Kathie Lee Lives! Regis's Ex Does Hollywood, But She Ain't Comin' Back
Looking like a very sexy vision in Dolce and Gabbana, Kathie Lee Gifford made the most of her Hollywood visit last week. She was without hubby Frank Gifford or her kids, and she was having the time of her life.
She filmed an episode of Just Shoot Me in which she and co-star David Spade go at it hammer and tong. There are sparks, and then some. She may do more episodes. How was the first day of rehearsal?
"A ball," she said. "I loved it!"
The former morning-show co-host also has her E! movie of the week coming very soon in which she plays a witchy Tinseltown diva.
But she's not coming back to Live with Regis and Kelly — not even as a fill-in during the new co-host's maternity leave.
"I'd do it," she told me, "and the ratings would go through the roof. But there are people there so mad at me for leaving they would never consider it or ask me back."
Does she mean Regis?
"No, not Reege. Others," she said, rolling her eyes.
Indeed, Kathie Lee — who has also popped up on an infomercial on late-night TV for a skin care product — had dinner about three weeks ago in Connecticut with Regis, Joy, and Frank. It went very well, she told me.
"It was a little weird, but okay," she said.
I am told by some spies that Kathie Lee suggested at one point that Live! hire her replacement for three weeks out of every four, and that Kathie Lee herself would do the fourth week every month. But that doesn't look like it's in the cards.
Kathie Lee, of course, was a guest at the Barbra Streisand tribute for the American Film Institute. This very star-studded event will be broadcast by Fox Entertainment sometime soon. But don't ask me — corporate synergy didn't mean much to the diplomacy- challenged publicist involved. Luckily, I went as a guest of someone else.
Nevertheless, Streisand got some grand treatment. Maybe that's because she orchestrated it, coming in early to direct her entrance. Somehow all the tables and the stage were decorated to Barbra's taste too — all real Tiffany lamps on the 300 tables and a living room set lifted right from her house!
And the stars: Jack Nicholson with Lara Flynn Boyle, Shirley MacLaine, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Joan Collins, Liz Taylor, Sidney Poitier, Kris Kristofferson, Anjelica Huston with husband Robert Graham, Lauren Bacall with super-agent Johnnie Planco, Jeff Bridges, a very svelte and happy-looking Ryan O'Neal, Dustin Hoffman, Fatal Attraction star Anne Archer, Variety gossip columnist Army Archerd and wife Selma, popular AFI director Jean Firstenburg, and of course Barbra's husband James Brolin and son Jason Gould.
Not in attendance: any of Streisand's family, such as her sister Roslyn Kind, or her mother. No Elliott Gould or Jon Peters, either. But sitting at an adjacent table, and clearly part of Barbra's posse, her old flame, songwriter Richard Baskin. (He's the Baskin & Robbins heir, so maybe that's a good reason to stay friends, huh?)
Seated at another table: oil magnate/billionaire Marvin Davis and wife Barbara, along with Don Rickles and his wife. Rickles is coming to Atlantic City in April, so look out!
I also spotted Michele Lee's husband, producer Fred Rapoport, who just had a very best-selling video over the Christmas holiday with a new video version of the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." It's a new holiday classic. (Michele, of course, is in New York playing to sold out houses every night with Linda Lavin and Tony Roberts in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. She'll be in the Best Supporting Actress category come time for Tonys.)
Kristofferson, in full gray beard for Planet of the Apes, told me: "I know I look homeless now." He was with daughter Tracy, a knockout, who's married to actor Richard Tyson. He also said he was making a film in which he reunites with Leelee Sobieski (they were in A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries).
Anne Archer, a devout Scientologist, gave me the fisheye when I asked about Tom and Nicole. "I'm sure they sought counseling," she said. Well, their publicist says they didn't. Who knows? We did say nice things about her mother, though. Film and TV legend (who isn't and wasn't a Scientologist, btw) Marjorie Lord played Danny Thomas's wife on the old, very wonderful Make Room for Daddy show.
My favorite part of the night: Barbra's regal entrance, in which she, Brolin, and extra-cheerful Jason entered, did a tour of the room including air kissing strangers and embracing whoever, then ascending, it seemed, to her spot in the room. It was somewhere between the rabbi walking the Torah through the High Holiday crowd and the president arriving for the State of the Union. I didn't stay for the fitting of the tiara or the wild boar toss, but I hear they were great!