Jill Jackson’s Hollywood 7-12

JILL JACKSON’S HOLLYWOOD
By Jill Jackson

HOLLYWOOD … Michelle Pfeiffer has a movie out titled “Cheri,” a romantic drama set in 1920s Paris. As do all of her films, it’s pulling in big bucks at the box office. Michelle recently paid a visit to Dave Letterman on the “Late Show.” Looking beautiful, she and Letterman talked mostly about their offspring: she about Claudia Rose and John Henry, he about Harry. Although it was a good talk, Michelle’s every other word was “um.” I tried to count the “ums,” but lost track. … Before Michelle was an Oscar-winning actress, she was a supermarket cashier, a court reporter and a model. Now she seems to have it all. A loving husband, beautiful children and a great career. As for Letterman, he and Conan are “duking” it out, and the most recent survey shows Letterman leading the bouncy redhead.

AND word about Jay Leno is that you’ll be seeing promos for his 10 p.m. show from now until its September debut. Meanwhile, Jay is enjoying his time off, tinkering with his autos and motorcycles. And a bit about Leno that maybe you didn’t know. His first name is James, and he was born in New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1950. Maybe you knew that, BUT did you know he gave $1.5 million of his own money to “The Tonight Show” staff as a 10th anniversary “thank-you” gift. How about THAT?!

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HOLLYWOOD IS READING: “The Alpine Uproar” by Mary Daheim (Random House). … “The Informers” by Bret Eaton Ellis (Vintage Books). This made into a movie now showing. … “Vanity Fair’s Tales of Hollywood” by Craydon Carter (Penguin Books). One heckuva fun read about the goings-on behind the scenes of some of Hollywood’s legendary movies. … “Oscar Season” by Mary McNamara (Simon & Schuster). Another heckuva read about what goes on behind and in front of the scenes at Oscar doings. … Barbara Walters’ “Audition: A Memoir,” now out in paperback (Vintage Books).

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Sean Penn created more than a ripple when he dropped out of not one, but TWO films. “The Three Stooges” and “Cartel.” The Oscar-winning actor gave as an excuse that he “wants to spend more time with his family.” He didn’t say how long his hiatus will last, which is typical Penn. However, or whatever, rest assured there will be other actors who will be happy to take his place.

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It’s a well-known joke out here about Jack Nicholson and the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. Jack is always courtside, and both players and fans are aware of it. Kobe Bryant told Conan on a visit to “The Tonight Show” that he could often hear Jack giving commands from the sidelines while the ball was in play.

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BITS ’N’ PIECES: If President Obama ever decides to pull out of politics, he most certainly could become an actor. … Joke running round the “Hollywoods” is, “The only way to avoid those long ’thank-yous’ at award shows is not to give them.” … When Ava Gardner died, she left her dog its own maid, a limo and a monthly allowance. (This I read in a Hollywood trivia book.) And also this, John Barrymore had a pet vulture named Maloney, AND Roy Rogers was so devoted to his horse Trigger that when the animal died, he had it stuffed and mounted.

© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.