GOOD MORNING: You could say Clint Eastwood is a genuine equal-opportunity employer. He’s now back on a soundstage (WB’s first pic there since 9-11) for the first time since “Space Cowboys,” directing, producing and starring in “Blood Work.” His wife, Dina Ruiz, will play a TV reporter. His girlfriend in the pic is a Latina, Wanda De Jesus (Mrs. Jimmy Smits); his LAPD partner is black, Jaye Winston; and his nurse is Anjelica Huston. The pic will be no walk in the park for Eastwood, as this week he’s shooting a helicopter pursuit, followed by heavy physical scenes on and off his home base — a boat … The real West Wing of the White House was the site Tuesday for a lunch huddle between the administration’s Chris Hennick, deputy assistant to the president, and reps of the Directors Guild of America. The latter group included president Jack Shea, past president and secretary-treasurer Gil Cates and staffer Kathy Garmezky. The purpose: To broaden the association between the administration and the biz and to assure its positive attitude toward the arts … Cates also is in D.C. to tape ABC’s “An American Celebration” at Ford’s Theater. Kelsey Grammer emcees a show including Yolanda Adams, Stevie Wonder, Mandy Moore, David Copperfield, SheDaisy, the NYPD’s Daniel Rodriguez, John Spencer and Dennis Franz. Cates and Dennis Doty exec produce along with the theater’s Frankie Hewitt. Completing his D.C. stay, Cates dined Tuesday night with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, lunches Thursday with Jack Valenti. On his return, Cates readies the April 22 “Backstage at the Geffen,” its first fundraiser with a cast of past performers including Jason Alexander, Annette Bening, Debbie Allen, David Hyde Pierce, Rita Wilson, plus many of the directors. The Westwood site has to raise $2 million annually — only 50% is by ticket sales. The Geffen starts its seventh season this fall since receiving an initial five million-$ from David Geffen.
GEORGE NADER’S ASHES were scattered at sea from the same boat and in the same waters off Newport Beach as those of his friend Rock Hudson. Saturday’s service was conducted by Terry Sweeney, who also conducted the memorial for Hudson on that boat with Elizabeth Taylor. Sweeney also officiated services for Berry Berenson, Marie Windsor and Cubby Broccoli. Helping at the service was Susan Stafford. Among those attending was Mark Miller, Nader’s longtime partner … Happy birthday to Elizabeth Taylor today — would you believe she’s 70! … Debbie Reynolds, who will have the same number of candles on her cake April 1, is still criss-crossing the country with her show — and continues to ready her Hollywood Motion Picture Collection for the Hollywood & Highland complex. The opening is “way off schedule,” admits her son, Todd Fisher, who is CEO of the attraction and the parent company, the Hollywood Motion Picture Museum. The delay is for “a variety of reasons,” he said, including no access to the space until recently when a 6-foot-by-6-foot ventilator from restaurant construction went through the roof of the museum. “We had to redesign the space for the third time.” He now expects it to open in late summer — “if we’re lucky.” He’s hoping they can have a “preview center” of the museum prior to the Oscars, to be located in the walkway toward the Kodak Theater’s main entrance. The backers of Debbie’s dream collection are spending $15 million on the 20,000-square-foot nonprofit venture.
GRAMMY UPDATE: Roxanne Seeman wrote English-lingo lyrics for Alejandro Sanz’s “Quisiera Ser” on Friday and Destiny’s Child will duet with him — the women in English on the chorus, the rest of the song performed in Spanish tonight … Stan Chandler of the original cast of “Forever Plaid” and his wife, Kirsten Benton, have released an album, “A Quiet Thing” (LML Label). The platter not only includes their marvelous music-making but a band of “Hey There” sung by the original “Forever Plaid” company of David Engel, Larry Raben, Guy Stroman and Chandler … Saul Turteltaub’s “The Grandfather Thing” (Tall Fellow), now in its second printing, is also getting a printing in Japan … Joel Grey’s readying a book on his photographic talents — his latest subject being the peak at Machu Picchu. He’s in L.A. for the bow of his son-chef James Grey’s Santa Monica eatery Union … Gregory Peck and Vin Scully will be honorees at the American Ireland Fund’s gala April 17 at the BevWilshire … Elaine Stritch will be Woman of the Year for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of N.Y. May 13 at the St. Regis rooftop. Pal Liz Smith will host … Norm Crosby will host three shows at the Montreal Comedy Fest, July 21. Crosby attended the Vision Awards kickoff for the BevWilshire June 22 event with a lunch Tuesday at Prego in BevHills … Bob Stack, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris were the showbiz honorees at the U.S. Vets Gala Honoring America’s Heroes, held Friday at the BevHilton. Lionel Richie, Constantina and Living Proof entertained … Rod Steiger, Oscar winner for “In the Heat of the Night” (1967) — plus two other nominations — has a March 25 date to guest on “The View” to give his impressions of the previous night’s Oscars. He’ll be returning from his own honors at the Cine de Las Palmas Awards in Spain.