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Whoopi Gets Downsized to Help a Worthy Cause

October 27, 2000|MICHAEL QUINTANILLA | TIMES FASHION WRITER

Last year, believe it or not, Cher was auctioned for $15,000. The year before, Elizabeth Taylor fetched a whopping $25,000. And the year before that, Demi Moore went for $12,000.

We're not talking dream dates, here. We're talking dollars for dolls--Barbie-sized divas, all one-of-a-kind Mattel Inc. creations that will soon be joined by a mini-me version of Whoopi Goldberg.

At 13 1/2 inches tall, the doll will be auctioned Saturday at Dream Halloween, a fund-raiser at Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hangar for the Los Angeles-based Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, which provides direct care and services for kids throughout the country.

Hussein Abbo, a Mattel sculptor, completed the Whoopi doll in one month with help from Sheila Kyaw, who painted the doll's face, and Janet Schriever, also a designer, who spent 12 hours twisting synthetic hair into dreadlocks. Then the doll was decked out in black linen coveralls over two layered T-shirts, slouchy socks and buckskin oxfords.

"When we met with Whoopi, she was dressed in that outfit," Abbo said. The actress posed for photos last summer on the beach behind her Malibu home. Abbo later used the images to sculpt the doll, coined "Malibu Whoopi."

He recently showed Goldberg the finished product. "She told us she liked it" and then turned the doll upside down to check out one final detail. "She was curious to know if the shoe's company name [Simple] was etched into the soles, like the real shoes she had on at the time." It was. "And then she smiled that smile and gave the doll her blessing."

For tickets or donations to CAAF, call (310) 201-5033.

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