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YEAR IN REVIEW / 1996

The Year In Quotes : Two Michaels And Only One Mickey

December 29, 1996

"It's working fantastically. We've been having a lot of fun. We're doing everything together because I'm trying to learn Disney's business. The first 100 days have been one of the most FANTASTIC experiences of my life."

--Michael Ovitz (Vanity Fair, March)

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"Michael Ovitz is the Antichrist, and you can quote me on that."

--NBC West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer on Michael Ovitz (Time, April 15

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"Apparently, Don Ohlmeyer thinks more highly of Mike Ovitz than I do."

--Ovitz adversary David Geffen (cited in the Chicago Tribune, Nov. 15)

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"It's what we sit around talking about all day. The betting is it's like 'The Godfather Part II.' You've got Hyman Roth, who says he's going to die and pass it all to Michael Corleone. But in fact it turns out that Hyman Roth thinks he's going to live forever; he isn't going to give Michael Corleone anything, and in fact ends up trying to kill Michael Corleone."

--anonymous Disney staffer on Ovitz and Michael Eisner (Vanity Fair, December)

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"We've talked about a two-year learning curve. . . . I probably know about 1% of what I need to know."

--Michael Ovitz, appearing on "Larry King Live" with Eisner (Sept. 30)

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"It's a lot of money for what apparently was a mistake."

--executive compensation expert Graef Crystal, who helped design Ovitz's contract for Disney, on the reported $90 million or more Ovitz will receive in severance pay for his 14 months on the job (L.A. Times, Dec. 13)

OH, SONY BOYS

"There's opportunity for me here."

--Mark Canton, suggesting the dismissal of ally Michael Schulhof last December might have improved his prospects at Sony (Los Angeles magazine, February)

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"I don't feel defensive at all. When you look at us, we're really a better company. We're coming off a wonderful ending to 1995 and a great beginning to '96. All the negative media stuff is going to be far in the past by the time we're through here."

--since-deposed Sony Pictures chief Mark Canton (Los Angeles, February)

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"I don't want to redecorate the office."

--what new Sony Pictures chief John Calley is said to have told his Japanese bosses, shocking and delighting them (Newsweek, Oct. 14)

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"Who wants to be the person to direct the first Jim Carrey movie that doesn't make over $100 million?"

--"Cable Guy" director Ben Stiller, all too presciently (Us, June)

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"The fights were totally in their faces. It was in front of the entire cast and crew. They fought over dialogue, scenes, script and even wardrobe. The director would say, 'I'm the director! What are you doing? You have to do this!' She'd be, like, 'You don't know anything! You should have read the script before you signed on to it!' Then they would go to their trailers and call their agents."

--unnamed visitor to the set of Sony's "Excess Baggage," on fights between producer-star Alicia Silverstone, whom Sony awarded a two-picture, $8-million production deal, and director Marco Brambilla (L.A. Times, Oct. 30)

DON SIMPSON

"He died of spiritual suicide."

--Simpson pal Dawn Steel (Premiere, April)

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"He succeeded at everything he ever tried to do, and he'd been trying to do this for a long time."

--Simpson friend Rob Cohen (ibid.)

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"Don was a guy who spoke very, very highly about a man he really loathed. Which was himself."

--Cohen (ibid.)

MEDIA & PRIVACY

"He asked me, 'What are you doing talking to the media?' I said, 'How else am I supposed to know you got married? You sure didn't tell me.' "

--fitness trainer Deya Pichardo, describing a call from Daniel Day-Lewis, who she believed was still her boyfriend until the press reported his marriage to Rebecca Miller (New York Daily News, Dec. 3)

PRIDE AND COWARDICE

"I have never acted naked in my whole career, and it's not now that I'm fat that I'm going to start."

--John Travolta, on refusing to do a nude scene for the aborted production of "The Double" (Paris Match)

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"I've got to show my goodies."

--Demi Moore, on her $12-million role in "Striptease" (People, May 6)

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"No, Robin is a heterosexual. The reason he has sideburns and an earring is because he's a circus performer. And the nipples? It never occurred to me not to have nipples on the Batsuit. I'm going to put them on Alicia Silverstone's Batgirl suit too. It's an equal-opportunity movie."

--director Joel Schumacher, on insinuations that Batman and Robin bear some resemblance to "SNL's" Ambiguously Gay Duo (Us, June)

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"Shaq did a kids' movie. That's not acting. I can do that with my damn eyes closed. . . . I want to do a drama, something that's going to fulfill my mind. But an action movie's good for me to start off. Once that's a big hit, the next one will be something serious. And if these other things work out, and if I have other offers, I'm going to say the hell with basketball."

--Dennis Rodman (Entertainment Weekly, Sept. 13)

AGING

"The age I'm at now, you go from being a young girl to suddenly, really, you blossom into a woman. You ripen, you know? And then you start to rot."

--Liv Tyler (Us, June)

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