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Birthday Bash for Jacko's Dad

Jacko's Dad | Cruise's Mission | 'The Village' | Broadway Stars

Jacko's Dad: Kids, Wife Skip Birthday Bash

Joseph Jackson has a bunch of kids, including two who are really, really famous.

But none of them made an appearance Saturday night at Jackson's birthday party at a private mansion in Las Vegas. Jackson turns 75 today.

The party, sponsored by something called Las Vegas Hollywood magazine, had a guest list of 500 people. There was no sign of any Jackson family member, starting with Joe's wife, Katherine. Also unseen were Michael, Janet, Randy, Jermaine, LaToya, et al.

Paris Hilton was spotted at the bash, which should be some comfort to Mr. Jackson.

"I thought it was kind of funny that it was a birthday party but there was no family there," said one guest who described the party as a publicity event to tout Jackson's "businesses."

As for celebrities, the biggest names I could extract were comedian George Wallace and singer Dawn Robinson of En Vogue fame. Otherwise, the various performers who appeared on the full stage erected at a private mansion were up-and-comers.

My source could not confirm whether a singer Jackson was touting three years ago was in attendance.

"The party was all about Joe Jackson," my source reported. "He was on stage all night."

Last year, Mr. Jackson's birthday party was held at son Michael's Neverland ranch. But according to my source, "the place was trashed and Michael didn't want them back."

Since then, of course, Michael has stayed away from Neverland because of the November 2003 police raid there that led to his arrest on charges of child molestation.

Meantime, Michael and his insiders must be taking some solace in the fact that US Weekly's big scoop about his impending quadruplets appears to have disappeared from tabloid radar.

Jackson's team vehemently denied the story last week, and, just as quickly as US and the National Enquirer fought to claim authorship rights, it died.

So all of you who were buying four of everything from Las Vegas gift shops can breathe a sigh of relief.

Rush Hour Director: Mission Impossible?

Tom Cruise isn't finding it so easy to replace Joe Carnahan as director of "Mission: Impossible 3." Last week Cruise met with "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner in Hollywood with an eye toward bringing him aboard.

But Ratner is in the middle of re-shoots for his Pierce Brosnan-Salma Hayek thriller "After the Sunset" and may not be able to finish them in time to meet Cruise's deadline.

On top of that, Ratner just received word from New Line Cinema to start moving on "Rush Hour 3" with Chris Tucker. You will recall that "Rush Hour 2" was the biggest box-office comedy of all time, so New Line would like to get the sequel ready before the audience is in nursing homes.

Ratner has a busy personal schedule, what with dating tennis star Serena Williams and possibly being a defense witness in the Michael Jackson case.

What will Cruise do? Someone suggested last week that he just direct the movie himself since he wants to have so much input. But you can't make your directing debut a $150 million feature, no matter how much confidence you possess.

Cruise has got to find someone who will take his own direction but still manage to have authority over the crew. That's not easy.

Will It Take a 'Village' to Save 'King Arthur?'

M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village" premieres tonight in Brooklyn, of all places, with a big, scary event in Prospect Park.

Considering some of the stuff that's happened in the park over the years, Disney may be overstating the obvious. I'm sure there will be plenty of security there to make sure nothing untoward takes place.

"The Village" is Disney's big shot at correcting all the bad box-office flops that have plagued the studio this year.

The most recent flop, "King Arthur," finished its third weekend with a cumulative $45 million take. This must be causing no end of headaches at the Mouse House, considering the price tag on this adventure thriller: $165 million.

How "The Village" is received could have a direct effect on Disney's ongoing talks with Miramax and Pixar. If the movie turns into a cult thing like "The Sixth Sense," then Disney's Michael Eisner will have some breathing room.

But If "The Village" is more like Shayamalan's "Unbreakable" and starts strong but has no "legs," Eisner would be hard pressed to explain losing the two entities or their creative personnel.

Broadway Star Likes Variety

Quick: What up-and-coming Broadway star didn't bother to tell his latest girlfriend that he's married? He enjoys variety, that's for sure, but it seems so 1930s, doesn't it?...

Kevin Connolly is very good in HBO's "Entourage" for a reason. He's been in Leonardo DiCaprio's entourage for years and years. Nothing like art imitating life. I wonder how much input he's given the writers....

"Fahrenheit 9/11" crossed the $100 million mark over the weekend, with no end in sight. The movie's success has pushed Craig Unger's excellent book, "House of Bush, House of Saud," upon which "F9/11" is based, to No. 74 on Amazon....

I just caught the "E! True Hollywood Story" about Ben Affleck and Matt Damon over the weekend. Turns out that Damon's Harvard girlfriend was named Skylar Satenstein, who is now divorcing Metallica's Lars Ulrich.

Did you know that Skylar, a Nicole Brown Simpson look-alike, also dated O.J. Simpson briefly? He picked her up in Boston in 1994, right before the Brown/Goldman murders. Small world!....

From Friday: Are you sending those used paperbacks to Debbie Sporich's independent bookstore in Dillon, Montana? Her email is: bookworm@bmt.net.