Maybe Russell Crowe — you all know Russell — will take the one he’s calling “the love of his life” to the Oscars in March. It’s not Meg Ryan, and it’s not his “A Beautiful Mind” co-star Jennifer Connelly, and it’s not his mum and it certainly ain’t Courtney Love. Who it is is a woman he has known for over 10 years and dated, off and on, for five, a beautiful blonde Australian actress and singer named Danielle Spencer. They first met in 1990 on the set of “The Crossing,” a movie they appeared in together.
Their friends say that the two might become engaged or even marry this year, as he tells them that he loves Danielle and has made it clear in interviews he’s getting nervous about waiting too long to start a family. (Of course, there are a lot of women running around who would love to help him do exactly that).
You really don’t have to look hard to find Mr. Crowe at the world’s smartest racetracks. He just bought a piece of his first horse, Recall, the winner of the Australian Winter Cup race last year and a favorite in the upcoming Coff’s Harbour Cup race in New South Wales. You do remember that Rusty — that’s what they call him Down Under — did some naked bareback riding on Australian television early in his career. Don’t expect him to reprise that fascinating performance every time he goes to the track, for God’s sake. Still, while there’s life, there’s hope. Bounce-ity, bounce, bounce.
P.S. (That was Danielle with Crowe at the Golden Globes and at the Oscars last year. She brings him Aussie luck).
Love winter weather a lot? Then you would probably be thrilled to join Queen Elizabeth’s daughter Anne, the Princess Royal, on her trip to Antarctica, there to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of that frozen continent by Cmdr. Robert Scott of the British Royal Navy. The Princess, known for her fortitude, will unveil plaques, attend ceremonies and lead a campaign to preserve the historic huts built by the explorer and his team during their three-year expedition — two years of which his ship, The Discovery, was actually frozen solid in the ice. Maybe the Princess might like to borrow heiress Marylou Whitney’s dog sled and her hundred Alaskan huskies. Marylou, as readers of this column may recall, has seriously explored the Poles from North to South and raced in the Iditarod, mushing all the way.
One of the most elegant parties during the meeting of the World Economic Forum was given in the far-flung New York offices of Investcorp by Nemir Kirdar, the president and chief executive officer of that international corporation. Everyone was there — Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson; Princess Catherine of Yugoslavia who with her husband, Prince Alexander, have, after all these years, returned to live in the palace in Belgrade; the Sheik of Qatar, massive in ceremonial robes; the beautiful young wife of the Sheik of Bahrain; Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa; Richard Butler; Cecile and Ezra Zilkha; Gale Hayman, in garnet velvet and a vintage Chanel necklace, and her husband, Dr. William Haseltine, on their way to the dinner for thousands at the New York Stock Exchange; Georgette Mosbacher; Patricia Patterson; Alice Mason, and her daughter Dominique.
This afternoon, the New York City Ballet will famously twirl and swirl at its annual benefit matinee at the New York State Theater with such balletomanes as Nina Griscom, Fe Fendi, Valerie Zilkha, Katherine Bryan, Patricia Hambrecht, etc., in attendance. Lesley Stahl of your TV and mine will moderate a program exploring the relationship between Broadway and ballet featuring such star choreographers as Susan Stroman, Robert La Fosse and Christopher Wheeldon, along with excerpts from such classics as Balanchine’s “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” and Jerome Robbins’s “Fancy Free.”
After the performance, ballerina Carla Korbes will receive the Janice Levin Award as this year’s most promising young dancer in the corps de ballet. Carla began her training when she was only five years old in her hometown of Porto Alegre, Brazil. By 1996, she had made her way to New York’s School of American Ballet and in 1999 she joined the New York City Ballet company. As for the late ballet lover Janice Levin, she was a collector of jewels in a class almost by herself, so in appreciation of her custom, Harry Winston has fashioned a special NYCB brooch in the form of a dancer in full flight studded with 41 diamonds. A percentage of every brooch sold will benefit NYCB. Somebody toss them a quick bouquet.
Jamie Wyeth’s exhibition, “Capturing Nureyev: James Wyeth Paints the Dancer,” will open to the public at the Kennedy Center in Washington tomorrow night preceded by a reception there for Wyeth tonight. The heads of the center, Michael Kaiser and James Johnson, are the hosts. The festivities are being held in conjunction with the Washington engagements of the Kirov Opera and the Kirov Ballet opening next week, both directed and conducted by Valery Gergiev. Nureyev, of course, was with the Kirov when he defected during a tour in Paris. The show of paintings of the legendary dancer, covering a span of over a decade, will include a collection of Nureyev’s extravagant costumes. The exhibition will come to Lincoln Center in April.
During the first week of March in New York, Wyeth will host the opening of the month-long exhibition of works by the students, alumni and teachers of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the largest school of its kind. The school has just acquired both the La Coste Art School in Provence, a pet project of the American billionairess Anne Cox Chambers, and an art school in China.
SCAD’s annual Andre Leon Talley Fashion Award, presented last year to Oscar de la Renta, will this year go to — ta-da! — Mr. Svelte himself, Karl Lagerfeld.