Just when the incumbent President thought it was safe to go into the bookstores, here comes another former Cabinet member getting ready to pen his memoirs of the Reagan years. Former Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger has signed with William Morris Agency co-chairman Norman Brokaw for a book that he'll begin after a short vacation.
Brokaw also represents former White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan, whose book for Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich is due out this fall. And he represents former White House Press Secretary Larry Speakes, who has a book for Scribner due this year.
Look for Weinberger to be showing up on TV (perhaps a similar deal to the one Brokaw made for Regan, who can be caught on NBC's "Today" show every Tuesday morning and heard daily on network radio). Amazing that the Reagan White House--certainly the most close-mouthed in recent history--is producing a lot of graduates ready to write all.
FLYING DOWN TO RIO--The Silver Lake neighborhood that's home to the private club Helena's was more crammed than usual with limos Saturday night, as producer Allan Carr decided to cure the January blues for the Hollywood rich and well-known with a "Carnival" party.
The invite supposedly stressed dressing for Brazil--which would usually give this crowd a chance to turn out in everything but a rubber plantation. Somehow the theme didn't quite catch on with most of the guests--but, say, who cares when everybody's having a swell time.
Dyan Cannon looked spiffy in a short white leather cowgirl outfit with high white boots, and she (as well as Michelle Phillips and Joanna Carson) recorded every table-hopping minute with their own little cameras.
Barbara Davis wore a blue Scassi (it did have ruffles and is probably what very fashionable ladies wear in Rio). Pat Gelbart had a fruit salad headdress on, a la Carmen Miranda, but with a homey touch of Gelson's. A small banana hung past one ear, as she told Milton Berle (in a suit) how she got her first hole-in-one golfing with her comedy-writer husband, Larry, at Canyon Country Club on Thursday.
In red, Alana Stewart looked great. (There was a little whispered chat among her solicitous friends who wondered how she was bearing up with the departure of Sylvester Stallone, now seeing constant deb Cornelia Guest.) In costume also, two apparent fire marshals (replete with helmets) were checking to see if the hip hangout was oversubscribed.
Host Allan Carr wandered about during the long cocktail hour, his hand filled with place cards, decrying the fact that some of his guests had fallen victim to the flu and bemoaning the problems of seating 140 people. Passing by: Wendy Stark, wearing several of the necklaces she said she throws from the float she rides in the New Orleans "Iris" Mardi Gras parade, and, on her belt, two rubber monkeys who revealed their unmentionables when given a squeeze.
Only a few guests kept to the dress code. Marsha Mason was sedate in a PTA-style skirt and blouse, Sidney and Joanna Poitier eschewed costumes, Cynthia Sykes' great figure still showed up in a simple suit, and interior designer Maxine Smith looked South American glamorous, with her black hair slicked straight back. (Gary Smith and she are back from Palm Springs and the opening of the Bob Hope Cultural Center, and he soon does the "People's Choice Awards" with Dwight Hemion.)
Most of the women left their major jewels at home, but Jolene Schlatter had a rhumba-stopping black-and-white dress on and a diamond necklace. George Schlatter was in a blazer: "If I were in Brazil, this is what I would wear." He reminded his table that he produced the Frontier Hotel show in 1954 that starred Ronald Reagan. "For two weeks he was a smash--doing pretty much the same act he's doing now."
Producer Chuck Fries was ecstatic about his new hour series for ABC, "Supercarrier," which he was describing as a kind of "Top Gun" story. Ava Fries was happy she was so thin, on a diet which she said was "love and stress."
Before dinner, the audience gathered to watch a short, rather risque floor show, featuring a man in tight leather pants and two statuesque women with headdresses and little else. The very slim Ruth Berle, watching her husband whisper to Dyan Cannon, announced: "I think he's saying, 'I had a wife like that once.' "
Dinner was Brazilian, or at least there was some kind of spicy chicken and black beans and everybody ate it up and it was served late, just like they do in Rio.
Around the room--Coastal Commissioner Mark Nathanson, his close buddy Dani Jansen, Freddie and Janet De Cordova (in a bolero-jacketed dress), Wanda and Al Ruddy, Pam and Tom Korman, Ginny and Henry Mancini.
Music producer David Foster said he would probably be doing the music for "Short Circuit II," produced by the other David Foster, and so the credits could read, "David Foster, no relation."
Other interesting mentions: Friends say Richard Cohen and Linda Evans are once again an item. George Hamilton showed off his new, shorter haircut.