— and Michael Makes Three

Laura Bush, Condoleezza Rice and — Michael Douglas. The trio will be honored March 8 at the Bridges of Hope benefit dinner at the Kuwait Embassy in D.C., benefiting UNESCO (Michael has traveled the world as a Messenger of Peace for the United Nations).

While Laura and Condoleezza will be easily recognizable at the Kuwait soiree, Michael Douglas will not — he’ll be appearing with full beard and long hair. It’s for his role in “King of California.” Douglas plays a released mental hospital patient who is convinced there is buried treasure beneath a Wal-Mart in the San Fernando Valley. He and his 16-year-old daughter set out on this treasure hunt. Michael Cahill directs for producer Alexander Payne (“Sideways.”) Michael’s daughter is Kate Hudson in “You, Me and Dupree” which opens in July. We see Michael clean shaven in this one.

I learned of Michael Douglas’ doings from his father Kirk at Wednesday’s 43rd annual Publicists’ Awards lunch at the BevHilton where Kirk generously introduced me as I received the praisers’ Lifetime Achievement Award. I was flattered — no — overcome by Kirk’s generous appearance and his warm words about our lifetime friendship. As I noted in my acceptance, Kirk Douglas appeared more times in my column’s 52-year history than anyone else. And I also thanked him for Michael Douglas — since Douglas, fils, has also given me countless items over the years. The latest story — above — courtesy of Kirk who, with wife Anne will wing to D.C. to be present when Michael is honored with the two ladies. Kirk will then segue to New York for confabs with publishers (Wiley) on his next book, All I Know Took Me 88 Years to Learn. It’s dedicated to his seven grandchildren. “And it’s my last book,” Kirk claims. Wanna bet?

My thanks to the publicists for the honor and for the terrific awards program with a sensaysh host, Jimmy Kimmel. He could move on to hosting you-know-what one day.