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ANN CONWAY

Mamie Van Doren Has a New Look, New Book

September 01, 1989|ANN CONWAY

The new Mamie Van Doren--face and spirits lifted--will join guests aboard the yacht Crystal on Wednesday when the United Cerebral Palsy Assn. stages a reception for its donors.

Van Doren, the '50s bombshell who holes up with her hubby, Tom Dixon, in Newport Beach, won't elaborate on the surgery that has her looking like a baby boomer instead of a "woman of a certain age."

"I'd like to put the surgery in the past," she said, adding that she searched far and wide for the "perfect surgeon," even contemplated using "Jean-Paul (Lintilhac), the French doctor in Tahiti who did Joan Collins and Sophia Loren."

"But I didn't want to go all the way to Tahiti so I decided on Dr. George Brennan of Newport Beach. On a good day, a day when I'm really rested, I can pass for a woman in her mid-30s."

Besides stepping out in Newport to raise cerebral palsy funds aboard builder Bobby Cornelius' 123-foot yacht, the actress is taking strides in other directions. She's working on a second book, a novel set in Hollywood, something she says she "knows a lot about." (Her first was a titillating, autobiographical tell-all called "Playing the Field.")

"Putnam had an option for a second book. And the first one did so well, in the six figures, they asked me to do another one," she said.

She's collaborating with her writer-husband on the new book, a murder-mystery about a character she calls Eleanor Brentwood. "She's quite a gal. I have a mind that fantasizes a lot, so I have to be careful or people will . . ." Van Doren's voice trailed off. "Let's just say it's about someone's life between the '50s and the '80s."

Also on the horizon: a November trip to Paris, where she'll promote "Playing the Field." And a hoped-for encounter with Brigitte Bardot. "It might be difficult to see her. I hear Brigitte has become a bit of a recluse. But I'm going to scoot down to St. Tropez to see if she'll let me in."

And she's tentatively planning a road tour of "The Seven Year Itch" with Mickey Rooney. "An agent asked me about it, and Mickey is interested," she said. "It would be fun. Marilyn did it, you know."

Georgia on their minds: L.A. Rams owner Georgia Frontiere was absent from her suite at Anaheim Stadium on Saturday when her team squashed the Minnesota Vikings, 24-14. She was at the Wilshire Ebell Club in Los Angeles singing at a benefit for the Viennese Cultural Club. (Yes, the beautiful blonde who is the Rams' favorite cheerleader has the soprano voice of an angel. And insiders think she would perform at a local bash if the time and the charity were right. Are you listening, entertainment chairwomen?)

Stadium caterers spoil Frontiere's guests, even when she's not around. Before kickoff, the pals using her suite--including Maureen Reagan (with husband Dennis Revell), Mary and Jim Roosevelt and the Rev. Robert H. Schuller--filled their plates from a buffet of goodies that included chili dogs with all the trimmings, taquitos, lasagne and New York cheesecake, strawberry chocolate cake and do-it-yourself sundaes. (Not to mention the fresh peach and strawberry margaritas or the boxes of Cracker Jack, the zillion packages of M&M's and enough buttered popcorn for an entire season.)

The buzz during halftime: Will Frontiere marry her current flame, builder Earle Weatherwax of the San Fernando Valley? And when? "It's not something to wonder about," said an insider who knows. "It's something wonderful . They're very close. She's been dating him for over a year. They're romantically involved. It doesn't go beyond that."

But with all the talk about Weatherwax, Frontiere still has a place in her heart for her late husband and former owner of the L.A. Rams, Carroll Rosenbloom. His picture has a prominent place in her 50-yard-line suite.

Also on the scene: Ken Khachigian (the San Clemente lawyer who has written speeches for Nixon, Reagan and Quayle); Carol and Henry Schielein, vice president and general manager of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dana Point; Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates; Orange County Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez; Fortune 500 businessman John Crean, and Orange County Republican Chairman Tom Fuentes.

Social scoop: Watch for the new Harbor Club in Newport Beach to stage one of the splashiest grand openings ever in November. Dick Stevens, a co-founder of the Balboa Bay Club, is the manager of the new yacht club. And Stevens has a reputation for giving big-budget bashes. The theme will be "Bring Back the Old Newport Fun," and the party will feature food and popular music from the '40s to the '80s. Who will be invited? The who's who of the yachting world in Orange County, that's who. The club's board of governors includes yachtsman Bill Ficker, restaurateur Jim Dale and Forbes 400 developer George Argyros.

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