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Rowlands takes time from ‘Key’ to heal

GOOD MORNING: Gena Rowlands suffered a fractured shoulder on a rainy and muddy set of Universal’s “The Skeleton Key” Monday night in New Orleans. She was taken to Tulane U.’s hospital, where doctors decided not to perform surgery, but rather to examine her healing progress — as she has a five-week hiatus from her role in the pic with Kate Hudson and John Hurt, Iain Softley directing … It’s a 10th grandchild for Richard Zanuck: Luke Harrison Zanuck was born April 27 to Harrison and Patricia Z. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Richard winged in from London’s Pinewood preparations on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” starring Johnny Depp, Tim Burton directing. Nestle’s Chocolate will be a factor in the merchandising of the high-tech pic, which will boast rivers and waterfalls of chocolate … The Zanucks, pere et fils, are awaiting word from the Sci Fi Channel on their pilot “Dead Lawyers,” in which attorneys return from the dead to redo dastardly deeds. “I don’t think any lawyer will speak to us afterwards,” Dick Z. allowed. He and David Brown also are awaiting a go from DreamWorks on ‘The Ninth Man,” which Todd Field would direct. Also on the Zanuck family’s sked is “Journey to the Center of the Earth” … Add Hollywood celebrations: Jackie Cooper called to happily report he and wife Barbara celebrate their 50th wedding anni today. They were married on a day off from “King of Hearts,” in which he was starring on B’way. Cooper, 81, started his career in films at the age of 3 and was Oscar-nominated (the youngest ever) for “Skippy” in 1931. As he tells it, Lionel Barrymore beat him for the Oscar with his perf in “A Free Soul.” “And at the awards dinner at the Biltmore Hotel, he (Barrymore) came over to our table and said, ‘This really belongs to you — they gave it to me because they thought I was going to die’!” Cooper went on to do 64 films (his favorite: “The Return of Frank James” with Henry Fonda). Cooper segued to television where he produced, starred in two series and directed countless segs, for which he won several Emmys. He retired from the biz 12 years ago, and he and wife Barbara live in the Wilshire corridor.

ON WB’S “OCEAN’S TWELVE” location in Chicago Wednesday, Carl Reiner, repeating his role, was being served by a waiter in the “most WASPish men’s club in town.” The waiter was Dan Tana’s maitre d’ Craig Susser. Exec producers Jerry Weintraub and Susan Eakins are regulars at Tana’s in West Hollywood — as are the pic’s co-stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Scott Caan. The affable Susser also recently wound a role in MGM’s “Be Cool,” the sequel to “Get Shorty.” “Cool” producer Stacey Sher and the studio’s Chris McGurk are also regulars at Tana’s … Well, that’s one way to be sure of a table at the always busy Tana’s, which Oct. 1 marks its 40th year on the same site … With all the legal problems on “Winnie the Pooh” settled, I found Disney Live’s “Winnie the Pooh and the Perfect Day” troupe rehearsing at the U. of Miami Convocation Center as they ready for a global tour of the unique live presentation. Director BT McNicholl, with B’way credits including “Cabaret” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” said the show “will have the feeling of happening before your eyes. It’s truly interactive, live and immediate with the audience. The audience will help motivate turns in the plot — like dancing with Tiger — or someone in the audience helping to pull Pooh out of the hole.” The show will bow June 16 in New Zealand, with dates to follow in Australia, Asia and Europe. The permanent cast of 14 performs 14 songs, among ’em those by the Sherman brothers from the Disney film, plus new additions. The characters are Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Owl and Kanga, with comic characters called “Honey Helpers” adding narration — but no Christopher Robin. McNicholl assured me the “Pooh “production is nothing like “Snow White” at Disneyland. It has two acts and runs 90 minutes. The show is produced by Kenneth Feld Entertainment.

DOLORES HART’S FRIENDS in Hollywood, who have been addressing her as Mother Dolores since her elevation at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, may now have to address her as “Doctor Mother Dolores”: She will receive an honorary doctorate of law May 23 from Fairfield U. in Connecticut. The degree’s in recognition of her contributions to both religion and the arts and her ability to bring those two worlds together. Also receiving an honorary degree that day will be Cokie Roberts … On May 24, Tom Selleck will show his A&E two-hour “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” to the Eisenhower family, armed forces veterans and educators. (The film airs May 31.) Selleck was in D.C. last week to present Horatio Alger Awards and national scholarships to young people who have shown courage in the face of adversity. He returned this week to D.C. to participate in the Character Counts education movement. On May 11 he attends a screening of “Ike” for members of Congress. He’ll also be seen May 23 and 25 on CBS’ four-hour “Reversible Errors” with William H. Macy … “A Celebration of Words and Music” was so successful Tuesday night — the program repeats twice Friday. It’s part of the Gregory Peck Literary Endowment Program created by Peck with readings in the main L.A. Library. Veronique Peck has taken the reins and her first effort, with music, will guarantee the program’s continuation. Larry Gelbart intro’d the program’s musical co-stars, (his wife) Pat Marshall and Alan Bergman, singly and in duet with words and music including Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Marvin Hamlisch, Jerome Kern, Jimmy McHugh, Johnny Mercer, Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The program in the Mark Taper Auditorium of the Main Library was followed by a supper with the participants’ and the Peck family’s close friends. Proceeds will greatly benefit the Gregory Peck Literary Endowment. These readings were a love of Greg’s and their continuation is Veronique’s tribute to him … Anthony Hopkins is honored at the Irene Dunne Guild and St. John’s Health Center Foundation gala, May 21 at the Beverly Wilshire … Barbara Lazaroff and Roma Downey are two of the honorees at the St. Vincent Meals on Wheels tribute Saturday at the BevWilshire … Lazaroff, Wolfgang Puck and Sherry Lansing honor John Batter at the California Spirit XX, benefiting the American Cancer Society, July 25 on a Westside estate with Donanne Kasikci and Susan Waterstein co-chairing … Christopher Reeve arrived Wednesday at Nuevo Puerta Vallarta’s’ Paradise Village for Marjoe Gortner’s fundraiser for spinal research, the event funded by Paul Mitchell’s John Paul deJoria.

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