Peck legacy lives on

GOOD MORNING: Harper Lee boarded a train from Monroeville, Ala., to Pensacola, Fla., where she took another train to Los Angeles to attend Thursday’s invitation-only tribute at the Academy honoring Gregory Peck. Lee wrote the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which won Peck an Oscar as well as one for Horton Foote who wrote the screenplay. Lee has not been in L.A. since 1963, but she and Peck remained friends through the years. When Cecelia Peck and husband Daniel Vol welcomed their first son, they named him Harper. Veronique Peck has continued to be in touch with Harper since Greg’s death on June 12 … The tribute will be m.c’d by Ed Begley Jr. and the program will include Lauren Bacall here from N.Y., George Stevens Jr. from D.C., Elmer Bernstein, Keith Carradine, Angie Dickinson, Jane Fonda, Larry Gelbart, Tom Hanks, Frank Pierson, Mary Steenburgen and several others. The audience will include Barbra Streisand and Sharon Stone. Peck is buried in the mausoleum of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which Veronique points out is near both the Music Center where Peck was an initial supporter, and the main L.A. Public Library where he led readings of choice literature by the nation’s top talents to encourage reading. And, Veronique also notes, Greg would have been as equally proud to be a part of the nearby Disney Concert Hall. Gregory Peck: He was a tribute to this city, this business and to this country.

“IT’S THE DAMNEDEST THING I’ve ever heard,” Aaron Spelling said of the now starting NBC telepic, “Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of ‘Charlie’s Angels.'” It’s inspired by the book, “Charlie’s Angels Casebook,” (Pomegranate Press) by Jack Condon and David Hofstede, which is now going into its fourth printing. Spelling says he’s consulted attorneys since both he and wife Candy Spelling are portrayed in the pic, he by actor Dan Castellaneta. Spelling’s then-partner Leonard Goldberg is also portrayed in the telefilm. Spelling says he’s seen a copy of the script and admits, “It’s not derogatory, defamatory and not vulgar.” Thus, he adds, “I don’t know who’s going to watch it?” Meanwhile, book co-author Condon, who is also has the largest collection of “Charlie’s Angels” memorabilia,” has shown his collection to the three thesps as they start to portray the “Angels” … Add TV memories: the “Get Smart” cast and crew reunion Nov. 7 at Barsac in North Hollywood with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Heart Assn. in the memory of Edward Platt, who played the Chief in the show. Platt died of a heart attack in 1974 … Stefanie Powers is “presenting” the 20th anni of William Holden’s Wildlife Foundation with a “Broadway Goes to the Movies” gala Saturday at the L.A. Intl. Cultural Center (formerly the Scottish Rite Auditorium on Wilshire Boulevard). Powers, who maintains a home in the Mount Kenya Game Ranch, says she heads there two-three times a year. The Wildlife Foundation Education Center has hosted more than 70,000 people. And financed largely by Powers’ ongoing fund-raising efforts, over 10,000 students from Kenya and bordering countries participate in an education program. I remember way back when Holden was starting his conservation program in Kenya how he’d instruct locals in the benefits of learning to diet properly — like taking advantage of the great fish available. Meanwhile, Powers also continues her career, having just wound filming “The Flesh That Burns” in Italy and also a jazz album with Page Cavanaugh, “On the Same Page.” She’ll be among those singing at the Foundation fund-raiser which will boast more than 50 singing-dancing stars from film and stage. Powers also returns to the stage next year touring “The King & I.”

“I NEED 50 MORE TAKES,” Michael Nouri told Steven Spielberg after Nouri wound a kissing scene with Catherine Zeta-Jones in “The Terminal” filming in Palmdale. Spielberg told Nouri, “Don’t think you’re going to get any instructions from me on that request!” Nouri winged in from N.Y. to play the romantic role opposite Jones who stars with Tom Hanks in the pic. Nouri had just wound playing a gangster in “Stuey.” And next returns to the musical stage in “Camille Claudel” playing Rodin to Linda Eder’s Claudel. They broke in the musical at Godspeed with a sellout run of the show musicked by Frank Wildhorn with lyrics and book by Nan Knighton … Shirley MacLaine at the Belasco to catch pal Polly Bergen and Mark Hamill in “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks.” The Richard Alfieri comedy, directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman, officially opens on the 29th … Roy Christopher, production designer of “Six Lessons,” has ditto credits on “A Minute With Stan Hooper,” the Norm MacDonald starrer making its debut on Fox TV the same night. And he’s also designed the sets for “CBS At 75” anni show airing live, Sunday … Les Moonves, Carol Burnett, Angela Lansbury, Tom and Dick Smothers, Jane Seymour and Brad Garrett seminar’d the upcoming CBS anni Monday night at the Museum of TV & Radio in BevHills … A contingent from L.A. heads to SanFran this week for Thursday’s bow of “Oh Captain!” at the Eureka Theater. The 1958 musical was musicked by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. Evans and Shirley Livingston will be leading the group which includes: Alan and Nancy Livingston, Ginny Mancini, Rosemarie Stack, Betty Rose, Edye Rugulo, Corky Hale and Mike Stoller. The show was written by Al Morgan and Jose Ferrer, directed by Ferrer and starred Tony Randall in his first musical, playing the errant captain, and Abbe Lane as his across-the-Channel Parisian girlfriend … Audrey Spilker Hagar, Joe Sinay’s granddaughter makes her standup bow at the Hollywood Improv, Wednesday … Tony Martin’s 90th birthday will be toasted Dec. 7 at the BevHills Friars with a gala celebration by the roster of the club — plus classic clips with Martin and — Judy Garland, Rita Hayworth, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Miller, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, the Ritz Brothers, Jackie Cooper, Lana Turner, Esther Williams, Barbara Stanwyck, Jimmy Stewart and, of course, Cyd Charisse … And Guy Green will be saluted by BAFTA LA and the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater, Nov. 4. His “Patch of Blue” will be screened and among those cheering him will be: Sidney Poitier, Michael York, Jean Simmons, Stuart Whitman, Michael Apted, Karl Malden. The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists celebrated its 60th anni and presented Thursday an ACTRA Award of Excellence to Leslie Nielsen … And Canadians Abroad honored Monty Hall with their first Maple Leaf Ball, Saturday at the Jonathan Club in L.A. The event benefited Variety — The Children’s Charity of Southern California.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety