Call it the circus of the stars. Last week’s annual National Association of Theater Owners convention in Las Vegas, dubbed “ShoWest,” had more stars in one place than a warm night at The Ivy in Hollywood.
Twentieth Century Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. outdid each other in the private jet department to haul in the big names.
Fox went all out to promote “Independence Day,” which will be released July 3. It showed eight minutes of the apocalyptic movie on which the studio spent $70 million just for special effects.
At Fox’s luncheon screening were James Cameron, who’s doing a film about the Titanic for summer ’97; Arnold Schwarzenegger, developing a “Planet of the Apes” remake; Warren Beatty; Sandra Bullock; Keanu Reeves; Morgan Freeman; Tom Hanks, currently directing his own script, “That Thing You Do”; Meg Ryan; Bill Pullman, and Winona Ryder and Sigourney Weaver — who surprised everybody by announcing they’re doing “Aliens IV” together.
Disney set up its event as a musical extravaganza, appropriately at the Aladdin Hotel. Leslie Nielsen, Jason Patric and Francis Ford Coppola were fairly upstaged by Glenn Close, who’s playing Cruella DeVille in “101 Dalmatians” when 101 of the spotted pups followed her onto the stage.
Kevin Costner, Don Johnson, Helen Hunt, Ron Shelton, Sophia Loren, Liam Neeson, Walter Matthau, Kevin Spacey, James Spader, Holly Hunter and Nick Nolte all turned out to promote their films for Warner Bros.
Back in Los Angeles, some Hollywood stars turned up at a fund-raiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The hosts of the evening were actress Marlo Thomas, a daughter of St. Jude’s founder, the late entertainer Danny Thomas, along with family members Terre, Tony and Rose Marie Thomas.
Carrie Fisher wore a Valentino dress that belongs to her mom, Debbie Reynolds.
“It’s humiliating, but I wore this dress to President Clinton’s inauguration,” said Fisher. “I don’t find many occasions to drag it out.”
Brooke Shields, sporting a new engagement ring from Andre Agassi, was happy she was able to identify the designer of her white sequin dress — Katharine Hamnett.
“I usually buy from Labels for Less,” Shields explained with a straight face, “and they cut out all the labels.”

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