GOOD MORNING: Ronald Reagan celebrates his 85th birthday tonight — with dinner from Chasen’s served to him and wife Nancy at their home at 5 p.m. The menu will be the same as that served to the 460 guests, 60 Secret Service agents and police in the tent in the west parking lot at Chasen’s later this evening. Reagan will be served by Chasen’s alumni under the supervision of Ronnie Clint, caterer and past Chasen’s captain, Arli. The menu: smoked salmon, chicken pot pie and snow ball (ice cream and coconut). Tonight, guests will be cocktailed in Chasen’s main rooms, closed since April 1, before proceeding to the tent. The walls were bare, all the memorabilia and photos removed — including artwork in the men’s room. But tonight, the No. 1 booth formerly occupied by the Reagans will have a picture of him, Nancy and Maude Chasen above the booth; also one of Reagan and Frank Sinatra and Dave Chasen, the Jimmy Stewart booth alongside will have a picture of him; the next booth, Alfred Hitchcocks’ will have a photo of him, Dave and Maude, plus pictures of Billy Wilder and Harold Ross, a co-founder of the beanery. The Reagan museum is supplying pictures of R.R. to decorate the rest of the restaurant. And a large photo of R.R. will back the stage in the tent where Merv Griffin and Johnny Mathis will perform; Newt Gingrich, Pete Wilson, Colin Powell and Gerald Ford will speak. Griffin will then introduce Nancy R. to close the evening — but she forewarns if she’s not able to speak, Merv will have to sub. A closed circuit telecast to Larry King in D.C. from Booth No. 2 will have Griffin and other guests reminiscing about R.R. starting at 6:50 p.m. … Chasen’s is being used regularly these days for catered parties — the kitchen is fully operable, I noted all preparations being made using the stoves and ovens. A large Grammy party is among the upcoming gala feeds, Feb. 28 … Monday night at Trader Vic’s. the Charles Wicks and other Reagan Kitchen Cabineteers partied visiting newlywed Bill Moss … Wednesday, Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in the Intl. Ballroom of the BevHilton on behalf of the Children’s Hospital of L.A.
ATTEMPTS TO LEARN WHETHER Michael Jackson will use the original (anti-Semitic) or revised lyrics on the musicvideo version of his “They Don’t Care About Us” from his “HIStory” album were fruitless. The “HIStory” CD was released in early June. And at that time, I called Jackson to task on those lyrics and he called back June 22 to say he was changing the words “Jew Me” to “Do Me,” and “Kike Me” to “Strike Me.” Spike Lee is due to wing to Rio today to direct the video and I’ve also called him about content of the script … Attorney Neil Papiano filed Monday for dissolution of Elizabeth Taylor’s marriage to Larry Fortensky. Taylor’s property settlement with Fortensky is in the process of being (amicably) worked out … Private funeral services are skedded Wednesday for Audrey Meadows at Culver City’s Holy Cross Church … The memorial for J.J. Cohn, one of MGM’s founders, who died (age 100) Jan. 12, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Motion Picture Academy … Donald O’Connor, president of the Professional Dancers Society will pay a special tribute to Gene Kelly, his “Singin’ in the Rain” co-star, at Sunday’s Professional Dancers Society “Gypsy” Awards at the Century Plaza Hotel. “Rain” co-star Debbie Reynolds as well as other Kelly MGM alums Cyd Charisse, Ann Miller and Fayard Nicholas are expected. This year’s honorees are Juliet Prowse and Mitzi Gaynor … When Chuck Jones receives his Honorary Oscar, he’ll become the sixth member of an elite group to have received an Honorary Life Membership in the DGA, well as the Oscar: Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Y. Frank Freeman, D.W. Griffith and Louis B. Mayer.
A TOUGH ACT — anniversary — to follow: as promised, Renee Taylor and Joe Bologna celebrated their 30th wedding anni Saturday with a Buddhist ceremony. They were previously wed in Catholic, Jewish and Protestant ceremonies. This one at the Hotel Nikko featured Lama Lhanang doing the rites in full costume, with bridesmaids appropriately attired including Michele Lee and Connie Stevens. The couple was showered with rose petals tossed by the guests and Joe and Renee duetted on “Our Love Is Here to Stay” and “It Had to Be You.” Guests included Bea Arthur, their legit “Bermuda Avenue Triangle” co-star — the play, now at the Canon has a $500,000 advance — with offers from N.Y., London, etc. … Rudy De Luca m.c.’d the wedding party performers, who included Don Rickles, Sid Caesar and Jerry Vale. Vale, Andy Williams, Jack Jones and Vic Damone will sing at Frank Sinatra’s Golf Tourney gala Saturday. They’ll try to get Frank up to sing with ’em on “New York, New York.” Also at the Nikko, Alicia and Red Buttons , celebrating their 32nd wedding anni. On Monday, Buttons receives the Promethean Award at the N.Y. Plaza for his work for the Day Top Village Foundation for Drug Rehabilitation.