Last week in this space Kitty Kelley played coy about who her next bio target would be. It seems Nancy Reagan is the (un)lucky lady. The author of the juicy unauthorized biographies of Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has signed with Simon and Schuster to tell all about the First Lady. Kelley, who received a $1.5 million advance on her Sinatra book, is expected to do at least as well on this one. Meanwhile, Nancy has signed with Random House to write her own book about the White House years, and her spokesperson says, “Basically, Mrs. Reagan will be writing the book herself from daily journals she has been keeping.”
Gimme Shelter: Now that the world’s richest man, the Sultan of Brunei, has used some of his pocket change to buy the Beverly Hills hotel for $200 million from Marvin Davis, the oil magnate and former owner of Twentieth Century Fox, the talk around the pool and in the Polo Lounge is that the Sultan plans to close the historic pink palace to guests and instead use it as his private L.A. residence. Says the hotel’s publicist: “We’ve heard that rumor, but it’s not true. The Sultan does love the hotel, and we are always shipping him videos of what’s been done on the hotel. He loves to watch it on television.” Beats reruns of Hotel.
Although she has yet to earn her own college degree, Hollywood philanthropist Barbra Streisand has endowed a professorship at the University of Southern California. Barrie Thorne has been named as the first Barbra Streisand Professor of Intimacy and Sexuality, according to a report in the newsletter of the American Sociological Society. “Ms. Streisand doesn’t want any publicity” regarding the gift, says Mike Bell, a USC development director.
Bogie and Bacall, they had it all, or so went the 1981 song “Key Largo.” We’ll find out next March when Lauren Bacall, à la Katharine Hepburn and her documentary on Spencer Tracy, hosts a PBS/Turner special called Bacall on Bogart. Bacall will reminisce about husband Humphrey Bogart (who died at age 57 of cancer in 1957), show home movies previously unseen by the public and introduce film clips loaned from Ted Turner’s film library. A Turner aide promises that the clips will not be colorized.
Was the road to Sam and Diane’s first kiss on Cheers this twisted? Sam (Ted Danson) and new leading lady Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) finally are scheduled to osculate, in an episode appropriately titled A Kiss Is Still a Kiss, after Rebecca discovers that her boss, Evan Drake (Tom Skerritt), thinks she’s gay. Sam thinks she’s crazy for caring but tells Rebecca she can put the rumors to rest by kissing him wantonly in front of Drake at a company party. Pucker-up time is due in early December.
One night stand: Lorenzo Lamas will make his singing debut on Falcon Crest on Jan. 22. Lamas’ character, Lance, will warble “Knock on Wood.” “But I’ll never do it again; this is a one-shot deal,” he promises.
Pia Zadora, get with the program. The tiny actress-singer’s latest career move is to play a beatnik—she gets to read Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl—in director John (Polyester) Waters’ next film, Hair-spray. After the shoot, Pia complimented Waters on the verisimilitude of his sets. Says Waters: “The only problem is that we were on location in the slums of my hometown, Baltimore. I kept saying, ‘Pia, people live here.’ But she didn’t believe me.” Pia also didn’t believe Chicago’s Gold Star Sardine Bar could be so small. Scheduled for an intimate engagement in a lounge about the size of most living rooms, Pia insisted on squeezing in her 34-piece orchestra. “I’m using very small musicians,” she explained.