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Jody Jacobs

Senior Center to Salute Barbara Sinatra

March 29, 1985|JODY JACOBS

Ol' Blue Eyes (a k a Francis Albert Sinatra) has had his fair share of honors. And now it seems it's his wife, Barbara Sinatra, who is taking the spotlight. She's already accepted quite a few tributes and awards. But there's still more to come.

Saturday at Palm Springs' Riviera Hotel the board of directors of the Palm Springs Senior Center and more than 600 other guests will stand up and salute Barbara at the Americana Ball IV. The dinner dance has the ever-funny Milton Berle as the featured entertainer and such benefactors as former Ambassador and Mrs. Walter Annenberg, Dolores and Bob Hope, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Leberman (he's on the Americana Ball advisory committee), Beverly and Buddy Rogers, the John Sinns, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Needleman, Natalie and Danny Schwartz, the Alex Driers, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Hoenigsberg, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Mancine and James Morton. The guest list reads like Palm Springs' Gold Book (the desert's social register) and includes Mrs. George Randolph Hearst Sr., former Ambassador Leonard Firestone and the Gabor sisters (Magda, Zsa Zsa and Eva) if mama Jolie is better.

On April 12, Mrs. Sinatra hosts a benefit of her own, the third Barbara Sinatra Art Auction for the Child Sexual Abuse Program of the Family Counseling Service of Coachella Valley. The auction takes place at Palm Springs' Spa Hotel.

Auctions I and II raised more than $200,000 for the Family Counseling Service and a lot of spirited bidding for the artistic productions of such well-known artists as Frank Sinatra, Paloma Picasso, Andy Warhol, John Lennon, Tony Bennett, Loretta Swit, Elke Sommer, Jonathan Winters, James Cagney and Ginger Rogers.

Andy Warhol has become an actor, the 999th celebrity guest star on a "Love Boat" episode that will air next fall. How does he like the new career? "I'm nervous," he answered in his low, whispery voice. But there are perks, and the shy artist with the shock of white hair and the still-youthful face is enjoying them thoroughly--especially the stretch limo that takes him everywhere, rubbing elbows with Hollywood's elite, most of whom he already knows.

"No star we've had on the show has ever gotten the kind of attention Andy has," said "Love Boat's" co-executive producer Douglas S. Cramer, who gave a star-studded party Wednesday night for the artistic superstar.

If you half closed your eyes you might have thought you were on a glamorous set for "Dynasty," the television series Cramer also co-produces with Aaron Spelling. Against a background of spectacular contemporary art (a few Warhols mingled on the walls with the works of other contemporary art stars) stood some of the most familiar faces in the world. "When I asked Andy whom he wanted me to ask," Cramer explained, "he gave me a list of 12 names. But then, day by day, he kept adding more." Wednesday morning the count was up to 58, but by party time, and with a few cancellations (Farrah Fawcett had the flu, Lana Turner had taken a nasty fall, Elizabeth Taylor had a bad back, Catherine Oxenberg had whiplash) it was back down to 50, a good number for the sit-down dinner served (by Chasen's) in the plastic-tented terrace.

And here's how the scenario went: Douglas S. Cramer III, the host's son who had just received his acceptance letter from USC that day, helped Dad greet his star-studded cast. Linda Evans and Alana Hamilton Stewart, both wearing short white dresses, arrived together. David Geffen, the Wunderkind record producer who now produces movies and plays, was early. And then the crush began--producer (and Cramer's partner) Aaron Spelling, pipe in mouth, with his wife, Candy, who wore a white lace dress; producer Ray Stark and his wife, Fran, and his daughter, Wendy Gorsuch, with her house guest, Sharon Countess Sondes; superagent Sue Mengers in beaded black; Ali MacGraw, wearing a red jacket and an above-the-knee black skirt; "Hotel's" Jim Brolin, towering over the crush in the living room (he was with actress Jan Smithers); "Love Boat's" captain, Gavin MacLeod with his wife, Patty; 20th Century Fox Chairman Barry Diller; blond Morgan Fairchild, wearing a heavily jeweled black-and-white dress; Mrs. Henry Fonda in red taffeta; David and Bridget Hedison; agent Ames Cushing wearing a Missoni knit she'd bought on her recent trip to Italy; fashion world ace Calvin Klein, fresh off the plane he'd boarded in New York at 4 p.m. (EST), and "Dynasty's" designer Nolan Miller, alone, because his wife, Sandra, had the flu.

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