Published April 04, 2001
Burt and Loni | Sarandon, Pullman Snared by First-Time Director | Denise Rich's Daughter Puts On 'Freak Show' | Post-Oscar Tally: Night Of 100 'Has-Beens' Gets Laughs | Don't Talk to the Civilians — Our Motto | Spin Spins Our Brad Pitt Item
Burt, Loni Pulling Teeth As Divorced Parents
I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of Loni Anderson's pals in Hollywood this past weekend. Seems Loni and ex-husband Burt Reynolds are still far from being friends. But they have a 12-year-old son in common, Quinton, so every once in a while Reynolds comes out to L.A. from Florida to see him.
Last week, according to the friend, Quinton needed four teeth pulled at the dentist. Seems Burt is not as macho as we might think. "He was too scared to take him," said the friend. "So Loni's boyfriend, Peter, took him instead."
Anderson has been enjoying some TV success lately with a current commercial, according to the friend. Reynolds has been sticking close to Florida. They do not see each other unless it has something to do with Quinton, whom the couple adopted in 1989. Anderson has a grown daughter from a first marriage, and granddaughters "who look just like her," says our source. Reynolds has no other kids.
Let's not ever say that connections don't get you somewhere in Hollywood.
How else could a first-time director/writer with no real credits to his name get Susan Sarandon, Claire Danes, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum to star in his film?
Burr Steers, who happens to be the nephew of famed writer Gore Vidal, is the man in question. I am told he's named Burr as in Aaron Burr, famously the subject of uncle Gore's historical writing.
Steers is right now steering this austere group, as well as Kieran Culkin, Amanda Peet and our pal the talented Jared Harris in a film he wrote called Igby Goes Down.
According to Variety, the movie is described as concerning a dysfunctional family. Sarandon plays the pill-popping mother. Pullman, who's been looking for a juicy part, plays a schizophrenic according to my sources.
So how do you get an Academy-Award winning actress to headline your first film? It helps that Sarandon and Gore Vidal have been friends for 30 years — which is probably longer than Burr has been alive — ever since she starred in an off-Broadway play which Vidal wrote and produced circa 1972 called An Evening With Richard Nixon.
A footnote question to this item concerns Claire Danes, who went off to Yale University two years ago but seems to have been derailed. She had planned to take a semester off to film Jodie Foster's movie, but when that didn't work out, Danes went into Stephen Daldry's The Hours. Now she's segued into Igby.
Maybe the impending Writers Guild strike will be a blessing in disguise for her. If she goes back, she could meet Willem Dafoe's son, currently a freshman at Yale.
Last night's fashion show by Denise Rich's daughter Ilona was a wash-out, according to sources. The show, which was supposed to be Ilona Malka's debut, did not draw any of Rich's old celebrity friends from before the scandal involving her ex-husband Marc (who is Ilona's father) and President Bill Clinton.
The clothes didn't get very high marks either.
"It seemed like a mental patient escaped and designed a line of clothes," said one observer. "Long dresses from the 19th century made with corduroy and pictures with little stars, very freaky."
Local society teens Paris and Nikki Hilton were among those who modeled the outfits, but the show did not draw anyone but low-level society types.
"It was all losers," said a source. "I didn't recognize anyone."
Ilona Malka is among the many members of Denise Rich's extended family who donated money to the political campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Rudy Giuliani, and the Democratic National Committee.
For Denise, the timing could not have been worse. The U.S. Attorney's office in New York is still investigating her role in Pardongate.
During her reign as the Peg Bundy of Fifth Avenue, Denise hosted dozens of wildly expensive parties that drew all kinds of A-list names like Barbara Walters, Geraldo Rivera, and Larry King. There's nothing worse in this town than being a social pariah.
The Oscar party you never hear about is really getting razzed this year.
Canadian clothing-company owner Peter Nygard, who operates tax-free out of the Bahamas, stages the annual Night of 100 Stars in the ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel simultaneously with the Oscar broadcast.
But the show has become known as "Night of 100 Has-Beens," which TV Guide Online dubbed it this year. Indeed, this party has developed a kitsch reputation for attracting actors who you thought were dead, used to be on bad TV shows, and can't get work even at Fatburger. We won't name names, but you can imagine who some of the suspects might be.
Thanks to TV Guide Online, by the way, for crediting this column with our Barbra Streisand/VH-1 scoop. Nice guys and gals over there!
The Los Angeles Times' new gossip columnist Ann O'Neill had a funny story on Tuesday. She said that Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe were guided out of the Oscar show by a "burly handler" who told them not to speak to the "civilians" — meaning fans — and that they gave their terrific Academy pop-up book about film-making to a security guard.
I must confess, as I did to O'Neill on Tuesday morning, that this reporter was the "burly handler." Gosh, I don't know how I like that description!
Anyway, Lowe and Swank and I did walk out together. Hilary wanted to give the book to a fan, but the crowd was pretty hysterical, it was quite dark in the spot where we exited, and I did advise her, jokingly, to stay away from the "civilians." A security guard did indeed get the book, and a valet from the parking service got mine for being so cooperative and helpful.
So much for my brush with fame! As for civilians — we love 'em, and we love their e-mails too! Can't live without 'em!
But apparently not everyone likes to give credit. So today, by accident, Page Six picked up an item credited to someone named Mark Spitz (I assume not the Olympic swimmer) from Spin Magazine.
This Spitz announces that Brad Pitt wants to play late singer Jeff Buckley in a movie based on David Browne's current book, Dream Brother. No kidding — we told you that on February 9th. Mr. Spitz must be a fox411 fan!