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Morning Report

November 01, 1994|ART BERMAN | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press


Santa vs. Santa: Disney was far from amused by a prank that 20th Century Fox pulled during Disney's press junket for one of its big upcoming holiday releases. Dozens of entertainment journalists from all over the world were brought in for an advance look at Disney's new movie, "The Santa Clause," and interviews with star Tim Allen and others. But while the scribes were out watching the movie on Friday night, it seems elves from Fox were busy at work. Journalists returned to their rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel after seeing the movie to find not only the cookies and milk courtesy of the Disney folks, but gingerbread cookies and turtleneck shirts emblazoned with "Miracle on 34th Street" with a card atop the box signed "Kriss Kringle--the real Santa Claus." Sources said that hotel officials obviously cooperated with Fox's publicity department in facilitating the action, which according to those close to the situation has Disney up in arms. "This really crossed the line," said a source. Disney's movie opens Nov. 11 and Fox's a week later on Nov. 18. On Nov. 6, Fox plans to hold a junket for the John Hughes' adaptation of "Miracle," in which Richard Attenborough plays Santa, at the Four Seasons. Officials from both studios issued no comment. A spokesman for the hotel also declined comment.


Screenwriter Presumed Dead: Kingston, Jamaica, police said Sunday that they feared the body of missing Chicago screenwriter Terrence Runte, 34, an apparent murder victim, had been eaten by sharks and would never be found. Runte, 34, disappeared Oct. 17, just one day after he arrived on the island to research a movie. A suspect, who has not been identified, led investigators to an area known as Shark Rock, east of Port Antonio, where the writer's clothes were found tied to a blood-stained concrete pillar. The suspect is expected to be charged shortly, police said. Runte, who co-wrote "Mystery Date" and "Super Mario Bros.," vanished after night-clubbing.


Noyes & Son, News Producers: Veteran broadcast news producer Pete Noyes was hired at KCBS-TV Channel 2 on Monday, only three days after his son Jack landed a job in the same newsroom. The elder Noyes, who had spent more than 17 years at KNBC-TV Channel 4 and NBC, was named contributing investigative producer. His son will work as an assignment editor, a job he has performed at KCAL-TV Channel 9 and at KNBC.


Yoko Ono's Display: Yoko Ono, widow of murdered Beatles star John Lennon, has plastered the small German town of Langenhagen with backsides. The New York-based artist has put up hundreds of posters depicting an unidentified bottom in the small town near Hanover as part of an art project, Der Spiegel news magazine reported Monday. The posters, entitled "A Celebration of Being Human," have taken the little town by storm. They are being reprinted on shopping bags and post cards and pasted on walls. "Faces can lie. Backsides can't," Ono, 61, told the magazine. "People's faces deceive through makeup, mimicry and false smiles." Ono said she was not aiming to make money through the public exhibition, but hoped to be provocative. "People talk about my pictures. . . . So long as they continue talking about butts, they will not be killing each other."


All-Star Game: Baseball strike or not, a fall classic is shaping up Sunday at noon at UCLA Jackie Robinson Stadium, thanks to two-time Grammy winner Michael Bolton and three-time Most Valuable Player Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants. Big-name major leaguers will play a charity softball game as a prelude to the evening's star-studded Field of Dreams awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. It all benefits charities for women and children sponsored by Bolton and Bonds. Ticket info for the game and black-tie dinner: (310) 289-6381. No tickets will be sold at the stadium. Among those expected to toss the chubby ball: Bonds, Jeff Bagwell of the Houston Astros, Bobby Bonilla of the New York Mets, Jose Canseco of the Texas Rangers, Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners and Mike Piazza of the Dodgers. And among many being honored at the dinner: Joe DiMaggio.


Diane Sawyer, HBO President Michael Fuchs, Merv Griffin, Dan Rather and National Public Radio's Susan Stamberg are among 14 industry figures who will be inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame Monday in New York. . . . Veteran TV newsman Sander Vanocur will host a nightly series of historical motion pictures and miniseries when the History Channel is launched next year. . . . Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" at the Westwood Playhouse has been extended through Jan. 29. . . . Meryl Streep dries off and provides the voice of Jessica, Bart Simpson's love interest, on "The Simpsons" episode airing Sunday on Fox.

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