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Toppers Cook up salute

Those businessmen like to party

HOLLYWOOD — Though everyone at Tuesday’s Spago reception was well aware of Dick Cook’s recent appointment as chairman of Walt Disney Studios, Disney, company topper Michael Eisner and prexy Robert Iger still thought there should be a party to celebrate the move.

Eisner said, “In the old days, like the ’70s,” it was de rigueur to have a cocktail party when a major exec announcement was made. “If anyone deserved his job, it was Dick. So let’s have a party.”

Eisner said he had ample reason to up Cook (“institutional knowledge of Disney, understands the brand, understands animation and live action, understands Touchstone and Miramax”). Plus, he added, “We’ve been having an ongoing conversation for 18 years.”

Among those conversing at the fete were Jerry Bruckheimer, Warren Beatty, Garry Marshall, Dennis Quaid, Dustin Hoffman, Mark Johnson, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, Kevin Costner, Julie Andrews, Armyan Bernstein, M. Night Shyamalan, John Lasseter, Brian Grazer, Ed Limato, Richard Lovett, Rick Nicita and Risa Gertner, Jim Wiatt, Gary Barber, Bill Mechanic and Disney’s Nina Jacobson, Oren Aviv and Chuck Viane.