Byline: Aileen Mehle
Three fabulous females are coming to town — a queen, a possible first lady of France and a graceful and picturesque world-class hostess who has just written a new book. That translates to Queen Noor of Jordan, Mme. Jacques (Bernadette) Chirac, wife of the mayor of Paris, and Evangeline Bruce, the pride of Washington, D.C.
Queen Noor, who, along with Nelson Mandela, has just this minute been named to succeed the Prince of Wales as President of United World Colleges, will be in New York on April 5, when the National Committee on American Foreign Policy presents her husband, King Hussein of Jordan, with the Hans J. Morgenthau Award at a reception and dinner at the Waldorf, an event that promises to be as dazzling as Noor herself. (The Prince of Wales has been the head of the United World Colleges for 17 years. Apparently, it was thought it took two world figures, Noor and the president of South Africa, to equal one Charles.)
As for Mme. Chirac, whose husband is running for President of France, she will be here on March 31 to spend the weekend in her capacity as president of the Paris Dance Festival, which will host the New York City Ballet in Paris starting with a gala on Sept. 26. Janice Levin is giving a tea for Bernadette Chirac at her apartment in the Pierre hotel on March 31. Mme. Chirac, who is arriving with Marina de Brantes, will be staying at the Plaza AthAnAe. Marina will also be here on April 5, when the American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet are organizing their second annual dinner dance on the Roof of the St. Regis. This year, the innovative composer Robert Wilson, an American artist who has worked at the Paris Opera, will be honored. Planning to fly over from Paris for the fun are such as Helene (Mrs. Michel) David-Weill, Helene Rochas, Sao Schlumberger, Marina’s husband, Guy de Brantes and, last but not least, Christian Tortu, who will decorate the Roof, just as he did last year.
The third paragon to favor us with a visit, the one and only Evangeline Bruce, is a Gainsborough subject brought to life and the closest thing our nation’s capital has to a saloniste. The publication of Evangeline’s new book, “Napoleon and Josephine: An Improbable Marriage,” is being celebrated by her friends and fans from all over. Jayne Wrightsman is giving a cocktail party for her tomorrow at her splendid Fifth Avenue apartment, and Sue Railey is giving her a dinner chez Sue on April 6.
Some on the set of her new movie, “Two Much,” say there’s more than a professional relationship between Daryl Hannah and her sexy co-star, Antonio Banderas, but then they always say that. In this case, considering what they both look like, it can’t be Too Much of a good thing. Oh, hahahahaha.
Julia Roberts has reportedly been house-guesting with the great photographer Herb Ritts at his Malibu digs, unless they washed away in the recent deluge. And, no, they are not an item. I think we’re all as tired of Julia “items” as she must be. And Lylesie, too.
Julia Ormond, who has been named Female Star of Tomorrow by the National Association of Theater Owners, has Richard Gere — playing Lancelot — and Sean Connery — playing King Arthur — both mad for her in “First Knight.” And in “Sabrina,” the remake of the Audrey Hepburn classic, Harrison Ford and Greg Kinnear fall under her spell. When asked how she differs from Audrey Hepburn, the beautiful Julia says, “I’m not a size six, I’m not as good looking and I’m completely paranoid.” Smart, too. Smart enough to know that self-deprecation is irresistible.
Austin, Tex., is alive with the sound of Ladybird Johnson’s name and preparing for a spectacular party on April 1 in honor of that celebrated citizen’s 82nd birthday. Texans will be flying in from all points of the Panhandle, along with notables from everywhere else, to attend the ten-gallon tribute taking place at Austin’s National Wildflower Research Center. The world knows the former first lady is a wild wildflower lover, so it figures. Coming from Virginia will be daughter Lynda Byrd with her husband, Sen. Chuck Robb, and daughter Lucy Baines Nugent will travel down from Toronto. Bob Hardwick and his orchestra will play for the big fandango, and Ladybird has already made her special requests — “Hello, Dolly” (changing the words to “Hello, Lyndon” as Carol Channing did when she sang at LBJ’s 1964 presidential campaign) and, wait for it, “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Tell me you’re surprised.
Although she was knocked out of the box here by a technicality in the Oscar regulations, Linda Fiorentino may yet win a big award for her sizzling performance in “The Last Seduction.” She has nabbed a Best Actress nomination in the British version of the Oscars, going
up against such formidable competition as Uma Thurman for “Pulp Fiction,” Susan Sarandon for “The Client” and Irene Jacob for “Red.” Wouldn’t she have the last laugh if her name is called out when the winner is announced? Yesyesyesyesyes.
Prague is the fashionable new place to film in Europe, and five Hollywood companies have already been there and five more are scheduling shoots. Referred to as “Hollywood on the Vltava,” Prague’s peacefully flowing river, colorful churches and castles make it a perfect setting for classic stories. The new big picture to pick Prague will be “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” under the aegis of Ted Turner. What fun!
Gregory and Veronique Peck are in Houston today for the city’s Society of the Performing Arts. Gregory will be on stage at the Wortham Theater tonight to show film clips and tell stories relating to his career. Then the audience will ask questions and expect answers. After all this, Lynn Wyatt, Houston’s superhostess, will have 100 guests at her River Oaks mansion as a benefit for the Society. Naturally, the party will honor the Pecks. At $250 a ticket, it’s a bargain.