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A Sophie Dahl Bombshell * Alexander Davis’ Latest Caprice * The Fanjuls’ Grand Affair

In a time when every model wants to be an actress and every actress wants to be a model, here’s some casting news for your perusal. Supermodel Sophie Dahl has been set to play Ursula Andress in a movie about the late comedian Peter Sellers. Ursula, in decades gone by, found international stardom emerging like Venus from the sea in a temperature-raising white bikini, and laying opposite Sean Connery in the first James Bond movie, “Dr. No.” She and Sellers were supposedly lovers in 1967 while they filmed “Casino Royale,” a spoof of the Bond movies, in Switzerland. “Sellers would have said there was something between them,” says Roger Lewis, the author of the biography, “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” on which the movie will be based. “But there probably wasn’t. He was like that — he would make up all sorts of stories.” Yes, indeedy.

This story first appeared in the May 30, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Ursula, who lives in Rome, has nothing to say about any of this at the moment. Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush will play the eccentric comedian; Emily Watson, his long-suffering first wife, Ann, and Charlize Theron will play the actress Britt Ekland, another one of the other long-sufferers. Charlize is inches taller than Britt, but who cares? Her costumes will include a retro array of miniskirts, knee-high white boots and re-creations of outfits by 1960s designer Norman Hartnell. I can wait if you can.

In Los Angeles, Nancy Davis’ twentysomething son, Alexander, whose grandparents are the Beverly Hills powerhouses Barbara and Marvin Davis, is dating thirtysomething swimsuit model and actress Caprice, who had a brief dalliance last year with Prince Andrew, who has a lot of brief dalliances every year. Adding to this, Nancy Davis, Alexander’s mommy, is telling friends that she and her husband, Kenny Rickel, are thrilled to bits to be expecting a baby in time for Thanksgiving this year. Equally thrilled are Nancy’s other children, Brandon and Jason, and of course, Alexander. Nobody has asked Caprice.

Plans are even now under way to celebrate former president George Bush’s 80th birthday party in June 2004. It will be a fundraiser for three Bush charities including Points of Light, M.D. Anderson Hospital and the Bush Library. Adele and Donald Hall and Sue and Kim Timken are the chairmen of this event, and James A. Baker and Mila and Bob Mosbacher are the honorary chairmen. All the above have to do is raise $30 million. And yes, former president Bush will once again jump out of an airplane. No remarks from the Democrats, please.

The Museum of Modern Art’s Party in the Garden Monday night will honor that superstar and recent bridegroom Rudolph W. Giuliani, the 107th mayor of New York City. This is the MoMA’s way of showing that it truly appreciates Rudy’s financial support of its Capital Campaign ($65 million from the city), his always-crucial backing of the museum and his remarkable dedication to New York and New Yorkers on September 11, 2001.

Because the MoMA has no home here yet, the cocktail party will be held at the Altman Building at 135 West 18th Street and the dinner next door at the Metropolitan Pavilion. It will be very black tie and festive dress for the ladies, and Judi Giuliani will be on Rudy’s arm, of course. Everyone is so excited because there will be a special performance at the party by the cast members of “42nd Street.”

Pepe and Emilia Fanjul’s annual party in the Fifth Avenue dining area of their apartment building is one of the social highlights of the spring season, so it’s no surprise that it brought out a mere 130 of the town’s glamorati who just love sugar king Pepe and his lovely wife. Lovely wife was wearing a strapless black lace Valentino, which stood out even in the back-to-back, cheek-to-jowl, face-to-face, shoulder-to-shoulder, hip-to-hip crowd.

Among the fashionable guests were Aimee de Heeren, the legendary Brazilian beauty who has houses in New York, Paris, Palm Beach and Biarritz, in off-the-shoulder black and a necklace to faint over; Marisa Berenson; Betsy Bloomingdale of the Beverly Hills Bloomingdales, all in white (Betsy B.’s visit to New York was the reason for what is referred to around here as a “flurry” of little dinners given by such as Mercedes and Sid Bass and Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera); Louise and Henry Grunwald; George Livanos; Carol and George McFadden; Carroll Petrie; George Hamilton; Cornelia Guest; Veronica Hearst in shocking pink Versace couture, and Anna Wintour with a pink cashmere sweater tied around her shoulders.

Other than the throng: Cécile and Ezra Zilkha; Princess Ira von Furstenberg (in from Paris and the reason for still another “flurry”); Wendy Vanderbilt; Pauline Pitt in an Oscar de la Renta, Blaine Trump in a Calvin Klein white tuxedo; Topsy Taylor; Nan Kempner; Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Alexandra and Taki Theodora Copulos; Arriana and Dixon Boardman; Grace and Chris Meigher, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera; Catie and Don Marron; Patricia Patterson, and more than enough gentlemen to go around. Among the adorable young guests of the Fanjuls’ daughter, Emilia Pfeifler, and son, Pepe Fanjul Jr., were Serena and Samantha Boardman, Eliza and Alexander Bolen, Rena Sindi, Marina Livanos, Patricia and Gerrity Lansing, Harrison LeFrak, Andres Santo Domingo and handsome Ogden Phipps, maybe the best-looking young man in NYC.

The New York Botanical Garden’s 28th annual gala, “The Conservatory Ball,” will be held in the middle of the spectacularly blooming Bronx gardens on June 5. The chairmen are Friederike Biggs, Jeanne Jones and Mai Harrison, who will wear a Badgley Mischka dress in shades of shocking pink to match the conservatory tents’ all-pink decor. The ladies will greet the guests amid sweet-smelling old-fashioned roses, peonies, foxgloves and lupine in the Perennial Garden, and dinner will be served on tables covered with Pucci cloth and probably some of the most glorious flowers in the history of the world.

Among those expected are Ann Eisenhower Flöttl, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Cynthia Lufkin, Jesse Araskog, Dina Merrill, Pamela Fiori and fashion designer Maggie Norris in a butter-colored corset and a long skirt of her own design over which she will throw a sage-colored embroidered vintage jacket. Bob Hardwick and his orchestra will play for the dancing. The honorary chairman of the evening is Honore Wamsler and the sponsors are Franklin Templeton, the Carlisle Collection and Tiffany & Co., which will present a gift bag to one and all with its hottest fragrance inside.

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