Byline: Aileen Mehle
Julie Christie, one of the most beautiful and best of actresses — her looks and acting ability set the screen on fire 30 years ago — is making a comeback. She will be seen in a Harold Pinter play, “Old Times,” starting in May, then will study scripts with an eye to returning to movies. Julie, deeply hurt after Warren Beatty found another bird on the wing, has been somewhat of a recluse on a remote Welsh farm for many years. If that was the real reason, what a waste of time and talent for little or nothing.
John Travolta’s “Pulp Fiction” Oscar nomination has Johnboy really flying. Travolta, who flies his own plane, is now being approached to play roles that require him to fly, so he’ll play a fighter pilot in “Broken Arrow” for 20th Century Fox and is up for another fighter pilot role in “Lady Takes an Ace.” In this case, the lady would be, ta-da, Sharon Stone, who holds all the cards these days with a first shot at almost every hot role in Hollywood.
They say in Paris that Daniel Day-Lewis, trying to get over his depression since the death of his agent, Julian Belfrage, at the end of last year, has been hiding out in a clinic. And here we all thought it was because Isabelle Adjani was having his baby and he wasn’t ready for fatherhood. He isn’t even ready for Isabelle Adjani anymore. But that beauty will never be found dead or alive licking her wounds on a remote Welsh farm. Tant pis is more like it.
Everyone thought Helena Bonham Carter was back in England having finished filming Woody Allen’s latest opus. Not a bit of it. There she was at the opening of “Death Defying Acts,” the three one-act plays written by Woody Allen, Elaine May and David Mamet and produced by Julian Schlossberg and Jean Doumanian of the “Bullets Over Broadway” Doumanians. When Helena’s friends and fans rushed over to say what are you doing here, she replied coolly that she had to fly back to reshoot a couple of scenes, but that she’d only be here for a minute. Now — is that all clear?
Other opening nighters at the play and the party afterward in the Fifth Avenue Hotel Ballroom were Sigourney Weaver, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols, Wendy Wasserstein with Forrest Sawyer, Elaine Kaufman and others too notable to mention.
Sandra Bullock, a rising star since she careened down the highway in “Speed,” is again using her head on another highway, this time the information superhighway. Sandra will shift into high gear when she’s swept into a web of high-tech conspiracy in a computer flick called “The Web.” Sandra could never be a spider, so guess who’s the fly.
There’s said to be a cloud over the big romance between sprig of the Italian nobility Prince Emanuele Filiberto and Alexandra di Andia. Her friends say she loves him — but she has no intention of marrying him, even if Filiberto is a grand old name, sort of.
The latest nonsense from abroad has Prince Albert of Monaco playing Cupid for Sylvester Stallone and his sometimes young sweetie, Austrian model Andrea Wieser. The buzz is that Albert found Sly a romantic villa in Monaco and could even be best man at their wedding — if there ever is one. Please!
Bob Geldof and his estranged wife, Paula Yates, are staying at the palatial digs of Irish rock star Bono, trying to mend their broken marriage. After Paula admitted her fling with Aussie rock star Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of INXS, things haven’t been — surprise — the same. Supermodel Helena Christensen, Hutchence’s long-time leading lady, wasn’t amused by the reports either, so, at least for now, she’s given him the old heave-ho. You won’t find her on a Welsh farm either.
Joan Collins and Kenneth Branagh together for the first time? What? It’s true though, professionally speaking only. Joan will start work on Branagh’s new film “In The Bleak Mid-Winter” beginning in mid-March. Branagh himself will not act in the movie but will direct the original screenplay which he began writing four years ago. Joan plays an actor’s agent in the contemporary comedy which deals with “a motley group of theatricals putting on a play in unusual circumstances.” Some people will tell you any group of theatricals is motley, but that’s just so mean and cynical. Isn’t it?
Norman Sherry, the brilliant British author and Graham Greene’s chosen biographer, was the center of attention at a book party at Mortimer’s celebrating the Viking American release of Sherry’s “The Life of Graham Greene Volume II: 1939-1955.” The party was given by four of Norman’s greatest fans, Lucy and Christopher Buckley and Nannette Brokaw Herrick and George Herrick. Before the night was over, Norman’s fan club was pushing out the walls. Amongst the literati and glitterati were such and Betsy and Walter Cronkite, Richard Clurman, Lewis Lapham, Francie and John Train, Elizabeth Kabler, Georgiana Bronfman, Richard Leakey (all the way from Kenya), Dee and Nelson Aldrich, George Plimpton, Jackie and Nicky Drexel, Frankie Fitzgerald, Fernanda Kellogg Gilligan, Alan Pakula and Gail Lumet Buckley and Kevin Buckley.
In 1945, Greene, one of the most brilliant, controversial and prolific of 20th-century authors, wrote, “If anyone ever tries to write a biography of me, how complicated they are going to find it and how misled they are going to be.” Whatever he was, Greene was certainly not a fool, so he chose Sherry himself. As for Sherry, 54, he’s just glad to be alive after almost losing his life twice following in Graham Greene’s footsteps.
Tiffany & Co. toasted American song with a full house of cabaret lovers saluting the memory of the great Mabel Mercer, the legendary interpreter of all those songs you know and love. In tribute to the world of cabaret, Tiffany table settings on view were designed by Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Eartha Kitt and Andrea Marcovicci, the beauty whose recent London performances were standing room only. Everyone was there from Tiffany chairman Bill Chaney to Julie Wilson. In between were such as Irving Berlin’s daughter Mary Ellin Barrett, Schuyler Chapin, John Loring, Arlene Dahl, Pat and Marquette de Bary, Grace Mirabella and Pauline Trigere, all singing the praises of cabaret. Not singing singing, of course. No sense in clearing the room early.