Byline: Aileen Mehle

Prince Albert of Monaco a movie star? Well, not exactly, but…Albert was in town Thursday night for the Princess Grace Foundation gala, and the news is that he’ll follow in the pretty little footsteps of his mother, Princess Grace, by appearing in his first movie. It’s called “One Man’s Hero,” and it stars Tom Berenger as an Irish general who goes to Mexico to help their army fight against the U.S.A. (He lost.) Albert reportedly plays a soldier and has spent about two weeks south of the border in front of the camera at the behest of the director, Lance Hool, his longtime friend. Not to be catty for a moment, you understand, but may Al’s acting be better than sister Princess Stephanie’s singing.

Party planner Philip Baloun artfully transformed the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza into a candle-lit oasis, awash in soft shades of blue, yellow, red and purple for the Casita Maria Fiesta, and who should stand out in that room but designer Mary McFadden in an embroidered and encrusted bolero over absolute acres of chiffon. Dear Mary. It seemed everybody was there, 400 at least, including Daisy and Paul Soros, Jeannette Watson Sanger and Alex Sanger, Ana Cristina Alvarado in red with a maribou pouf, the Carlos Beracasas, Kathleen Hearst, Lee Thaw, Marife Hernandez, Olga and Anthony Duke, Pat Buckley with Johnny Galliher, Pilar Crespi dressed by Krizia with her husband, Steve Robert, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Lydia and Robert Forbes, James A. Figg III, Judy and Ed Ney, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia with Dolores Smithies and about 375 others.
The co-chairs of the evening were Jacqueline Weld, in a green and coral Mary McFadden, and Christine Hearst Schwarzman, all in white with a tiara in her curls. Nancy Kissinger, one of the evening’s three honored guests — the other two were Colombian-born Violy McCausland and Jellybean Benitez, the inimitable music producer — wore a long, double-breasted black coat dress, and Anne Eisenhower Flottl, an honorary chairman along with her husband Wolfgang, was in a strapless black Scaasi. (The Flottls were joined briefly by her daughter, attractive Adrianna Mendoza, who is expecting twins like now and did not wish to have them on the dance floor, that not being refined).
Ballerina Lourdes Lopez was the mistress of ceremonies, and she was a dream on the floor, dancing with Jock Soto of New York City Ballet. The hermosa Mrs. Gustavo (Patty) Cisneros of Venezuela, New York and the Dominican Republic brought her children, Carolina and Guillermo. What kind of a party is it if you can’t take the kids?

Pat and Michael York have gone off to Russia, where Pat will have an exhibit of her photographs in the Marble Palace of the august Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg. The pictures, taken from the 1960s to the present, concern themselves with three aspects, “Masks,” which deals with the worlds of entertainment, politics and the media; “Uncovered,” where the subjects are photographed in their everyday surroundings totally naked — accent on totally — and “Unmasked,” photographs of the interior of the human body, which Pat considers an object of subtle beauty and significance. Better her than me. Whatever, she worked on “Unmasked” while interviewing and photographing noted doctors, including the brilliant Dr. Marc Pick, known as the Leonardo da Vinci of modern-day dissection. Can’t you just see that on his epitaph?
Pat will exhibit her pictures in Paris in February and later show them in galleries in Santa Fe and Aspen. And she’s so thrilled Michael could go to Russia with her. He has just finished filming “Wrongfully Accused” with Leslie Nielson in Vancouver and was able to fit in the trip before his next movie, “54,” starts in Toronto. I just had this feeling you’d want to catch up with the Yorks.

The legendary Gregory Peck is coming to town to present the 1997 Trophee des Arts to the legendary Lauren Bacall at a gala on Nov. 10 at the Pierre. With this award, the legendary Lauren joins such other legendary recipients as the late Louis Malle (1992), Jerome Robbins (1993), Jean-Pierre Rampal (1994), Jessye Norman (1995) and Charles Aznavour (1996), so, as you can see, it’s not just your average tin medal, but a most prestigious honor. The evening is under the high patronage of the French Ambassador to the United States Francois Bujon de l’Estang, and Mrs. Guy (Lucile) Peyrelongue is the gala chairman. Benefiting from the evening is the French Institute/Alliance Francaise, where Bacall, an ardent Francophile, has studied French to prepare for her roles in “Le Jour et la Nuit” and “Pret-a-Porter.” Allons, enfants de la patrie, la nuit de gloire est arrivee. Or something like that.

Even if the thermostat this December points to freezing, there’s no chance the social calendar will suffer from hypothermia. For one thing, Missoni and Liz Tilberis are fashioning a grand spectacular guaranteed to heat things up. It will all happen at New York’s Pier 59 studios on Dec. 4, with such thrills to look forward to as a festive dinner, a silent auction, a fashion show, dancing and “live” entertainment by a star performer. You will also be able to bid on a lunch with Christy Turlington or Cindy Crawford or a weekend at the Ferrari driving school. No Ferrari.
The Pier 59 space will turn into a Missoni forest for the evening with towering 30-foot illuminated columns emblazoned with exuberant Missoni colors and patterns. If that doesn’t crank you up, how about the stars who have sworn they’ll be there — Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Sharon Stone, Isabella Rossellini, Demi Moore, Elle Macpherson, Linda Evangelista and, of course, Christy and Cindy. Liz Tilberis and Angela, Luca and Vittorio Missoni are the chairs. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the honorary patron, and Katie Couric is the honorary chair. The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund will benefit.

Sale and Woody Johnson of the Johnson & Johnson Johnsons will receive this year’s Humanitarian Award at the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation’s Promise Ball on Nov. 15 in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf. More than 1,000 guests will be there, and Kenny Rogers will entertain each and every one of them, maybe not personally but what the hell. Chuck Scarborough is the master of ceremonies and dressing up the place will be such as Mary Tyler Moore (the international chairman), Susan Lucci, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Isabella Rossellini, Deborah Norville, Dina Merrill (a vice chairman along with Kathy Hilton and Marty Richards) and Leah Gordon Halmi, the chairman of the evening.

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