GOOD MORNING: Regis Philbin is an alumnus of Notre Dame: He’s the number one fan of the fighting Irish, and he donated $2.75 million for a theater. But it was the Sons of Italy who, last night in D.C., gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award. Reege told me, “(My parents) had a typical N.Y. marriage — my mom was Italian and my father was Irish. She lived on 59th St., he lived on 67th. My longshoreman grandfather Nicholas Boscia came over from Italy. Although I was only two when he died, I can’t forget his funeral, and my grandmother wore black for the rest of her life.” Life is the fullest for “Millionaire’s” Regis — he had to tape two of those shows plus two “Live” segs in order to be on hand to receive the Italy award. Reege gets to take next week off — everything … Peter Falk has wrapped five films in a row and is now deciding whether to do two or three two-hour “Columbo’s.” It will mark his 30th year on the series character. And he’d have us know he still wears the same raincoat he bought in 1957 on 57th street when caught in a downpour. In this past year, Falk, after completing “The Lost World” mini for BBC/A&E in New Zealand, he winged to Halifax for CBS’ “A Town Without Christmas.” And he’d previously starred in Walter Hill’s “Undisputed” with Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames, Disney’s “Corky Banano” with Chris Kattan and Jon Favreau’s “Made” with Vince Vaughn and Sean “Puffy” Combs. He’s played three mobsters, one angel, and one missionary in the jungles of Brazil.
JACK LEMMON UNDERWENT SURGERY for the removal of an inflamed gall bladder, which, I’m told, was “non-cancerous.” Lemmon had previously been hospitalized at UCLA suffering from pneumonia and was recuping when the bladder problem was discovered. His family tells me he is now “doing great” and is expected home momentarily … And Gregory Peck, recouped from one cataract surgery will undergo the other — he is now also recuping from a sprained ankle and bone chip in a fall poolside … While Jane Fonda and Ted Turner are now officially divorced, they are together on a host committee for a reception (fundraiser) for Georgia’s (Demo) Senator Max Cleland at the home of Cheryl and Haim Saban on May 30. Other hosts include Cindy Horn, Jack Valenti and Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Jane Harman and Peter Morton. Acad President Bob Rehme puts on his movie producer’s hat again today as he greets arriving-from-N.Y. author Gerald E. Kelly, whose book, “Honor For Sale,” Rehme is developing with scripter John Bishop for the bigscreen. It’s the true story of the N.Y.P.D. and what happened to the drugs confiscated in the 1971 “French Connection” caper. Germany’s Kinowelt is financing the production under Rehme’s banner … The DGA’s Pres. Jack Shea announced that the guild’s annual golf tourney will be renamed the Howard W. Koch Memorial DGA Golf Tournament in honor of Koch, who died on Feb. 16. In addition to his many years of service on the DGA’s boards, Koch was also a longtime supporter and chairman of the DGA’s Foundation which assists members in need. This year’s tourney will be held July 9 at the Wilshire C.C … Steve Tisch gets his star on Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame on June 1 … Universal’s Stacey Snider receives the H.E.L.P. Humanitarian Award at the group’s “Teddy Bear Picnic” on June 7 at the BevHilton. Brian Grazer and Ron Meyer chair … A celebration of the 100th anniversary of bandleader Horace Heidt at the famous Horace Heidt Estates in Sherman Oaks with a “Swinging Centennial Celebration.” Among those who’ll toast his memory (he died in 1986): Dick Van Patten, Gloria De Haven, Barbara McNair, The Coasters, and, of course, the Horace Heidt orch and Heidt Jr.
IT’LL BE “BOB HOPE DAY” per the L.A. City Council as Bob celebrates his 98th birthday on May 29. The Hopes returned to their Toluca Lake home after six months in their Palm Springs house. Dolores celebrates her birthday on the 27th, and the family joins ’em at parties this weekend. On exhibit for all to see is the model of the Bob Hope Center to be built in the Burbank Media Center. The $26-30 million, five-story structure will be built on property owned by Hope since 1956 across from NBC TV studios. A second phase will include a performing arts theater, museum and comedy walk of fame. It’s Marilyn, Marilyn, Marilyn: As the 75th anniversary of her birth on June 1 approaches, we’ll be deluged by the plethora of press, TV and movie clips, and you-name-it. The Hollywood Blvd. “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” museum already had its Marilyn look-alike contest Wednesday. The Hollywood Entertainment Museum, two blocks away, holds its lookalike contest on May 31 in advance of an exhibit running two and a half months … And Sotheby’s (BevHills) auctions off “never before seen” MM photos on its Sothebys.com, starting May 31 until June 20. And at Sotheby’s on Wilshire Blvd. until June 20 … And upcoming in time for the launch of the “I Love Lucy” traveling exhibit is the Postal Services’ new stamp of “Lucille Ball, the Queen Of Comedy” … Isabel Sanford and Sherman Hemsley are reunited — as the new spokespeople for Denny’s restaurants in a national campaign … Goodwill Ambassadors” Heather Mills and Paul McCartney honor a landmine survivor of Bosnia Herzegovina, Radosav Zikovic, at the “Adopt-A-Minefield” gala on June 14 at the BevWilshire. Zikovic lost a leg helping a friend who stepped on a mine. Jay Leno m.c’s. the night to raise awareness of the continuing horror.