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‘Brawler’s’ fall still a mystery

GOOD MORNING: Round two on Bruce Willis’ “Broadway Brawler”: Dennis Dugan, who was red-eye’d to Delaware to replace Lee Grant as director on the film, is back in L.A. today. After a day there, reading the script, looking at the production board and checking a few locations, he was told Tuesday morning to “go home.” “So we jumped on the train at 11:21 (a.m.) and went up to N.Y.” The “we” are Dugan, his d.p., Arthur Albert and Dugan’s personal assistant Michelle Allard. On their arrival in N.Y., they indulged in caviar and champagne at Petrossian’s, checked into the Ritz Carlton Hotel, went out for dinner and will plane back into L.A. today. I asked if Dugan was told when — if ever — to return to the “Brawler”; he said he was only told the movie was on “indefinite hold.” Dugan, who directed every other seg of the last season of Willis’ “Moonlighting,” said Bruce had called him to Delaware “in the crisis. I still haven’t seen any footage so I don’t know what was wrong. My job was to help my friend Bruce. and to see what we could do.” He didn’t say what he could do. “I was just there to assess the situation. I’m just an artist — an actor who became a director. I totally respect Lee Grant.” The Wilmington “Brawler” production office remained open Tuesday; some crew were let go, plus cast members, including Arabella Field, who has many of her scenes with costar Maura Tierney. … The mystery of why Willis (and Cinergi?) became disenchanted with the project after 20 days remains a partial mystery. A rumor has Willis unhappy with the way he looked — namely his coiffure. He was also reportedly unhappy his hairdresser had to leave the picture for a previous commitment to coif Robert Redford’s hair in “The Horse Whisperer.” If this movie lost by a hair it would be the unkindest cut of all. GUESS WHO DOESN’T OBJECT to the Fred Astaire Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner commercials: Michael Wayne. He tells me, “I love to see Fred Astaire dance with anything.” Wayne, eldest son of the Duke, tells me Coors will soon air another Coors Light commercial starring John Wayne. These commercials are re-created with little scenes of Wayne movies — the first was from “Cast a Giant Shadow” (Kirk Douglas was eliminated from the scene), with Wayne and soldiers on a hot, dirty field dreaming of, you guessed it, a cool Coors. Now a barroom scene from Wayne’s 1961 “The Comancheros” will have Wayne being handed a sixpack of you-know-what. And, an imitated Wayne voice asks, “Where’s the pretzels?” Coors contributes a “seven-figure” donation to the Wayne Cancer Institute (via Wayne Enterprises). Michael adds, “If my father was alive, he would have done it (the humorous commercials) himself — they’re fun.” In the cast of “Comancheros,” in addition to tough guys Lee Marvin, Bruce Cabot, Stuart Whitman and Jack Elam, were two Wayne children, Patrick and Aissa. And by the way, Mike Curtiz directed Anthony Hopkins hopped up from the Mexico location of “The Mask of Zorro,” in which he plays Zorro at age 60, to L.A. for four days as 73-year-old John Quincy Adams in “Amistad,” then to Las Vegas Tuesday for a ShoWest day en route back to Mexico — only to return to Rhode Island locations later this year for more Adams role-ing.

JULIE ANDREWS’ STANDBY ANNE RUNOLFSSON (she performed 80 times for Andrews) and “Victor/Victoria” producer Tony Adams were married Feb. 23 by N.Y. Mayor Rudy Giuliani — who had rushed over from the Empire State building crisis to keep the promise to officiate at Delia’s restaurant (then returned to Mayoral bizness). Julie A. was on hand, also Leslie Bricusse, Ginny Mancini and 100 family and friends. No, Runolfsson will not be replacing Andrews when she departs the show May 31. Adams said he’s seen the elaborate tape Toni Tenille (and husband Daryl Dragon) produced as a pitch for the role. It’s a three-camera, three-song (including “If I Were a Man”) tape including two actors. Adams called it “a phenomenal presentation.” Blake Edwards was due to view it Tuesday evening. … BAFTA’s nominations of Lynn Redgrave and John Gielgud as supporting actress and actor for “Shine” rounds out the entire featured cast of this film, all of whom have now been nominated for a major award. Here’s the story of how Lynn got the role: she was performing her one-woman “Shakespeare for My Father” in Houston, where director Scott Hicks happened to be filming a docu at the Space Center. He came to the theater, saw Redgrave, asked her to “Shine” in Adelaide. And, as they say, the rest is history. … Mr. Television, Milton Berle, who said he hadn’t been invited to the gala opening of the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills, made it to the party for the opening of the William S. Paley TV Festival, Monday night. Uncle Miltie has donated all of his 151 hours of Texaco shows, plus Buick shows to the Museum — and he’d conducted seminars in N.Y. pre-Coast Museum’s opening. Berle enters a new medium in April with a quarterly mag, Milton, exec published and exec edited by wife Lorna with her daughter Susan Moll as editor-publisher.

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