Dems’ ‘favorite son’ plays convention

GOOD MORNING: Tonight, a “favorite son” candidate will make his appearance at the Democonvention at 5 p.m. (PDT). He is Will Rogers–as played by Mac Davis, along with the troupe of “The Will Rogers Follies.” Rogers’ name was actually put in nomination as a “favorite son” back in 1928, and Davis will reprise the “Favorite Son” number from the hit B’way legiter, which is set back $ 30,000 to make the convention appearance, but producer Pierre Cossette figures it’s worth it. … “Secretary of the Navy Alex Duffee and his wife, Beatrice,” are played by the Washington Post’s former exec editor Ben Bradlee and wife Sally Quinn in “Born Yesterday,” starring Melanie Griffith, John Goodman and Don Johnson, at Disney. The Bradlees are also friends with the Michael Eisners. Former Watergate counsel Fred Dalton Thompson also co-stars as “Sen. Hedges” in the politicomedy born Feb. 4, 1946, at the Lyceum theater starring Judy Holliday, Paul Douglas and Gary Merrill. Garson Kanin replaced Jean Arthur with Holliday four days before opening, and Judy became a star overnight. … A trio of stars will host the Aug. 30 Emmys on Fox: Tim Allen, Kirstie Alley and Dennis Miller. They’ll rotate throughout the show, uniting at the finale as did last year’s Jamie Lee Curtis, Jerry Seinfeld and–Miller. Walter C. Miller is exec producer and directs the prime timer. Don’t look for “The Simpsons” to create a seg for the Emmys–they’re still miffed about being denied the right to compete in the regular comedy category, again. … Hollywood Pictures’ “Blood In, Blood Out,” Taylor Hackford’s movie about three East L.A. Chicano buddies who grow up to be a cop, an artist and a prisoner, was taken out for a rough-cut screening for the first time since the riots. It was shown in Las Vegas to a mixed audience, with a good reaction, says a studio source, who adds that the movie is “tough but not volatile.” A release date is not yet set as the movie’s still quite long. … Nor has WB set a release date yet for its “South Central” pic, also dealing with L.A.’s gangs.

A LIFE WORTHWHILE–“The Bree Walker Story” is being readied as a telepic by producers Neil Gordon, Russ and Nadine Kavanaugh. Gordon tells me the TV’er will focus on the decision by Bree and husband Jim Lampley to have a child despite the odds of its inheriting ectodactylism (a disfiguring condition in which fingers and toes are fused)–and their son did indeed. While Bree continues to air here on KCBS, Lampley’s off to the Barcelona Olympics for NBC-TV. … Angie Dickinson tells me her role in Oliver Stone’s “Wild Palms” “is the most evil woman I’ve ever played.” She’s Dana Delany’s mother, Ben Savage’s grandmother, Robert Loggia’s sister. The story’s set 15 years hence, with electronics of that era, sez Dickinson. Because of the six-hour show’s shooting sked, Angie had to miss heading to her hometown, Kulm, N.D., for its centennial. But, she laughs, a limo with darkened windows, and a banner bearing her name, drove in the parade–with a gloved lady’s hand waving. … Mary Tyler Moore broke a rib in a fall from her horse and had to pass on “Palms,” says her agent, APA’s John Gaines. … TNT’s telepic “Painting Churches,” starring Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall and Cecilia Peck, has been retitled “The Portrait.” Director Arthur Penn winged out here to mix. Peck and Robert Greenwald exec produce Bruce Davison last week wound “The Bottom Drawer,” with Genevieve Bujold, and next joins Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” with Jack Lemmon as his father and Andie McDowell as his wife.

THE CITY OF BEVERLY HILLS’ Planning Committee meets on Wed. to look at the BevHills Hotel’s newest face-lift plans. If they’re OK’d, the hotel shutters for the renovation at year’s end. … The Post Ranch at Big Sur was the site for vacationing Bob Daly and Carole Bayer Sager. … CNN’s Catherine Crier and Ed Hookstratten two’d at Morton’s. … Tom Selleck signed with CAA. … The Literary Guild picked up Suzanne Somers’ “Wednesday’s Children” (G.P. Putnam)–interviews by Somers with 32 celebs from abusive homes. … Laura and Orin Borsten completed writing “Once a Wave: My Life in the Navy.” Laura (Rapoport in 1942-46) was the last WAVE to leave Hawaii, where she served as a district director–Lt. Cmdr. She will serve as keynote speaker at the 50th anni of the WAVES, July 18 in Anaheim. Daughter Joan B. is prepping the movie version. … Francesca Hilton appears with mother Zsa Zsa Gabor on the debut KFI radio show Saturday from the Comedy Store, with Richard Belzer hosting. “I wonder if my mother will let me say anything,” asks Francesca, who will play the Main Room at the Store tomorrow night. … Mark Harris created a sitcom titled “May-December Bride” and is now packaging. He’s also readying a birthday party for his bride, Martha Raye, who will be 76 Aug. 29. … Arthur Price and his quartet of backers caught last Thursday’s bow of “Tommy” as a work in progress at the La Jolla Playhouse and plan to tour it for a year, hoping to take it to London and B’way. The Playhouse’s Des McAnuff directs the Pete Townshend adaptation of the hit Who album. … Kushner-Locke locked up movie rights to Karen Kingsbury’s true crime thriller “Final Vows” (Dell). Artie and Richard Pine set the deal, along with InterTalent.