Poitier extols value of ounce of prevention

GOOD MORNING: Sidney Poitier is A-OK, three weeks after prostate surgery — playing golf, taking meetings on upcoming projects and writing a book on “60 years of observations, hopes, aspirations, tragedies, the unfathomable — etc.” Poitier will not require any radiation or chemo post-surgery, he says. “A good part of my surgery was preventative. It’s a blessing to have the opportunity to practice preventative medicine. I could have watched and nurtured it for a year but thought it prudent to do the surgery now”… A group of top still photographers met over the weekend to establish their “Monroe Doctrine.” They’ve retained copyright lawyers to stop the illegal global traffic in their Marilyn Monroe pix. Among those represented in the group are: Tom Kelly (by his son Tom Jr.), Andre de Dienes (by his widow, Shirley), George Barris, Billy Woodfield, Phil Stern, Bert Stern, John Florea. A recent single print of one of their MM pix was valued at $ 7,600. They would prosecute photo agencies, magazine and book publishers, etc., for piracy … I ran into Susan Bernard over the weekend and she reported her book, “Bernard of Hollywood’s Marilyn” (St. Martins Press), the target of one lawsuit, has gone into its second printing … While Lee Minnelli was engrossed in conversation at Spago with Sharon Stone and her fiance , Bill MacDonald, the Minnelli home was being robbed of all of Lee’s jewelry. The pieces included wedding gifts from Vincente, she tearfully told me … Not in the script: Producer Peter McAlevey (just wound “Born to Run” with partner Bruce Binkow for their Thunderbird banner) was on a research ride with scripter Connie Burge in an LAPD black-and-white in South Central when they became involved in an attempted (gunshot) murder of one of the cops with whom they were riding. The filmmakers spent the entire night at police H.Q. as witnesses.

THERE WASN’T A DRY EYE at the Henry Mancini house Sunday where a memorial service was held for Alexis Smith. Craig Stevens explained Henry and Ginny had volunteered their home to accommodate the large number of friends who wanted to attend the farewell remembrance. Among those who told warm, loving, humorous, touching memories were: Roddy McDowall, who went on war bond tours with Alexis and Craig; Frances Rafferty, who knew Alexis since the age of 10, and daughter Bridget Aston; Robert Douglas, who bowed at WB with Alexis in “Christopher Blake”; Harry Lewis, who went to Hollywood High with Alexis; Betty White, Ronnie Cowan, Gwen Davis, Jane Johnston. Blake Edwards recalled “This Happy Ending” (‘ 58, Universal) for which he wrote (and directed) his favorite comedy line, delivered magnificently by Alexis as a seagull walked through a dramatic scene: “On a day like this, why aren’t you at the beach?” Craig then recalled the last time he and Alexis worked together, in “Love Letters”– and he read the play’s final, farewell “letter,” which perfectly fit this loving couple. Like I said, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house … Saturday at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinema, Fox held its own “Rookie of the Year” contest, and following the screening, the pic’s young star Thomas Ian Nicholas was a guest at Dodger Stadium, where Tommy Lasorda introduced Thomas to Dodger ’92 rookie of the year Eric Karros … Add sports note: The Sports Club/LA becomes “Club Magic” Sept. 11 in honor of Earvin Johnson. The black-tie, Swatch-sponsored, sports-showbiz celeb event will feature themed rooms with games, bands, etc. Proceeds to the Magic Johnson Foundation benefiting HIV/AIDS projects and Challengers Boys & Girls Club of South Central L.A.

CUPID GREETED JULIA ROBERTS today as she returned to work on “The Pelican Brief” stage in D.C. after her brief honeymoon with Lyle Lovett. One of the camera crew members donned a Cupid costume complete with wings as the troupe wheeled out an appropriate bride-and-groom-topped wedding cake. Roberts had taken 25 of the crew to Lovett’s concert in D.C. and he visited her on the previous location in New Orleans. But no one (except director Alan Pakula) had any idea what was in the offing. The company will be in D.C. 10 weeks and one of the scenes is a giant call outside the Supreme Court building. No, they do not plan to repeat their vows there … Pattikay Lee, advertising director of Variety Inc., and Meyer Gottlieb. president and CEO of the Samuel Goldwyn Co., will marry Aug. 28 at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel … And Variety film critic Todd McCarthy and documentary filmmaker Sasha Alpert will be married July 4 at Todd’s grandfather’s ranch in Pagosa Springs, Colo. … The “Joy Luck Club” is shooting added scenes here at Griffith Park and Occidental … Tiana Silliphant (Thi Thanh Nga) showed her “Hollywood to Hanoi” feature at the AFI’s “Critics’ Choice” and tonight screens it at the DGA’s New Wave Independent Directors’ night … The Starlight Foundation and Starbright Pavilion benefit from Wednesday night’s tribute to Jerry Herman at the Hollywood Bowl (and the pay-per-view audience as well). Among those performing: Carol Channing, Bea Arthur, Rita Moreno, Michael Feinstein, Lorna Luft, Leslie Uggams, George Hearn and Davis Gaines.