Bel-Air bonfire a near miss

GOOD MORNING: A major portion of the Bel-Air home of producer David Gerber and wife, actress Laraine Stevens, went up in smoke when fire erupted in the second floor. Luckily, among items saved in the fire were Gerber’s notes from his Air Force service in WWII and his imprisonment by the Nazis in Stalag 17, the real one — after his B-17 was shot down over Poland. He was only 18 and imprisoned 13 months. His final prison release is being scripted by Lionel Chetwynd as a feature, titled, “The Long Walk Home.” Chetwyn’s no stranger to the period, having received six Emmy nominations for last year’s “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” and “Varian’s War” It’s the first feature for Gerber, television producer, exec and network boss…And yes, I asked Gerber what he thought of the feature film, Billy Wilder’s 1953 “Stalag 17” starring Bill Holden. He said “It was a great movie and captured the spirit (of the prison) -but, of course, it had a lot more humor than we had.”

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