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Jody Jacobs

Novel Party Launches a New Book

August 29, 1985|JODY JACOBS

It was a dynamite combination. Lining up in the main salon of Tiffany's, Beverly Hills, for the photographers were hostess Elizabeth Taylor (very suntanned, spiky punk hairdo, silver and black dress, fishnet stockings); Carole Bayer Sager (white satin tuxedo, lace blouse), the guest of honor; and Shirley MacLaine (turquoise necklace and white lace).

Getting into the picture occasionally were Carole's husband, Burt Bacharach; Neil Diamond and his wife Marcia (Neil has launched more than one of the Bacharach-Sager hits); actress Whoopi Goldberg; Diahann Carroll, ablaze in sequins; Leslie Uggams; studio chief Barry Diller; Connie Towers Gavin; Eva Gabor with Merv Griffin; John Forsythe with wife Julie; Michael and Pat York; authors Sidney Sheldon and Arianna Stassinopoulis.

The party was a book launch. Certainly a first for Tiffany's, according to public relations director Arlette Brisson who flew in from New York headquarters for the novel affair. "But it did seem like a natural tie-in," she conceded pointing to the Tiffany blue dust jacket on Carole's first novel, and the book's title, "Extravagant Gestures." That said it all.

When the press of friends got to be too much, Taylor, MacLaine and Carroll took themselves to a back office and put their feet up. But good troupers, they were back for the last goodbys and the last photos.

At times the crush was so bad it was practically impossible for the waiters to pass their trays of Rococo hors d'oeuvre or for anyone to find his or her way back to the bar where a bartender was blending Indian peaches and champagne into Bellinis. In the jewelry cases along the walls were copies of Carole's book surrounded by diamonds, sapphires and emeralds. Out on Wilshire Boulevard, a four-deep mass peered in through Tiffany's windows. Later, show biz types who are also in the horsey set and prominent members of the music industry milled about in Marje Everett's penthouse and supped on chicken and shrimp curries, chili, filet mignon and an assortment of desserts. Taylor and her son Michael Wilding and his wife, MacLaine, attorney Neil Papiano lingered on. John Forsythe left early (he had a 6 a.m. call on "Dynasty") leaving wife Julie behind. And rounding out the groups at four different tables were Arbor House's Eden Collinsworth, John Dodds (his Belvedere imprint for Arbor published Carole's book), Jane and Jerry Weintraub, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smith, Martha and Jimmy Kilroe, Arlette Brisson.

Earlier in the evening the electric crowd at Tiffany's had included Jose Eber who is responsible for Taylor's hairdos (he wore his signature straw hat and pigtail), Happy and Frances Franklin and Richard Gully.

The moon was a pretty crescent last week when H. Bradley and Mary Jones gave a black-tie party in their new Westside home honoring Matilda and Harold Stream of New Orleans and those newlyweds Patti (Barton) and Francis McComb.

First there were little forays to check out how well the Joneses' antiques from their home in South Pasadena fit into this airy, contemporary house. And then everyone moved out of doors for cocktails and eventually dinner and dancing around the pool. The view of all of Los Angeles was spectacular. And almost everybody loved the music and the singing of the Step Sisters. "Aren't they adorable," cooed Lester Rutledge who was in town to show his jewelry. Lester, a longtime friend of the Streams, admired the Sisters' long black gloves, clingy '40s black crepe dresses and ankle-strap shoes.

"Nobody tells me how to do the seating," said Mrs. Jones who separated some couples and not others. Among those sitting together--Elliott and Feliza Plowe, Sue and Tommy Somermeier, Martha and Jimmy Kilroe. Split for the night were Jenny and Loring Rutt, Rhonda Fleming and Ted Mann, Lois and Art Linkletter who was telling Claudia Mirkin funny stories, Tom and Esther Wachtell, Pat and Walter Mirisch, Ginny and Henry Mancini, Eric and Frances Skipsey, Dee and Stuart Cramer, Travis and Tom Kranz who moved Monday to a new home in McLean, Va., Marion and John Anderson and Peggy and Fred Hartley.

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