At the annual Race to Erase MS awards gala in L.A., which honored Montel Williams as the first Man of Courage recipient, talk show host Donny Osmond showed us the silver ring he has worn since his brother Alan, who has suffered from multiple sclerosis for more than a decade, gave it to him a year and a half ago. It is engraved with the letters ETTE, standing for “Endure to the End.” Earlier in the day, Osmond and Williams, who was diagnosed with the disease last year, joined Wyclef Jean, Tommy Hilfiger and James Belushi, among others, to record “Lean on Me,” a single to benefit the charity. “Forget Marie,” teased Williams. “We’ll change the show to Donny & Montel. The initials remain the same.”
Also at the benefit, Jonathan Silverman (The Single Guy) told us he just finished shooting a TV pilot, Good as Gold, in which he plays the son of Mary Tyler Moore and Elliott Gould. Coincidentally, one of his first jobs in TV 16 years ago was as Gould’s son in a short-lived CBS sitcom called E/R.
Is actress Bo Derek, whose husband, director John Derek, died two years ago, newly smitten? Though Bo has recently denied rumors that she is dating media mogul Ted Turner, she may have a new man in her life: California Rep. David Dreier, chairman of the House Rules Committee, whom she accompanied to this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Derek’s spokesman confirms that the two “have seen each other” and that this wasn’t their first date.
Sela Ward (Once and Again) will host QVC’s Cure by the Shore fundraiser at the Cannes Film Festival this year to benefit cancer research. Ward’s parents have suffered from the disease, but both are in remission.
Cybill Shepherd thinks Annette Bening was “riveting” in American Beauty, a film Shepherd thought was “brilliant.” What she didn’t know was that screenwriter Alan Ball, who wrote for Shepherd’s sitcom Cybill, based Bening’s shrill character in part on Shepherd. But the actress has no hard feelings. “I would never take anything like that as an insult,” she says. “The movie was fresh and different, and if I helped inspire that, then that’s cool.” As for rumors that she may replace Kathie Lee Gifford on Live! with Regis & Kathie Lee, Shepherd says she’d be flattered but hasn’t been asked. “It’s not too practical, considering my children go to school in California,” she says. “But never say never.”
On April 17, during filming of the $135 million Disney movie Pearl Harbor costarring Ben Affleck and Cuba Gooding Jr., a replica dive-bomber swooping low through billowing smoke over Ford Island near Oahu flipped over into the grass by the runway. Despite total loss of power, the stunt pilot escaped with only minor injuries; fortunately, none of the actors were on the set at the time.
Fast Take: “Shannen did a superb job,” says Aaron Spelling, an executive producer of Charmed, of one of the series’ stars, Shannen Doherty, who makes her directorial debut with the season’s finale, airing May 18. “The film is amazing for a first-time director.”