Reagans, Temple honored

GOOD MORNING: Three of Hollywood’s international hall of famers will take unique, unprecedented bows Thursday — in D.C. and L.A. The three actors are Nancy and Ronald Reagan and Shirley Temple. The Reagans will receive the Congressional Gold Medal in the Rotunda of the Capitol building at 2 p.m. before a joint session of Congress with President Bush attending. Nancy will accept for both. The award was initiated by HR 3591, signed into law by President Clinton on July 27, 2000. And Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Ronald Reagan Intl. Trade Building in D.C., they will be honored at a dinner for the Reagan Presidential Foundation, which also funds the Reagan Library. The program here will be hosted by Hugh Sidey, who was Time’s White House correspondent during the Reagan years; performers include the NYPD’s Danny Rodriguez singing the national anthem, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich — and a surprise guest. Speakers include Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). President Bush will send a video to this event. Friends from L.A. who will wing in for the two events include Charles and Mary Jane Wick, Terrence Lanni, Merv Griffin, Rose and Bill Narva, and Marion Jorgensen.

AND NOW ABOUT SHIRLEY TEMPLE: Thursday morning on the 20th Century Fox lot, a child-care center building will be dedicated in the name of Shirley Temple. She will be on hand to take a bow as a life-size bronze statue (by Nijel Binnis) of Shirley in the classic “Baby Take a Bow” pose is unveiled. It was Shirley’s first starring role — at the age of 6. She was signed by the studio at that age. Rupert Murdoch will officiate at this ceremony. While in L.A., Shirley will consult with the studio on the continuing marketing of her 17 Fox films. Of course, Shirley’s own Washington career remains one of unequaled achievement, having held office as White House Chief of Protocol, Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and a U.S. delegate to the United Nations. She is loved by each new generation, thanks to her achievements — onscreen and in person. The Shirley Temple Child Care Center on her home lot is further testament to her positive influence on coming generations … And let me tell you my recent involvement with Shirley. She was unable to attend the recent charity fund-raising tribute by Daily Variety to yours truly, so she sent a very generous contribution to the Kane-Eras Center. Her letter (and the enclosed check) was accurately addressed to me at Daily Variety — but the post office didn’t believe I still work here. They sent her (accurately addressed) letter to Paramount Studios, whose mail department stamped the enveloped with a bold “RTS” (Return to Sender) plus, “Insufficient Address, Unclaimed, Refused, Attempted-Not Known.” The letter was returned to sender — namely Shirley Temple, who rather puzzledly (and humorously) then again wrote me — this time via FedEx: “You always told me you worked at Variety. Hollywood is make-believe, but this is outrageous! Obviously someone has performed an identity theft. Worse, he or she have been writing your column these past 50 years! In the interest of Hollywood historical accuracy, you should do something!” Thank you, Shirley Temple. No thanks, Uncle Sam.

JERRY SEINFELD’S FEATURE DOCU “Comedian” opens Aug. 30 at the Sunshine Theater (Houston and 1st Avenue) for an exclusive run. It’ll be a quiet opening with no preem fanfare planned. Meanwhile Jerry continues his live performances, visiting Portland, Ore., May 25-26; San Diego May 31-June 1; San Francisco’s Davies, June 7-8. His children’s book, “Halloween” (Little, Brown), has a 300,000 first printing order. The book’s accompanied by a CD taken from Jerry’s live performances. The book will be in stores in September … Rosemary Clooney, who underwent lung cancer surgery at the Mayo Clinic, is finally home in BevHills, where she spent Mother’s Day with her children and grandchildren. She’s undergoing rehab and is confident she will be able to perform again … Remember the finale of Woody Allen’s “Hollywood Ending,” in which his panned U.S. movie gets a rave from Paris crix? Well, Woody is one of six directors who will shoot a seg for “The Paris Story,” much as Woody had with Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola for “New York Stories” in 1989. Woody, along with Soon-Yi, their babies and a nanny, toured Savannah, Ga., last week before departing for his “Hollywood Ending” Cannes bow on Wednesday. Savannah’s College of Art & Design, the world’s largest such school with the most technologically advanced film and video equipment, will bestow honorary doctorates on Colin Callender, president of HBO’s original movie division, and Gregory Hines at commencement … And David Gerber receives an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the U. of the Pacific Friday. Gerber’s an alumnus and also served as a regent. A&E re-releases his “The Lost Battalion” May 23 for Emmy consideration.