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Stars Play Tennis to Help Feed the Hungry

September 20, 1987|RUTH RYON | Times Staff Writer

Actors Dennis Weaver and Rene Enriquez head a contingent of about two dozen celebrities who will participate today in the grand opening of an apartment complex in Woodland Hills.

Why, you ask? Because the stars are putting on a tennis tournament there to benefit LIFE, an organization that feeds Greater L. A.'s hungry.

Weaver, whose new show, "Buck James, M.D." just started on ABC, is president of LIFE, and Enriquez, a regular on NBC's "Hill Street Blues" for seven years before it was canceled (he's working on a "Perry Mason" show now), is one of LIFE's big supporters.

Weaver doesn't play tennis, but Enriquez, who is the tourney's official host, will be on the courts along with Jack Scalia of "Dallas," singer Mary Wilson, Ted Lange of "The Love Boat," Lou Ferrigno of "The Incredible Hulk," Mexican film actor Jorge Rivero, Dorian Harewood (who stars in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket"), Pat Petersen of "Knots Landing" and Delta Burke of "Designing Women."

The six-court center is just part of the 1,279-unit Warner Center Apartments built by CoastFed Properties on Canoga Avenue at Burbank Boulevard. The public is invited to watch the tournament, take part in an auction for one of tennis champ Martina Navratilova's rackets and visit the model apartments, open daily along with the leasing office, staffed by Mayer Management, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monthly rents are $800-$1,375.)

Admission to seating for the tennis tourney will be a can of food. Opening ceremonies are at 11 a.m., and Councilwoman Joy Picus will help give out the awards at 5 p.m.

Now that the Pope has left L. A., the next luminaries expected to hit town are King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, who will be welcomed in City Council chambers Sept. 30.

And where will the monarchs stay? The same quarters frequented by the Reagans, George Bush, President Li and Madame Jamei of China, and Elton John.

It's the Plaza Suite at the Century Plaza Hotel, which rents for $3,000 a night plus tax. It's supposed to be the city's highest-priced hotel digs, but look at what the guests get: the whole top floor of a 30-story tower, 4,000 square feet of living space and a balcony, custom-made rugs, raw-silk walls, bleached-wood floors, Ming china, Italian etchings, a dining room that can seat 12, a canopy bed in the master bedroom, marble baths with spas, a steam room with two telephones--and lots of security. The suite even has a private elevator.

"I don't believe there are too many hotel suites around like this with bullet-proof glass in what seems like an ivory tower," hotel publicist Georgianne Francisco said. "Our security consciousness was particularly elevated when building the tower because of the many repeat visits of the President of the United States."

VIPs staying in the suite also get a chocolate treat from the hotel's chef, but so far, just what that treat will be for the Spanish couple has not been determined. For Elton John, it was a chocolate piano.

There are also plans to serve some Spanish food and wines in the hotel's restaurants during the two-day royal visit, and a reception will be held there Sept. 30, by invitation only.

Another event by-invitation only: a champagne reception Monday evening in Santa Barbara to mark a donation to the University Art Museum of architectural drawings by the late John Woolf, architect--like the late Wallace Neff--to the rich and famous of Hollywood's early days.

Just a few of Woolf's clients: Lillian Gish, Mae West, Ray Milland, Cary Grant, Fanny Brice and Judy Garland.

It's across the street from the La Brea Tar Pits and a block west of the $165-million Wilshire Courtyard office plaza, which opened in August. It is a three-story office building at 5828 Wilshire Blvd., and it will be auctioned Wednesday at 1 p.m. by Marsh Dozar Auctioneers, which expects a buyer to pay $1 million to $2 million. A before-auction glimpse of the inside can be gotten Monday from noon to 2 p.m.

Film director Ronald F. Maxwell ("Little Darlings," "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," "Kidco") and his wife, screenwriter/actress Victoria Whitney, have moved from New York City to Hope Ranch Park, where they bought a two-acre home with a four-bedroom colonial/ranch-style house.

Paul O'Keeffe, who handled the transaction, said, "Their film industry friends suggested that they look for a house in the Santa Barbara area, and when the Maxwells and their son and daughter saw Hope Ranch with its miles of white, sandy beach, where they can even ride horses, that decided it."

Fortunately, Maxwell needn't drive to Los Angeles every day. "He can have story conferences up here," O'Keeffe explained. Maxwell's latest project, "Killer Angels," is a feature film based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on the Battle of Gettysburg.

The home sold for close to the $899,000 asking price.

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