Susan Keck gave her husband, Bill, a big kiss at the Beastly Ball. No wonder. He'd done just what a good husband should for his wife's pet charity, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn. He bid not once but twice in the animal adoption auction. In fact, he was the night's highest bidder--$30,000 for the cheetah held by adventurous Betty White, who giggled while the large cub pawed her face during the lively auction, and then licked her palm, like a sweet cat.
"What a nice party!" everyone was saying to Helen Maher, while her husband, John, beamed over the gross, tabbed at $452,065. Former Sotheby's auctioneer Peter McCoy brought in high prices--$240,000 on the auction. Giving him lots of financial sympatico were Camron Cooper, Arco's treasurer whose name now will be tagged to a golden lop-eared rabbit; Ed Robinson, who went $7,000 for the desert tortoise; Tom Tellefsen bid $9,000 for the red fox, Lance Erickson $6,500 for the opossum; Virginia Oppenheimer paid $8,500 for the markhor (wild goat), and Mike and Lori Milken $19,000 for the chimpanzee.
Before Rococco's catered hot sand dabs and safari lamb, William Burrows opted for the elephant ride during cocktails, then came down to earth with a spirited group, including Mary and Reece Milner (she's expecting their first child), the Ken Andersons, Dick and Gabby Ross, Doreen and Jim McElvany, Shelby and Shelly Sloane, Terri and Tim Childs, Paul Livadary, Bob and Anne Wycoff, Bruce (Zoo president) and Carol Nasby.
HERITAGE: Young girls in Mexican regalia strewed rose petals on Archbishop Roger M. Mahony as he arrived for the Heritage Ball and Hernando Courtright Memorial Awards at the Beverly Wilshire. Stunning Fiorenza Courtright, in a black and gold-braided Oscar de la Renta gown, bestowed the honors and they went to the creme de la creme --Caroline Leonetti Ahmanson, Palm Springs former mayor Frank M. Bogert, John Bowles (El Padrino of del Pueblo de Los Angeles, following in the footsteps of his friend Hernando); Norma Bowles, past national president of ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists); Judge McIntyre Faries (he served on the executive committees of the Warren, Nixon, Kuchel and Eisenhower campaigns in California and was state chair for the Wendell Wilkie presidential campaign); Laurence (Bill) Lane Jr., former ambassador to Australia; William A. Wilson, former ambassador to The Holy See, and Bernardo M. Yorba, a direct descendant of Jose Antonio Yorba, a member of the Portola Expedition of 1769. Tichi Wilkerson Kassel and Lauro J. Neri co-chaired the Southwest elegance.
PAST PERFECT: Such loyalty. Five of the 1940 class of seven at Catalina Island School were at Toyon Bay on Catalina for the 10th anniversary of the second, and final, closing of the school. (The first was during World War II.) Members of the 1940 class--B.Z. Jones, Ted Willis, Dick Richardson, Coburn Haskell and Hank O'Melveny and alumni by the scores were partying at the Atwater Hotel and viewing their alma mater (now the site of the Catalina Island Marine Institute), playing soccer and picnicking.
PERFECT, TOO: The surprise black-tie birthday party for Ava Fries was hosted by her husband, Chuck, at Chasen's with a wonderful crowd--Ann and Gary Lieberthal, Tova and Ernest Borgnine, Marvin and Barbara Davis, Keith and Bill Kieschnick and Pat Mitchell.
IN MEMORY OF: That dynamic white-haired lady Doris Stein, who cut a glamorous swath on the social scene for so many years, will be remembered Thursday at 4 p.m. at dedication ceremonies for the Doris Stein Eye Research Center on the UCLA campus. It's an $18-million building, and keynoters will include Lew Wasserman, president of the trustees of the Jules Stein Eye Institute; Katrina vanden Heuvel, granddaughter of Jules and Doris; Gerald Oppenheimer, vice president of the Jules and Doris Stein UCLA Support Group. . . .
And at 4 p.m. Wednesday, ground will be broken at Loyola Law School for the six-story Rev. Charles S. Casassa, S.J. Building; also, the Hugh and Hazel Darling Library Pavilion will be dedicated. Both are by Architect Frank O. Gehry. The Casassa Building is named in honor of the late Rev. Casassa, 10th president of LMU. The late Mr. Darling was president of the Los Angeles County Bar Assn.
FANFARE: Anthony Mazzola, editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar, will be in Beverly Hills on Wednesday to hold his Ten Most Beautiful Women party (usually in New York) at the Bistro. It honors Los Angeles photographer Matthew Rolston, who photographed Jodie Foster for the September cover. . . .
Frances Lear, founder of Lear's magazine, will be at Town Hall's podium at noon Wednesday at the Century Plaza Tower. . . .
ON THE BALL: International Tennis Hall of Fame board members Long Ellis, Gerald L. Pasky and William French Smith will host a night of tennis and a buffet to honor Jack Kramer on Thursday at Volvo Tennis/Los Angeles at UCLA. . . .
And Tuesday and Wednesday the Junior League of Los Angeles takes over a block of 200 seats for the men's singles and doubles competition.
ON VIEW: Not everyone will be at the Emmy Awards. But they'll be charity watching. Arsenio Hall and Dick Van Patten host L'Ermitage Hotel's premiere viewing party at the Mondrian today to benefit the Fulfillment Fund and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, and Jill Ireland and Charles Bronson with Hanna-Barbera take over Victor Hugo's in Beverly Hills for Make a Wish Foundation.