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Marylouise Oates

Ferraro Goes Shopping for a TV Agent

December 18, 1987|Marylouise Oates

Geraldine Ferraro may be back in the public spotlight quicker than you can say Gary Hart. Seems the former vice-presidential candidate tells friends she's shopping for an agent to launch her on a television commentating career. . . .

Rep. Tony Beilenson, who represents a chunk of Los Angeles that includes Encino, West Los Angeles and West Hollywood, won't be running unopposed for the Democratic nomination next June. It appears a certain gay political activist, who expects to announce in January, also expects heavy support from the gay and liberal communities. . . .

Democratic Assemblyman John Burton is firming up plans to head back to Sacramento, this time (he hopes) taking over the assembly seat that will be vacated when Art Agnos is sworn in as San Francisco mayor in January. Gov. Deukmejian will call a special election for April and the run-off (if necessary) will happen in June. . . .

Looks like there won't be a congressman from Long Beach, now that Rep. Dan Lungren is off to be state treasurer. Assemblyman Gerald Felando of Torrance has apparently scared off Long Beach Assemblyman Dennis Brown. Felando will be running for the GOP nomination against Orange County Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder (who will be remembered in L.A. from her days as a deputy to former Mayor Sam Yorty).

PREMIERE MADNESS--"Well, it was mercifully short."

That cryptic comment followed the premiere of Goldie Hawn's "Overboard," not a crowd thriller for the annual Cedars-Sinai Women's Guild premiere bash. But then, it's the party (and the money raised) that counts, isn't it?

December is always the time for two major movie money-raisers--each this year netting $500,000--one run by the super volunteers of the Women's Guild, the other the premiere party for Saint John's Hospital, a one-woman show put together by Judy Ovitz.

Women's Guild president Marcia Koch said that once again the Women's Guild party, held last Tuesday night, was sold out, despite the stock market shakiness that is affecting charities throughout the city. "I think we might be the only charity not affected by the stock market and by the change in federal tax laws," she said, adding that she had been talking to several heads of major charities and they were all feeling the pinch.

For Koch and for Ovitz, it's been full-time jobs for the past six months, pulling together the glitzy evenings. Ovitz also served this year as dinner co-chair with Joanne Carson for the Women's Guild premiere, even though it was only a week after her own spectacular.

Getting a film for a premiere is no easy job, even though lots of members of the Women's Guild have connections into the movie industry--and Ovitz is the wife of agent Mike Ovitz.

"It's still tough getting a film," Judy Ovitz explained, having done "Ghostbusters" and "Out of Africa" in past years. As she pointed out, the studio, the director, and the producers all have certain charities that they or their wives support.

The lavish evening that Saint John's put on, Ovitz said, was paid for in part by Warner Bros. (whose film it is). Along Came Mary did the catering, for a meal which ended a walk down several blocks of red carpeting between the theater and a tent in a UCLA parking lot.

The list of sponsors for the event, Ovitz said, had gotten so lengthy this year that the tickets were sold without an invitation.

And the stock market? "There was a difference because of the crash. Very definitely," Ovitz said. "It was much harder, not in the sale of tickets, but in that people were afraid to be as generous as they were in past years. . . . Studios and corporations will buy tables no matter what. But it was the extras and the extra donations. It took longer. They were generous but not as willing as in years past."

Koch insisted that this year there was no effect on the Women's Guild premiere. More than 1,200 tickets to the premiere and supper party were sold, the tickets for the film going for $250-a-person, the tickets for the supper going for $50. (Of course, the catch is that one must buy a ticket to the theater in order to go to the supper party.)

And go people did. Harriet and Armand Deutsch had two tables that simply summed up Hollywood. Barbara and Marvin Davis, Betty and Bill Wilson, Nancy and Alan Livingston, Beverly Sassoon with Arnold Klein, a very pretty Giney Milner--all chatting and having a great time while eating steak sandwiches and apple pie a la mode.

Most people, Koch explained, bought tickets to both parts of the evening, even though the party started after 10 p.m. The premiere co-chairs were the extraordinary Carolyn Blywise, Nancy Rosenbloom and an out-of-town Fran Stark.

The parties have to be slightly spectacular themselves, everybody agrees, since both evenings are in the spotlights of the entertainment industry and of the social world.

And for the studios, isn't this a great way to set off a film?

Maybe yes. Maybe no. As one exec explained, setting a date for the premiere means that the studio is locked into that time, and that a great deal of energy has to be expended to make the evening a success from the studio's viewpoint.

But, hey, this is show business.

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