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Everyone said that if a very special role came along to distract Gwyneth Paltrow from the idyllic life she is spending with her husband, Chris Martin, and their new baby, she would go for it. Well, lo and behold, she is going for it. In the process of signing a Hollywood contract to star as the legendary Marlene Dietrich for Dreamworks in a movie based on the biography written by the German star’s daughter, Maria Riva, she has already started getting her body back in shape, seeing a nutritionist and swearing off junk food, and is back on her back on her yoga mat. She is also consulting vocal coaches, as the movie will require a lot of singing — one of the reasons the part appealed to her in the first place, as she loves to sing. And what about the opportunity to wear all those fabulous clothes? What actress wouldn’t want to play Dietrich? So, see what the boys in the back room will have.

This story first appeared in the May 28, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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You can put Uma Thurman on the list of potential Bond girls for the next Bond thriller. It is said that Barbara Broccoli was so impressed by Uma’s fight scenes in the “Kill Bill” series that she thinks Uma might be the perfect foil to Pierce Brosnan’s 007. Of course, if every actress who is said to be in the running got the part, it would practically be an all-girl movie.

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The big festive party Emilia and Pepe Fanjul of New York, Palm Beach, the Dominican Republic and sugar, sugar and more sugar, give each year brings out all those bright young, middle-aged and older types you read about and love. This year, before Pepe and Emilia flew off to the Royal Wedding in Spain (Crown Prince Felipe married Letizia Ortiz), they took over the Great Room at 1A East 77th Street and filled it with roses and best-dressed people. Everywhere you looked you saw such social scenesters as Wendy Vanderbilt, Nan Kempner, Donna and Bill Aquavella, Nancy Kissinger, Lauren and John Veronis, Lord Black, Julia and David Koch, Carol and George McFadden, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Princess Michael of Kent, Serena Boardman, Mica and Bob Mosbacher, Anna Wintour, Shelby Bryan,, Barbara and Bobby Liberman, Caroll Petrie, Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Arianna and Dixon Boardman, Mica and Ahmet Ertegun, Carolina Herrera, Evelyn Lauder, Patty and Gustavos Cisneros, Shirley and Abe Rosenthal and more, more, more.

The Fanjuls’ son and daughter-in-law, Pepe Jr. and Lourdes, and their daughter, Emilia Jr., and her husband, Brian Pfeifler, invited the bright young things to dine in a separate room, and among them were Samantha Boardman, Eliza and Alexander Bolen, Ogden Phipps and the Santo Domingo sons, Alejandro and Andres.

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On October 6, Carnegie Hall will open its doors for its 114th season, welcoming the brilliant Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, performing gems from Richard Strauss and other famous composers and featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and soprano Renée Fleming. The concert will be immediately followed by a black-tie seated supper in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf. Sid and Mercedes Bass, music lovers of the first order, are the co-chairmen of this memorable opening-night gala, and Mrs. Walter (Lee) Annenberg has agreed to serve as honorary chairman, while Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Kimmel, of the Great Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, are the co-chairs.

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Sir Elton John is coming to town, and some of the city’s most beautiful women will roll out the red carpet for him. The Rocket Man will give a concert to benefit the Juilliard School and the Royal Academy of Music in London, where Elton studied as a young musician. This will take place at Radio City Music Hall on July 13, and Elton’s friend and Juilliard alumna, the great Renée Fleming, will appear as a special guest during the concert, which Cornelia Guest and David Furnish will chair.

This will be Elton’s first-ever public concert at the Music Hall, and the first time Elton and his band will have performed with a full symphony orchestra in North America. The orchestra will be made up of talented young musicians from the two prestigious schools and will be guest conducted by James Newton Howard, Lord Rothschild, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder and Cynthia and Dan Lufkin. Among those expected for the concert and the gala dinner in the Rainbow Room afterward are the Duchess of Gloucester, Queen Elizabeth’s first cousin, and Juilliard’s president, Joseph Polisi.

It’s a busy time for Cornelia, too, who’s due back in New York today from Los Angeles, where she’s been working on a new movie. She’s also on the cover of the equestrian magazine Show Circuit’s 10th anniversary issue, which hits the stands this weekend. It’s a 10-page spread with picture after picture of Cornelia, her parents and all the happy times she had learning to ride, to hunt foxes and growing up in Old Westbury. On Memorial Day, Cornelia is giving a small picnic at Templeton, the Long Island estate she inherited from her mother, C.Z.

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Jay Leno is the master of ceremonies at the Carousel of Hope Ball on Oct. 23 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, and Oprah Winfrey will present the Carousel’s “High Hopes Award” to Halle Berry. The party’s sponsor, Mercedes Benz, will auction a new Mercedes SLK 350, and everyone is terribly excited about that. Since it began 27 years ago, the ball has raised more than $60 million on behalf of juvenile diabetes. Oh, and Sir Sidney Poitier and Sir Michael Caine will also participate in the presentation. Such swank.

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Whitney and James Fairchild are giving a big party this weekend at Highland House, their beautiful Bridgehampton place, to kick off the 2004 Hampton Designer Showhouse to benefit Southampton Hospital. Among those there to take in the sights will be Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Karl Spielvogel, Jamie Drake and Kate Spade, who is designing a room at this year’s showhouse. If you want to get a peek at Highland House for yourself, check out the June issue of House and Garden, where it’s featured on the cover.

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Gillian Hearst Shaw, Annie Churchill, Tinsley Mortimer and Mario Buatta invited their friends to Manhattan’s Puccio Gallery on June 15 to view the work of sculptor Robert Guenther. Bruce Willis, Priscilla Presley, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone all have Guenther’s crystal and glass pieces in their collections, and President Bush and former President Bill Clinton have commissioned works from him. The night will benefit the Pajama Program, which provides orphaned children with books — and pajamas to read them in. Among those expected are Alec Baldwin, William Ivey Long, Nicole Miller and Douglas Hannant.

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