Michael Jackson

By Tony Rizzo
HOLLYWOOD — Just when you thought you knew everything about Michael Jackson comes a letter from a devout fan asking, “Has Michael Jackson’s name been restored to the Gardner Street Elementary School he attended when he was 11 years old?” In 1989, Gardner Street Elementary School, in Hollywood, named its auditorium, in big silver letters, the “Michael Jackson Auditorium.” Michael was so honored, he showed up for the unveiling. The King of Pop also paid the salary for the school’s music teacher, planted memorial rose bushes near the playground and autographed the wall of his sixth-grade classroom.

In 2003, when Michael faced serious charges for alleged misconduct with a child, the school covered his name with wooden boards and it just read “Auditorium.” Even after Michael was acquitted of all charges, his name was not uncovered. In October 2010, after his death, it took a public petition drive to get his name restored to its rightful place. The question is … why was his name ever covered? In this country, isn’t a person innocent until proven guilty? Shouldn’t officials have waited until after the trial, instead of presuming his guilt? I’ll bet our reader asked that question so all of you could know this story!
* * *
Debbie Reynolds’ recent auction at the Paley Center for Media grossed a record $26 million, and she is now preparing for round two of the three-part auction extravaganza. The new exhibit will feature costumes, posters and props from “Gone With the Wind,” “Showboat,” “The Yearling” and John Huston’s “Moulin Rouge,” as well as costumes worn by Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Doris Day as centerpieces. The Paley Center had so many visitors come to see the opening round of the auction that officials are putting most of the items for the second auction on display starting July 23rd and running through early 2012, adding items as they go along so people will come back again and again. Word is that the first auction greatly exceeded Debbie’s expectations, and she’s hoping lightning will strike a second — and third — time!
* * *
Glenn Close dreamed of bringing “Albert Nobbs” to the big screen ever since she won an Obie Award in l982 for doing an off-Broadway stage version. Now not only is she producing and starring in the film, but she’s co-written the screenplay, which has her playing a woman who passes herself off as a man to work in 19th-century Dublin. Brenda Fricker (“My Left Foot”) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, (“The Tudors”) also star. What does Glenn Close look like as a man? Let’s just say you’ll have a hard time getting the image of a clean-shaven Conan O’Brien out of your mind!

Send letters to Tony Rizzo’s Hollywood, 8306 Wilshire Blvd., No. 362, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.