GOOD MORNING: “Tell them reports of my death are premature,” Lana Turner laughed — from the hospital. She’ll be home in a couple of days. The reaction from which she is suffering is “normal” with her condition, daughter Cheryl reminds. “But my mother is like the Energizer bunny — she keeps going and going and going. I wish I had her strength”… Pierce Brosnan underwent minor back surgery at Cedars-Sinai but was able to walk out after 36 hours, and he will be able to tackle the tough James Bond role in “Goldeneye” starting Jan. 9, we are assured … Marvin Davis is at UCLA Medical Center for surgery on his left leg. He has been in extreme pain following recent knee surgery … And this is the final medical report for the day: Sharon Gless is hospitalized with a virus in Florida, but she is expected out shortly — and in time to complete rehearsals in “Double Act” with James B. Sikking, to bow on the Cocoanut Grove stage Jan. 6 -22. Arnold Mittleman produces/directs …”This picture cost less than the average major studio Oscar campaign,” said director Alan Rudolph of his Fine Line feature “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle”– a little over $ 6 million. And he predicts Jennifer Jason Leigh and Campbell Scott will be in the Oscar race for it. Rudolph says he and his producer Robert Altman are here “cross-pollinating” this week; Altman’s “Ready to Wear (Pret-a-Porter)” preems here Wednesday, and Thursday it’s “Mrs. Parker” at the L.A. County Museum of Art to benefit the museum’s film department.
The museum, by the way, has programmed a two-month film series titled “Cinema Classics From the Algonquin Roundtable.” Altman, who produced Rudolph’s first two films, had a lot to do with “Parker” being made too, Rudolph admits. “Altman is the dream producer. You don’t have to sneak an idea by — you celebrate it with him.” He also credits Fine Line with advertising the movie the way it is. “They’re not shying away from saying what it is. And they’re proud of its subject.” Rudolph’s next low-budget movie is “Bandits” with Bruce Willis, followed by “The Autobiography of Man Ray,””another difficult project,” he admits.
THERE WERE THOSE who weren’t anxious to see ‘Little Women’ made again,” Mark Canton admitted at Sunday’s preem-party in the tent on the Sony parking lot. He was one of those who wanted to see it happen after reading the script. And Alan Levine said he was urged by his daughter to see the two earlier versions to encourage him to have the studio go ahead with the third, which cost $ 18 million — and is expected to do $ 30 million — before an anticipated full future on video … Canton was on hand at the screening with his 5-year-old daughter Dorothy, and the Mann Culver Plaza theater and party were packed with Hollywood types and their small fry. Chevy Chase and wife Jayni brought their three daughters, each with a little friend. There wasn’t the proverbial dry eye in the house at the theater, but everyone soon perked up at the party, a “Victorian Winter Wonderland” where Along Came Mary prepared a New England-type menu (for the movie filmed mostly in Vancouver). The party, of course, featured a Santa Claus, plus kiddie “workshops” named after the ‘Little Women”: Amy’s Holiday Ornament table, Jo’s (spelled “Joe”) Holiday Greeting Cards, Beth’s Holiday Bonnets and Meg’s Holiday Cookies. Plus a rap kiddie dance group … The movie benefited L.A. Public Library and Town Hall L.A. The cast, led by Winona Ryder (Jo), Samantha Mathis (Amy), Kirsten Dunst (Young Amy), Trini Alvarado (Meg), Claire Danes (Beth), Christian Bale and Eric Stoltz, along with director Gillian Armstrong and producer Denise Di Novi, were all there. The film’s dedicated to late William Morris agent Judy Scott-Fox and to Polly Klaas — Winona, also from Petaluma, had offered a $ 200,000 reward before it was learned Klaas was murdered.
NEGOTIATIONS FOR THE SALE of Chasen’s are ongoing — meanwhile Ronnie Clint and his solid staff continue to run what is still one of the best-in-the-West eateries. Sunday night, they served 1,100 at the retirement party for Mo Ostin … Frank Sinatra Jr. was SRO at his four Tatou shows — the crowd included Mom Nancy, sisters Nancy Jr. and Tina. And upstairs “Sisters” held their wraparty … And another longtime praiser, Arnold Lipsman, is departing the biz to produce video promotions with his TruVideo Co., partnered with Tom Parks … Roaming Rodeo Drive Christmas shopping, I found Santa at Dick Carroll’s, where the onetime WB press agent-turned-classy haberdasher was celebrating his store’s 45th anni! … And at Fred Hayman’s, he was readying for another appearance on Home Shopping Network Dec. 27-28 … BevHills, which recently welcomed Barney’s of New York, soon will have Bloomingdale’s on Canon Drive … Margaret Cho returns to her stand-up arena tonight at LunaPark.