Byline: Aileen Mehle

Tom Cruise is said to be “devastating” in his newie, “Jerry Maguire,” so we shall see. He plays a sleek, slick, street-smart sports agent, and audiences at a weekend screening were giving him standing, sitting and running ovations — that is, women were running toward the screen to get closer to Tom. Maybe they think he’s cuter than ever because as “Jerry” he wears the same dark sunglasses he wore way back when in “Risky Business.” You can forget all the new flavors of the month.

Will Dr. Swanee Hunt, currently our woman in Austria, be offered the prize plum position of U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, i.e., the Court of St. James’s? That’s the chat in diplomatic circles where the Texas oil heiress, a staunch feminist, is much admired.

Lisa Hogan, the 6-foot, 2-inch stunner featured in the forthcoming “Fierce Creatures” (the follow-up to “A Fish Called Wanda”), is in a 100-degrees-in-the-shade romance with Baron Steven Bentinck, the nephew of German billionaire art collector Baron Heini Thyssen, who, as uncles go, is not a bad one to have. The baron’s mutter Baroness Gaby Bentinck, is as rich as Kuchen mit Schlag herself.

Alain Delon, still something of a heartthrob after all these years, is appearing in a hit play, “Variations Enigmatiques” in Paris at the Theatre Marigny. Last week he celebrated his birthday, and what do you know but at the second curtain call everyone in the audience flipped on lighters that had been handed out to them and sang “Happy Birthday” in French. Then Delon’s two children, Alain Jr. and Anouscka, and their mother, Rosalie Van Breeman (she and Delon are not married), came onstage and covered daddy in flowers. Alain was surprised and touched and so was the audience who had never seen anything quite so un-French in all their vie.

The hot new place in Paris right now is the Hotel Costes and its splendid restaurant surrounding four sides of a courtyard. There you see Anouk Aimee and Horst Bucholz occupying the best tables at this “in” place just around the corner from the Place Vendome. Aimee is said to want a role in “Virgin Holiday,” the movie being produced by American filmmaker Gil Donaldson whose Paris-based CineCapital is behind it. It’s all about four Manhattan hookers who rent a house on Nantucket for the month of July. The script, reportedly, is screamingly funny. Anouk a hooker in Nantucket? Catch me, I’m falling.

New York these days and nights is the party capital of the world. Never have so many been given by so many and attended by so many. Herewith but a few of The Parties That Were: The big blast at the Rainbow Room for the American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust with the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough as honored guests and Mrs. Henry Ford II, Mrs. Jack Massey and Mrs. Patricia Patterson as chairmen. Micheal Meehan was the men’s committee chairman, and Bob Hardwick and his orchestra so tickled Sonny Marlborough’s fancy that he asked him to play at a forthcoming fete. Among the spiffy guests were Anne and Tobin Armstrong of the Texas Armstrongs, the brilliant Anne once having been our ambassador to the Court of St. James’s…The dinner at Doubles was to celebrate the upcoming Placido Domingo Festival at the Tres Vidas Golf Club in Acapulco in February to benefit the Amigos de Acapulco and Hermanos del Anciano. Baroness Sandra di Portanova, who has that little white casita in Acapulco (it’s about a mile square), Yolanda Garza and Lupita Basteris de Molina were chairman of the Ay, Caramba! evening, and sexy, smoky Yanna Avis sang sexy, smoky songs in several languages. Yanna, a good friend of Maestro Giancarlo Menotti, sang at his festival in Spoleto, Italy, last summer and will again this summer…And how about the big, dazzling Cuban Fiesta at Mortimer’s celebrating Cuban Raoul Suarez’s birthday with roast suckling pig, black beans and rice? There were balloons and streamers, and everybody was bailando and besando. Marife Hernandez was the hostess in a short gold lace dress. You couldn’t miss her even if she didn’t have that striking red hair…The charming Prince Michael of Greece is in town with his sculptress wife, the lovely Princess Marina and his two darling daughters, the Princesses Olga and Alexandra. Michael or Michel as the Europeans call him, has written a new book, “Living With Ghosts,” and does he have a few tales to tell? Yes, si, oui, jah, da, etc. The idea is you let the good ghosts hang out and zap the bad ones. There was a reception for the Prince at Angela Westwater’s Fifth Avenue apartment before some of the guests — Angela’s husband, David Meitus, Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, Khalil Rizk and Isabel and Freddy Eberstadt — went on to Alexander Papamarkou’s dinner for Michel at Mortimer’s where everyone fell on the sausages and choucroute…Then there was Judy Green’s Sunday night party for Elaine Paige, the pocket Venus with the giant voice who has taken over Broadway and “Sunset Boulevard.” Elaine wore a little black suit and very high heels, Judy wore a chiffon fishtail, and Judy’s daughter, Christina, was the prettiest girl in the room — but when wasn’t she?

In Friday’s column, read all about Nan Kempner’s big party for Mark Birley, London’s king of exclusive clubs; the Save Venice concert and extravaganza on the St. Regis Roof with Lee Thaw, in red satin, in charge of a table seating Prince Michael and Princess Marina of Greece, Prince Edouard Lobkowicz, Princess Laure de Beauvau-Craon, who is Sotheby’s princess in Paris, plus several commoners; and Blaine and Robert Trump’s party for Lord and Lady Linley. David Linley is in New York to lecture and flog his beautiful new book “Extraordinary Furniture.” The party was given in Joan Rivers’s also extraordinary white and gold apartment, only the building’s elevator didn’t work so Joan hired a couple of muscle men, bulging bodyguards, to carry the pretty women up the stairs to the sixth floor. Don’t you love it? Couldn’t you just die? Among the prettiest women were Pia Getty, nee Miller, and Christie Brinkley, who was wearing the same Gucci velvet suit as Blaine Trump — the suit of the year?