Byline: Aileen Mehle

It won’t hit the book stalls until next spring, but already there is fear and trembling among those near and dear to some of Hollywood’s most famous film figures, be they dead or alive. (There are those who say you can’t tell the difference, but people can be so mean, can’t they?) Names like Bruce (Willis), Martin (Scorsese), Peter (Bogdanovich), Orson (Welles) and Elvis (?) are among the characters (victims?) who are prominently included. What we’re talking about here is Cybill Shepherd’s long-awaited scorcher recalling the halcyon days (and nights) when she was one of Hollywood’s most sizzling stunners. Stand back.

Although People magazine voted Mira Sorvino one of the world’s most beautiful people, she refuses to take it seriously. “I was flattered,” she says, “but I don’t buy it. It’s crazy to say, ‘Here is a list of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.’ What they really mean is the 50 most well-known people of the moment.” Well, thank you so much, Mira, for explaining it all for us. We can’t wait to see how beautiful you look in your newie, “At First Sight.”

It’s said that Sharon Stone was especially anxious over her new movie, “Gloria,” a remake of the 1980 classic which starred Gena Rowlands. “So,” says Sharon, who desperately wanted the Oscar-winning actress’s approval, “I invited Gena for drinks to see if I would be OK.” Apparently, Gena gave her a pep talk, ending the meeting with the following pithy remark: “Well, they’ve re-made Shakespeare, and everyone thinks that a compliment — so good luck, kid.”
I find that charming, don’t you?

The setting was the Penguin Court of the terminally exclusive Rolling Rock Country Club in Ligonier, Pa., the posh Pittsburgh suburb. The guests of honor were Richard Mellon Scaife and his young wife, Richey, celebrating their 7th anniversary. At least 250 rich conservatives (very, very conservative conservatives), including bushels of Mellons, a grupetto of good friends from Palm Beach, and let’s not forget Arnaud de Borchgrave, the terminally conservative journalist, all helped the Scaifes celebrate.
You all remember Richard Mellon Scaife. Heir to a formidable fortune, he is the avid Clinton basher of all time and never stops putting his money where his mouth is. But the night of the party, he was in a mellow mood, happy to announce that these years were the happiest of his life. (Some of the guests wondered whether he meant the years with Richey or the thrills of his ongoing vendetta against Bill and Hill.) Whatever, the festive fete culminated with a colossal display of fireworks while Bob Harwick and his orchestra played patriotic tunes (“It’s a Grand Old Flag,” “God Bless America,” and “Stars and Stripes Forever”) until the unconservative hour of 2 a.m. Imagine.

Mrs. Jeremy Grig Harvey — Betty Scripps, that was — is ever so happy that Princess Margaret has agreed to be her guest of honor at the English National Ballet’s Royal Gala in London on June 23. The entire evening is being underwritten by the Scripps Foundation, beginning with a performance of “Romeo and Juliet” at the Royal Albert Hall followed by a black tie supper for 300 in the Banqueting Rooms of Whitehall Place. Naturally, Betty is the chairman of the entire evening. You don’t underwrite something only to sit in the back of the bus, you know.
You all remember Whitehall. From the days of Henry VIII until its destruction by fire in 1698, the great palace was the Sovereign’s main London residence. The only part that survived the conflagration was the Banqueting House with its magnificent ceiling painted by Rubens. This will be Princess Margaret’s first public outing since her recent illness, so Betty, concerned that Margaret might find the entire evening tiring, asked her son and daughter-in-law, Viscount and Viscountess Linley, a.k.a. Tony and Serena, if they would accompany her. So, now the royals will all be at the ballet together, and when Margaret leaves with her lady-in-waiting, the Linleys will nip on over to the supper ball which is expected to last until 1:30 in the morning. Mercy!

Harvey Weinstein wants to film Miramax’s big new flick of the hit musical “Chicago” in England. “If we can get the dancers, then we’ll make it in London,” he says. As the world knows, Madonna and Goldie Hawn are starring and it’s hoped John Travolta will play the cagey lawyer who tries to get the girls off their murder rap. Never mind that he dances better than all of them put together.

Speaking of Madonna, you all remember her crack, “Everyone knows that I would never date a man who wears cowboy boots,” responding to the rumors that she and Antonio Banderas were doing more than the tango when they co-starred in “Evita.” Well, now Antonio is co-starring with the sultry Catherine Zeta Jones in “The Mask of Zorro” and if rumors haven’t started up again it may be because Mrs. Banderas, a.k.a. Melanie Griffith, rarely left his side during the making of the movie. Would you?
But more likely it’s what Banderas has to say for himself. “Right now, I’m having a good time, in terms of what they call being hot in Hollywood. But it’s my family that’s most important to me, not my career, and I’ve never been happier. The characters I play are sometimes tormented, but I’m not. I’m a very happy, very positive person.” Fine — but why leave his side anyhow? It’s not as though she can think of something better to do.

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