impossible for him to see while doing stunts! (“His peripheral vision was blocked.”) He did three “Lone Ranger” half-hour shows a week — a total of 169 plus two features. Previ-ously he had been the king of the serials at Republic and got the Lone Ranger job after being masked in “The Ghost of Zorro.” When Dawn first told her dad the mask was going on exhibit at the Smithsonian, Clayton who had made thousands of p.a.’s, philosophically said, “That’s wonderful — but do I have to go anywhere?”

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