It was such an in-industry crowd at the Century Plaza Sunday night that even Warren Beatty caused only a mild ripple of interest--instead of his usual tidal wave. No wonder. It was the Variety Club's Big Heart Community Achievement Award gathering, the annual black-tie gala, this year grossing more than $500,000 for Variety charities. Honored was Columbia Pictures chairman and chief executive Guy McElwaine, toasted and only mildly roasted by Beatty, Robert Wagner and McElwaine's golf buddy, Peter Falk.
Jerry Weintraub and Bruce Corwin were the dinner's honorary co-chairs, which had the ebullient Weintraub putting as much energy into greeting people during the VIP reception as he does into producing movies. Maybe more. Quips abounded, like one of the execs of the "new United Artists," Ken Kleinberg, getting greeted with a "Hi, I'm Sid Sheinberg--of the new Universal."
Jewels also abounded. Candy Spelling--in scads of emeralds and diamonds--and Barbara Davis--with a giant heart-shaped diamond necklace--were kidded about their love of jewelry. "We talk about it all the time," Spelling laughed, while husbands Aaron and Marvin followed their jewel-encrusted wives into dinner.
Entertainment on stage included Jane Morgan Weintraub singing the national anthem, with Melissa Manchester singing--and announcing halfway through her flashy act that she was "going to have a baby pretty soon." Entertainment at the tables was the talk of the entertainment biz. Bob and Nancy Daly hosted producer Irwin and Sheila Allen and chatted about Warner Bros. pictures out this year, "Little Shop of Horrors" and Robin Williams' "Club Paradise."
The party was such a success that Allen was moved to stop Corwin--whose late father Sherwin was a leading L.A. philanthropist--and his wife Toni as they left to say, "Your dad would be proud, Bruce."
CORO KUDOS--The Coro Foundation--its name was chosen because it stands for nothing else--held its 10th Public Affairs Awards Dinner on Thursday night at the Century Plaza and got high marks for honorees and for explaining their lives to a dinner audience. Honored were Ernst & Whinney Vice Chairman Walter F. Beran; Dr. Samuel M. Genensky, founder and executive director of the Center for the Partially Sighted; Lilly Lee, entrepreneur and activist, and Joan Palevsky, co-founder of Immaculate Heart College Center.
Dinner co-chairman Dick Lippen produced short, personal videos of the honorees, screened before each received the award from the Coro fellows who interned with them. Dinner co-chair Terri Child only half-kiddingly told the politically savvy audience, "Your help gets Coro interns inside and up close to where decisions are made. In City Hall, at the Pacific Dining Car, in Sacramento."
Palevsky told the audiences that her time with Coro fellows showed her that "if they are our future, I am not very worried."
Dr. Genensky, himself partially sighted, moved the audience with a short speech that said his award really belonged to his colleagues and to his wife, "without whose love, dedication and devotion, it would not have been possible to turn a dream into reality."
BLOCK PARTY--Tourists adore Rodeo Drive. But the night of May 18 it will be crowded strictly with hometown folks. It's time for the Concern Foundation's 12th annual Rodeo Drive Block Party. Last year the party brought in more than $650,000. Some details on this year's sure-to-be-smash--a special program produced by Pierre Cossette, an auction conducted by Arte Johnson, and buffet tables crammed with good things from Rococo lining the street. Carrying out the theme of "A Hollywood Galaxy," motion picture memorabilia and props will set the stage and the food will follow suit. Look for Polynesian food around the "South Pacific" set, low-cal goodies near "The Thin Man," and sweet stuff by "Babes in Toyland." Tickets for the benefit are $300. The Concern Foundation funds basic research in tumor immunology and, since 1968, has made research grants totaling $8.5 million.
HOT TICKET--Paris toasted designer Karl Lagerfeld this year with a jet-set ball at Versailles. For his April 18 bash in Beverly Hills, the Music Center's Fraternity of Friends will be hosting a gathering for its membership in Beverly Hills. Follow the scent of KH Homme, the prolific Lagerfeld's new fragrance. Expected at the lavish do are Arletta and Don Tronstein, Ginny and Henry Mancini, Nancy and Alan Livingston, Kalef Alaton, Joni and Clark Smith, Don Livingston, Judy and Richard Rosenzweig, Carol and Ron Smith, and Andrea Van de Kamp.
PREMIERE PARTY--Wendy and Leonard Goldberg act as honorary hosts when the Guild for Cystic Fibrosis screens "Alex, the Life of a Child," at the MGM Culver City Studios next Wednesday. Based on the book by Frank Deford about the life and death of his daughter, a victim of cystic fibrosis, the ABC movie will air April 21. Stars Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia are expected, as are Robert Wagner, Jill St. John, Drew Barrymore and Ally Sheedy.