Johnny Carson, everybody's late-night television companion, is the man the Variety Club of Southern California will honor at its Variety Big Heart Community Achievement Award Pre-Telethon Dinner on April 15. Local Variety Club President Bruce Corwin and Vice President Joseph Sinay are co-chairing the $500- (for gold tables) and $250- (for silver tables) per-plate affair in the Century Plaza's Los Angeles Ballroom.
Johnny's "friends" serving on the dinner sponsor's committee include Sheldon W. Andelson,AFI's Jean Firstenberg, Variety Clubs International President Salah M. Hassanein, Freddie Fields, Bob Finkel, Lulie Frankel, Richard S. Rosenzweig, David Wolper, Carl Reiner, Gary Pudney, Shirley and Saul Turteltaub, Ann and Jerry Moss, Sandra Moss, Michael S. Ovitz, Sherry Lansing, Barry Kaye, Tichi Wilkerson Kassel.
After a lapse of five years (they must have been busy), Harry and Marilyn Lewis of all those Hamburger Hamlets gave another of their famous Oscar parties. But unlike some other local hosts, the Lewises chose the Saturday before the awards so as not to interfere with the official ceremonies and the Governor's Ball. The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should send Harry and Marilyn a thank-you note. Or something.
Marilyn, who designs the Hamlets, had redesigned the kitchen of their Beverly Hills home and the work had just been completed that morning. Guests wandered through, admiring the results, the 100-year-old European zinc bar and enjoying Sheila Mack's hors d'oeuvres. (Some guests sighed over the lack of Hamburger Hamlet fare.) There was a little tent for cocktails and a much bigger one for dinner in the garden, where the celebrity count included Carol Channing, Tony Bennett, Frances Bergen, Jolene and George Schlatter, Phyllis Diller with Mark Taper (now that's a new duet), romantic novelist Danielle Steele with her husband John Traina, Christina Crawford Koontz, best-selling novelist Sidney Sheldon and his wife Jorja and Ricardo and Georgiana Montalban. With Danny Thomas acting as master of ceremonies for the assembled talent, Billy Daniels sang "That Old Black Magic" and Rose Marie Thomas sang one of her "kootchie koo" numbers and Ann Jillian sang a capella as the noise volume fell to zero.
Lining up for the salad bar and hot buffet (sliced roast pork with plum sauce, chicken with peppers, polenta) were, among loads more: Alexis Smith and Craig Stevens, the Henry Bergers, Irene Kassorla, Marcia and Larry Israel, Nat Dumont, Prince Nicky Toumanoff, Councilman and Mrs. John Ferraro, Sedge and Henry Plitt, Muriel Slatkin with Ricardo Pascal, Eva Gabor with Palm Springs plastic surgeon Dr. Borko Djordjevic, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Olavee Martin with Seaman Jacobs, Lee Solters, Detroit columnist Shirley Eder and Warren Cowan with Barbara Rush and Margaret Gardner. (Earlier in the week Barbara had hosted a cocktail party at Jimmy's for Margaret who returns to her Rogers & Cowan London headquarters early next week.)
The Social Scramble: Carmen, the beauty who has been modeling for photographers such as Horst, Hiro and Norman Parkinson for the past 40 years (she started her career when she was 13), has written a beauty book. It's titled "Staying Beautiful" (Carmen does know how), which Harper & Row has published. To celebrate Carmen and the book, her agent, Zoli Management, is giving a sit-down dinner Monday night at New York's hot new restaurant Alo Alo in the Trump Towers. Carmen insisted the menu be "healthy," so it will include crudites, steamed salmon, veal and pasta. And since her friends are all beautiful and famous, the guest list includes plenty of those types--Jackie Rogers, a former Chanel model, now a fashion designer (Carmen is wearing one of Jackie's outfits on the book's cover), Joanna Carson (Johnny's soon to be ex-), David Susskind and more designers like Giorgio San Angelo and John Weitz and his wife, Susan.