×

PuppetThe third and only remaining “Charlie McCarthy,” Edgar Bergen’s historic co-star, will find a happy new home. One “Charlie” is at the Smithsonian, a second in Chicago‘s Museum of Broadcasting and the third “Charlie” has been resting in the business manager’s office of the Edgar Bergen Foundation all these years. Now there’s a great reason for him to come to life.

On Oct. 26 the Thousand Oaks Library Foundation gala will announce plans for the American Radio and Archive Museum and theater. And to make that dream come true, the Edgar and Frances Bergen Foundation is donating one million dollars for its construction. The priceless shows of radio’s history — of course including the “Charlie McCarthy Shows” — will be saved, protected in a climate-controlled facility forever.

The Oct. 26 evening will boast a presentation of Norman Corwin’s “The Strange Affliction” performed (read) by a cast including Carl Reiner,  Samantha Eggar, Norman Lloyd, Nanette Fabray, Gil Stratton, Marvin Kaplan, Leonard  Maltin, Linda Henning, Janet Waldo, Shay Duffin, John Harlan and composer Kenneth Strange. Corwin describes his show as the story of a woman who can’t stop rhyming. . It’s another Norman Corwin chef d’oeuvre. And the 97 years-young Corwin also directs.

Here’s Ed: From TV test patterns — to a career with Johnny Carson — Ed McMahon writes about it in “When TV Was Young” — and talks about it as he tours with his own show, “Memories Of The Tonight Show.”  Ed tells me he plays it at least once a month in Indian casinos’ clubs and he also appears in Peter Lowe’s spiritual meets — to as many as 12,000 at a Baltimore date — at five-figures nightly, he says. They love Ed’s humor.  He received the Cinema City International Film Fest’s Icon and Lifetime achievement awards and at 84, says he has no intention of slowing down in 2008.

With a victory in her latest court battle with mother Zsa Zsa and Frederic Von Anhalt, Francesca Hilton is now devoting full time to writing her book, which she says she’s tentatively titled “Hotels, Diamonds and Me.”  And she says it’s not about her mother — whom she has not seen in two years.”