How perfect. A party celebrating the publication of a book about rich people--and crowded with, what else, rich people.
"It's fun to write about the rich," author Judith Green ("Sometimes Paradise") said Monday night, while around her in Spago's Garden Room sprinted pizza-bearing waiters. "The rich love to read about rich people," she explained, "and if the characters are 'bad rich,' they don't see themselves, they see their friends."
Ah friends. Roddy McDowall (rakish in a blazer, turtleneck and Hermes scarf) chatted with Connie Wald about the loss of their close friend, culture doyenne Olive Behrendt: "No one ever had so many friends, so many different kinds of people as friends." Perennial deb Cornelia Guest explained that author Green was "not a second mother. She'd kill me if I said that. A big sister." Guest, in a puffy pink dress, said she'd moved operations to Benedict Canyon, as she was spending time studying acting.
Artist David Hockney explained away the half-buttoned fly on his white cotton pants by quoting from 17th-Century poet Robert Herrick's "Delight in Disorder":
"A careless shoestring, in whose tie I see a wild civility, Do more bewitch me than when art is too precise in every part." (And you thought all they did at these parties was eat pizza and get their pictures taken.)
The constantly promoting Swifty Lazar, making his way to a camera crew set up beyond the French doors, announced to Dorothy Ullman that, "You ought to be running U.S. Steel--in the good days." What she does do is "run" Frank Sinatra--who employs her as personal assistant.
And, along with friends, there were "the rich." The glamorous Sandy Moss zipped in, back from New York and the task of choosing the replacement for Geraldine Page in "Blithe Spirit." Up for the role: Maureen Stapleton and Shelley Winters. Janet and Freddie De Cordova stopped Joan Quinn outside the door. Arriving late, they thought they might have missed the event. Quinn, ever on the search for trends, had picked up a new throwaway paper and kiddingly asked them if they ever read it. "One of our favorites," said De Cordova, whose sense of humor is why he is still exec producer of Johnny Carson after all these years. (Quinn, whose arm was crowded with those signature Cartier watches, checked the time by looking at a Pop Swatch watch attached to her briefcase.)
Looking very thin, Wendy Stark arrived late. Also arriving late-ish were Gregory Peck, Alana Stewart, Ali MacGraw, author Jackie Collins and her hubby Oscar Lerman, and producer David Niven Jr.
Looking just fine after the nuptials of their son (and arriving properly prompt) were Tuck and Chardee Trainer, a friend of the author. Looking glamorous, Angie Dickinson and Ruth Berle, the latter announcing to the Trainers that if a hotel had "decent bathrooms and room service, what else could you want?"
Spago proper was sprinkled with stars (kinda like pepperoni on the more plebeian pizzas). Settling down for dinner with the family were David and Gloria Wolper. What was the Liberty Weekend maestro going to do this July 4? He's replacing fireworks and Lady Liberty with a screening of "Full Metal Jacket"--then it's off to France. (At least he'll be there for Bastille Day.) And, hosting Glen Campbell were Muriel and Abe Lipsey.
By the way, the method to successful writing is just banging it out on an old Remington Standard, according to author Green. She said that Nick Dunne had persuaded her to spend $7,000 on a complete word processor and now kidded her that not only didn't she use it, but she'd probably forgotten how to turn it on.
Hey, as long as she turns on the stars, who's worrying.
LADIES LUNCH--By gosh, the Bistro Garden captured the ladies' lunch market Monday. There were Bunny Wrather and Marion Jorgensen chatting with the Beverly Wilshire's Helen Chaplin. Celebrating Nancy Vreeland's birthday were her glamorous mom, Ruth March, Joan Hotchkis, Lynda Palevsky.