GOOD MORNING: Bob Hope’s 95th birthday, May 29, will be noted from L.A. to London, via Washington D.C. — and Toluca Lake. His knighthood investiture will be held at the British Embassy in D.C. May 17 with Britain’s Ambassador, Christopher Meyer, bestowing the Hope honors for Queen Elizabeth. On the 19th, in the Library of Congress, the “Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment” will bow. It contains artifacts and papers from Hope’s unmatched career and life. And on May 30, a parade in Hope’s honor will be held in his neighborhood, Toluca Lake. On May 22, the Hopes head to N.Y., where Dolores performs a one-nighter (again) with Rosemary Clooney at Rainbow and Stars. Dolores’ birthday (she’s younger than Bob) is May 27 — and the family celebrates both birthdays at the Hopes’ home on the 29th. … Coincidentally, our mail contained the “Good Life Catalog” from Thompson & Co. of Tampa. Fla. It’s a cigar catalog and inside was an ad for — George Burns’ stogies, four different kinds. I asked Burns’ longtime manager, Irving Fein, about the latest Burns’ tie-in and he pleaded innocent. The deal was made by Burns’ son, Ronnie, who called to tell me he’d made the deal with the Consolidated Cigar Co. Ronnie said his dad smoked “medium-priced cigars, El Producto Queens, in case you’re interested in longevity and cigar-smoking!” And Burns, fils, said he’s also involved in (long-range) plans for a George Burns B’way musical. George, “Old Sugar-Throat,” would have loved that Terrence McNally is the honoree at the 49th annual benefit luncheon for New Dramatists Tuesday at the Marriott Marquis in New York. He was Tony-nominated this year for the book of “Ragtime” — he already has three. “Ragtime” producer Garth Drabinsky, who will present the award, will team again with McNally on a revised “Pal Joey.” Scott Mauro is lunch chairman for the 10th year.
IN CASE YOU WONDERED — about the “Wanted: The Magnificent Seven” ad in Tuesday’s issue of Daily Variety — the pitch for its return to the fall ’98 CBS lineup was paid for by the show’s fans. That kind of fan club allegiance is not uncommon, BUT these fans are not part of a club. They all happened to meet each other — on the Internet — and all share the common goal of getting the show back on the air! They hail from 35 states on 43 Web sites for “The Magnificent Seven.” And they’re led by IBM Chi exec Patricia Kleckner, who said that the ad was “to get the attention of the people who need to know that this Western is still gaining in popularity two months after it finished airing.” … In another first, Otis College of Arts & Design presents an award to someone in the entertainment industry. He’s Dan Romanelli, WB prez of Consumer Products. He’s a pioneer in the world of entertainment retailing. Acting as Bugs Bunny’s agent, Dan has built WB’s consumer products division from infancy to a multimillion-$industry. Meanwhile, Otis presents its Designer of the Year award to Todd Oldham at their 16th annual Critics’ Award Fashion Show at the BevHilton, Saturday. … Show Coalition, “An Entertainment Industry Network for Political Education and Action,” hosts Demo gubernatorial candidate and current Lt. Gov. Gray Davis, Monday in BevHills (private home). Three celebs just signed on to the Show Coalition’s Advisory Board: Harry Hamlin, Donna Mills and Ed Begley Jr. … Richard Gere joins Jodie Foster as a host of the “AFI’s 100 Years — 100 Movies” airing June 16 on CBS. Gary Smith exec produces and directs. … Disney decided to take its Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra Special on the road for the first time. They’ll tune at Chi’s Ravinia Festival July 3, to air at a later date. Smith exec produces, Dwight Hemion directs and Gail Purse is producer.
GWEN DAVIS’ LIBEL LAWYER, Gary Bostwick, is one of those to whom she dedicates her upcoming Hollywood-set novel, “West Of Paradise.” Bostwick defended Janet Malcolm and the New Yorker in the Malcolm/Masson libel case. In addition, Davis has a million-dollar insurance policy. You recall Davis endured a landmark libel case in fiction with her novel, “Touching.” This new book is about the revenge the town takes on expose artists or novelists a clef — like Davis — “who disinter painful secrets.” The book is also dedicated to Jamie Lee Curtis, who will host a Spago publication party for Davis May 20 — she makes a brief return here from Paris, the home to which she fled from Hollywood. … The Forge publishing house neglected to include the late Harold Robbins’ dedication to his wife Jann on his powerful book, “The Predators.” Forge promised to include it in the second printing. Robbins, who died last Oct. 14, left three other manuscripts, which Jann is readying for eventual publication. … With Mother’s Day approaching, Leeza Gibbons joins Mommy and Me Enterprises as a partner readying books, videos, interactive software, music, clothing, toys “that will envelop the principles and philosophy of Mommy And Me.” And, today, Gibbons, mother of three, gets her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.