Finally, the summer political invasion has ended, the scores of office seekers searching for gold in the California hills have retreated to Washington, and we can get on to the real business of this town--celebrities and parties.
AID FOR AIDS--In a break with Hollywood tradition, the many celebrity honorary co-chairs of a benefit will show up and even entertain. Thursday night, at the AIDS Project/L.A. Commitment to Life Dinner, look for co-chairs Liz Taylor, Shirley MacLaine and Burt Reynolds. Also, Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue will do a pitch for contributions from the more than 2,500 expected at the Bonaventure (300-plus people are on a waiting list for the dinner, event coordinator Bill Melamed Jr. said.) Cyndi Lauper and Rod Stewart provide the rock-out finale that night--but earlier in the evening, Carol Burnett and Sammy Davis Jr. are set to duet. There will be a letter from Rock Hudson--tentatively set to be read by his "Dynasty" co-star Linda Evans, from one of the three stages on which ABC's Gary Pudney is putting on his one-time-only spectacular . . . We're told that the proceeds from a Rock Hudson biog will go via the Rock Hudson Foundation to AIDS research and assistance--but the groups getting the money are still not designated and the book is still not written. . . . A massive volunteer campaign is being organized around the NBC-TV movie, "Early Frost"--the story of a young lawyer who contracts AIDS, starring Aidan Quinn, Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara. Josh Baran, who spearheaded the grass-roots efforts around "The Day After," plans fund-raising viewings in 100 cities the night of the telecast, now tentatively set for Nov. 18.
HOLLYWOOD RELIGION--Following an "Agnes of God" screening Wednesday night, director Norman Jewison met for dinner at Trumps with star Meg Tilly and her hubby, Tim Zinnemann--perfect, Zinnemann's father, Fred, directed "The Nun's Story" in the '50s. Jewison's associate producers, Charles Milhaupt and Bonnie Paless Wolf, were there, but missing was co-producer Patrick Palmer--in Canada, producing, what else, "Children of a Lesser God." Steve Sohmer, the just-appointed Columbia Pictures president, made it, but Jane Fonda was waiting until Thursday night for her own screening of the film. Best story being told about the filming of the picture: When Jewison told Fonda how impressed he was at her constant state of dialogue preparedness, the ultimate professional, she told him, "That's my job and I'm paid very well for it."
RETIREMENT COTTAGE?--Yes, Mrs. Reagan is house-hunting--using her buddy Marion Jorgensen and the White House decorator Ted Graber to look for a home here. Friends say she wants to get just a piece of the 2.5 acres in Holmby Hills that now just holds one house, that of Bunny Granville Wrather. Just down the street from the Wrather home is First Lady buddy Betsy Bloomingdale. And, just minutes away, across Sunset Boulevard in Bel-Air, are good friends Marion and Earle Jorgensen, Henry and Grace Salvatori, and Betty and Bill Wilson. Ah, close enough to borrow several cups of sugar.
BLACK-TIE HONOR--To be announced soon: UC Berkeley will honor the 14 Nobel Laureates on its faculty with a fund-raising dinner at the Beverly Hilton on Nov. 6. The dinner is aimed both at raising scholarship money and at giving the original UC campus ("Cal" to its diehard grads, as if there were only one) more visibility in Southern California.
MORE FABULOUS--Stars will be leaving for Denver in droves the weekend of Oct. 12 when Marvin and Barbara Davis put on what's become the nation's No. 1 celebrity-stuffed charity fete, the Carousel Ball. The event, raising more than $2 million for the Children's Diabetes Foundation, this year honors Kenny and Marianne Rogers, and features for the 2,500 guests a silent auction allowing anyone to be a star. Included (minimum bids $1,000) are walk-ons for "Capitol," "Days of Our Lives, "The Fall Guy" and "Scarecrow and Mrs. King."
FOR WOMEN FOR--For 20 years, Women For has been dedicated to the advancement of human and civil rights, public education, environmental protection and world peace. This past week, the organization honored 10 women whose work produces those goals--actress Bonnie Franklin, Sister Judith Vaughan, UCLA administrator Feelie Lee, architect Brenda Levin, Museum of African American Art Curator Samella S. Lewis, Skid Row lawyer Nancy Mintie, Councilwoman Joy Picus, actress Marsha Hunt, Community College trustee Leticia Quezada and The Times' Kathleen Hendrix. Lewis said that Women For changed her life when, in the mid '60s, she came to a meeting of the activists and "met an organized body of women who didn't know how to act--who didn't know their place."