Fonda completes the cycle

GOOD MORNING: Peter Fonda is about to direct what he calls “the final note” for his motorcycle trilogy. It’s “Too Much Texas” and it follows “Wild Angels” (1966) and “Easy Rider” (1969). His first directorial effort was U’s “The Hired Hand” in 1971, for which he is putting together the DVD. He reminds, “You can imagine how many biker films have been made in the interim.” But he promises “Too Much Texas” will be different. “It’s more than a biker film, it’s about a guy who wants to get out.” Angel Dean Lopez is scripting and Frank Mazzola and Joe and Michael Sutton are producing with Fonda. Meanwhile, Fonda’s restored version of “The Hired Hand,” the darling of film fests, will be presented by MoMA and LACMA in the near future. “Easy Rider,” of course, has maintained its classic status throughout the years with Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson co-starring. Fonda also says he has the “above-the-line” financing “from Morgan Chase” for “Too Much Texas”… On the legit scene, “Nobody’s Perfect,” the story of Billy Wilder, by Charlotte Chandler, due from Simon & Schuster later this fall, will be produced on B’way by David Brown.John Tillinger will direct. He also reins the George Burns-themed play “Say Goodnight Gracie.” And Brown also has “Mr. Goldwyn,” starring Alan King, heading to London in March, followed by a U.S. national tour including L.A. And adding to Brown’s showbiz-bio projects are “Swifty” (Lazar) by Christopher Hart plus Ava Gardner and Truman Capote legits.

“A YEAR AGO I WOULDN’T have been able to eat the food here — or anyplace!” Norm Crosby admitted at the 75th birthday party wife Joanie and sons Andrew and Daniel gave him at Il Cielo. He had been undergoing radiation treatment for cancer of the tongue. Crosby admitted he was “scared to death,” but is now cured and, as we speak, he’s doing a cruise ship stint aboard the Carnival en route to Hawaii. His first gig post-radiation was as entertainer at the Friars’ dinner honoring Aaron Spelling, who was undergoing the same treatment. Spelling, too, has recovered … Crosby, noting me at his birthday dinner Monday, explained, “Army is recovering from surgery — he had three press agents removed from his ass.” Big yuks from the showbiz crowd, which included Jack Carter (79), who continues attending the same Cedars-Sinai rehab class with Crosby. Carter has not stopped working since the beginning of the year and heads to Nashville in November to co-star in producer Jay Kholos’ “A Step on Orchard Street.” (Kholos’ daughter Michelle weds Mel Brooks’ Emmy-winning son Max in June.). Among guests at Norm Crosby’s birthday dinner, the David Marmels. He just produced the Mrs. America contest in Hawaii, with Kristy Leigh Phillips of Montgomery, Ala., winning–the show to air Oct. 12 (and 19) on Pax-TV. Marmel also produces the Mrs. Universe pageant, Dec. 15 in Bucharest — where he’ll also produce “The Search for Dracula.” Among others well-wishing Crosby: the Larry Gelbarts, Bernie Brillsteins, Joe Sinays, Shecky Greenes, Norby Walters, Rose and Bill Narva, Jody Berrys, Lorna Berle, etc. … March Schwartz, publisher of the Beverly Hills Courier, is recuping from a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s rehab center … Bob Evans (72), back from Europe, says he’s “fully recovered” from his stroke and writing “When the Fat Lady Sang,” which starts “with me dying.” While in Paris, Evans reunioned with his multiple-Paramount-pic director Roman Polanski. They’ll also meet up at the Rio fest next week. And Roman’s wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, will houseguest at Evans’ BevHills house … Maggie Brooks, former longtime Daily Variety receptionist, died Saturday in Las Vegas. Services will be private.

THE JACK WEBB AWARDS, skedded for Saturday, are postponed until February or March. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was to have been one of the recipients, is now “traveling.” The event was skedded at the L.A. Center Studios, where Arnold just wound principal photography on ” Terminator 3″ … Imagine my surprise when I, along with dozens of other pedestrians — as well as cars — was halted on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to permit filming — in broad daylight — of a car chase scene for Revolution’s Harrison Ford starrer “Hollywood Homicide,” directed by Ron Shelton … June Foray, “the First Lady of Cartoon Voices,” is the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters’ honoree at noon Friday at the Sportsmen’s Lodge. An impressive dais will toast Foray … Bob Sidney will be honored by the Professional Dancers Society Oct. 11 at the Studio City lodge. A swing band will allow this group of participants to shake their legs before and after the evening’s show produced by Alan Johnson, Miriam Nelson and Lee Hale. Joni Berry is the event chair … On the heels of her “Cabaret” triumph on B’way, Polly Bergen makes a rare, five-day concert stand at the Orange County Performing Arts Center beginning Oct. 1. For ducats, call (714) 740-7878 … Among those cheering “Mamma Mia!’s” return to L.A., this time at the Ahmanson, was Lainie Kazan, getting congrats on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and its upcoming series, as well as Lily Tomlin, who’ll star in her one-woman hit, “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” bowing May 21. Also, Piper Laurie, who repeats her “Morning’s at Seven” here, opening Dec.11.

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