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Ambassadors to hail Hepburn, UN statue

GOOD MORNING: Another catchup to the world that stopped Sept. 11 will take place May 7 in the United Nations Plaza adjacent to UNICEF h.q. The Spirit of Audrey, a dramatic, seven-foot bronze sculpture, a depiction of Audrey Hepburn and a child, will be unveiled. Hepburn was one of UNICEF’s goodwill ambassadors commissioned from showbiz. On hand to celebrate her will be past ambassadors Peter Ustinov and Harry Belafonte and current standard-bearer Roger Moore. Who can ever forget the scenes of Hepburn bringing joy to the poor, afflicted, frightened children of Africa and the rest of the world as she made her assignment so meaningful to the children? She continued to serve from 1988 until her death in 1993. The dedication of her statue comes three days after her birthday (May 4) and coincides with the first event of a special session of the U.N. devoted to children’s issues. Among those who will attend: her son Sean Ferrer and Robert Wolders, who commissioned the statue created by sculptor John Kennedy and donated it to UNICEF … Wolders was Hepburn’s companion nearly 14 years. “I can’t say ‘husband’ unfortunately,” Wolders told me. “We had discussed it many times, but she always said our relationship was more romantic this way.” He says, “All of us who loved Audrey are thrilled that this beautiful piece of art in her honor will be on permanent display in NYC, a place she cherished and particularly that its home will be at UNICEF.” Wolders and Shirlee Fonda have been companions these past six years but he reminds they have been friends since days when she was married to Henry Fonda and he was Merle Oberon’s companion … Currently visiting at the Wolders-Fonda house is Jane Fonda with daughter Vanessa (Vadim) and her 2-year-old son, Malcolm.

THIS READS LIKE A SPY STORY — and it is: Publication of “Into the Mirror” by HarperCollins was pushed ahead one week and author Lawrence Schiller winged to N.Y. where, for the past three days, he was putting new info into the final manuscript. It went to press Tuesday afternoon! The story, based on investigations by Schiller and Norman Mailer, is that of FBI Special Agent Robert P. Hanssen who for 22 years was a spy for Russia. He will officially be sentenced May 10 to life imprisonment without possibility of parole. The book will be officially published April 30; Schiller and Mailer speak before the National Press Club in D.C. on May 1. Mailer has written the script for the four-hour mini, which Schiller will direct for CBS. The duo had teamed on “The Executioner’s Song” and “An American Tragedy” … Yossi Harel, who was the commander of the ship Exodus, which was featured in the 1960 pic of the same name, will be on deck of a ship symbolically renamed the Exodus, to sail from Cyprus to the coast of Israel on April 17, celebrating the 54th birthday of Israel. Harel, 82, is the father of Sharon H., exec producer of “Gosford Park.” The ship will carry Holocaust survivors and crew members of the original sailing 55 years ago. The project originates from the L.A. office of Phil Blazer, publisher of the Jewish News; among those helping the project are Arthur Cohn, Oscar winner for “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,” well as “One Day in September”; and Arthur Hiller, winner this year of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award … Helmer Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, one of Daily Variety‘s 10 Directors to Watch, and his sister, producer Eden Wurmfeld, join Justin Schein to produce a documentary about how their grandmother Esther makes gefilte fish for Passover. P.S.: Grandma, 87, also has a cameo in “Kissing Jessica Stein,” Herman-W’s directorial debut … Elton John, fresh from his Oscar bash, was toasted by Interview magazine on his 55th birthday, Monday night at the BevHills Polo Lounge. It was again a starry night. This time on hand: Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, Richard Gere and Carrie Lowell, Jon Bon Jovi, Dennis Hopper, Chloe Sevigny, Courtney Love, Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, Ben Kingsley … Robert Zarnegin, developer of the Peninsula hotel of BevHills, hosts the official ribbon-cutting of his newest hotel, the Graciela Burbank today. The 101-room boutique hotel is in the heart of downtown Burbank, on Pass Ave. … So far set to warble the Alan & Marilyn Bergman-Cy Coleman tunes (14) played by the Clayton Hamilton band at the May 17 Kennedy Center “Portraits in Jazz: A Gallery of Songs”: Patty Austin, Steve Tyrell and Lilias White … Marlon Brando wasn’t able to attend Karl Malden’s 90th birthday at Dan Tana’s, but he foned his wishes and told his co-star of “On the Waterfront” and “Streetcar Named Desire” — “We had the best of each other.”

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