For stars, the backyard is the best place to lend a hand
When Bette Midler moved back to New York City in 1994, “she couldn’t stand the mess in the streets and the parks,” says Joseph Pupello, a local environmentalist. So she did something about it: Midler’s $250,000 donation—plus some sweat equity—helped create the New York Restoration Project, upper Manhattan’s own anti-litter strike force.
Whether it’s Dolly Parton handing out books to kids in Tennessee or John Grisham paying for a state-of-the-art, six-field baseball complex in Virginia, an increasing number of celebs seem be to thinking locally and acting generously. “They can actually see how their money has made a difference and not gone into some black hole,” says Rita Tateel of the Celebrity Source, which tracks stars’ philanthropy. Mariah Carey likes to visit a summer camp she supports in Fishkill, N.Y., where city teens learn about careers. Singer Natalie Merchant gave money to a Kingston, N.Y., Head Start center after walking in and deciding to help out (she’s from Upstate New York). Other local do-gooders range from Kirk and Anne Douglas, who gave $1 million last year to help refurbish 400 Los Angeles County school playgrounds, to the band R.E.M., who’ve donated or raised money for everything from homeless shelters to hiring a foreign-language teacher at a school in their adopted hometown of Athens, Ga. Says Tate McQueen of the Athens Area Humane Society, an R.E.M. beneficiary: “They really put their money where their hearts are.” And home, of course, is often, and famously, in the same location.
Foster Glows All the Way
With less than three months to go before her baby is due, the very private Jodie Foster remains silent as ever about her little lamb. But pal Randy Stone is downright giddy in his admiration for his longtime friend. “She’s gorgeous,” says Stone, 39, a senior vice president for talent and casting at 20th Century Fox television. “When you talk about luminous, she is absolutely stunning right now…. She’s one of those pregnant people who you just want to smack because she’s only gaining weight in her stomach. She’s most pregnant women’s worst nightmare.” Work on the baby’s nursery is nearly done, and Stone says Foster—who he says has no plans to take acting jobs next year—is stretching and generally in terrific shape. “This baby is strong,” says Stone of the “kickboxing” that goes on in Foster’s stomach. “It’s going to be just like her, hiking in the mountains.” How’s Stone holding up? “I,” he says, “have gained more weight than she has.”
Remember the Mane
Singer Michael Bolton, 45, who last year sheared his shoulder-length locks in favor of a close-cropped do, has announced he’ll auction off the excess hair—yes, he thoughtfully collected it for safekeeping—and hand over the proceeds to charity. So what’s the market for a chunk of Bolton’s bushy coif, and what can an ardent Bolton fan expect to pay? Here’s what folks have offered at auction in recent years for the product of famous follicles:
Mickey Mantle $6,900
Admiral Horatio Nelson $3,400
George Washington $2,750
John Lennon $1,700
Ringo Starr $400
Humphrey Bogart’s toupee $500
- Lots of Cooks Looking to Make Talk Soup
- Figure skating gold medalist Scott Hamilton is no stranger to competition, but how would he do in a face-off with Jerry Springer? Hamilton, 39, has been exploring the possibilities of hosting his own daytime chat show, which could air in 1999. He’ll never talk alone: Magic Johnson started earlier this month, comedian Howie Mandel debuted last week, and soon Roseanne and Donny and Marie Osmond will host yakathons. Model Karen Duffy recently completed a pilot, and Queen Latifah shoots one this summer. A Martin Short show is slated for fall 1999, and shows for large model Emme, Joan Lunden and Jasmine Guy are reportedly in discussion. What’s all this blabbing about? “They look at the success that Rosie O’Donnell has had,” says Bill Carroll of the Katz Television Group, which advises stations about which shows to buy. “Everyone who reads a novel thinks they can write one. And everyone who’s been on a talk show thinks they can host one.” Did someone say Chevy Chase?
It’s not every mom who will throw on a rainbow-colored bikini, prowl a catwalk with her daughter—and smile. At designer Zeki Triko’s show in Cannes, Valerie Campbell, 47, mother of model Naomi, 28, was up to the challenge. “It can be fun,” says Valerie. “Sometimes you can see the smiles on people’s faces.”
First NBC moved Frasier to its prime Thursday-night real estate. Now it’s Kelsey Grammer’s turn for a land grab. Grammer, who married his third wife, model Camille Donatacci, in 1997, paid $4.5 million in May for an eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom spread near L.A. The house, built in 1949, is situated on five acres complete with ocean views and a guest house. It also reportedly has a 14-stable barn and riding ring. What better way to reduce stress? Horses, after all, won’t ask him what it’s like to replace Seinfeld.
Schroder: He’s Happy to Be Blue
This fall on NYPD Blue, Jimmy Smits splits (his contract is up, and he’ll appear in several episodes). Det. Andy Sipowicz’s new partner will be former Silver Spoons star-turned-grown-up-actor Kick Schroder, 28. Now a father of three, he talked to Scoop from his Colorado home.
Are you a fan of the show?
Actually, I don’t get to watch too much TV. I’ve watched a few episodes of it. But it’s mostly Discovery Channel for me.
Have you ever been arrested? Do you have a rap sheet?
No, I’ve never been arrested. But I’ve had cuffs on. Now I’m going to get to throw ’em on people.
How will your character be introduced?
I don’t know yet. They’re talking about me playing a 28-year-old narcotics officer who gets bumped up to detective, and he’s going to be paired with Sipowicz [Dennis Franz]. Obviously, to be a 28-year-old police detective he’s very ambitious. I’m sure that trait will get him into hot water.
Have you ever played a police role before?
I’ve done a couple of small-town-cop things. But never something like this.
How’s your New York City accent?
Well I’m from New York, born and raised in Staten Island. That’s not a problem for me to put on the New York attitude. It’s something you’re born with. You don’t learn it. You have to be a little New York street punk playing stickball in front of your house to really know what that is and that’s what I did growing up.
And you’ve still got it?
You don’t lose it. It’s a prideful nature about who you are.
Are you up on your cop lingo?
I’m going to have to be educated on that. Hopefully I’ll bring some of my terminology to the table and get them asking questions.
What’s your terminology?
“It’s all good.” Have you heard that one? That’s one of my favorites.
No, what does that mean?
It means it’s all good.
Give Peace a Chance
Paul McCartney’s decision not to invite Yoko Ono to a New York City memorial service for his wife, Linda, on June 22 seemed like another pothole in the long and winding road of Beatle history. Ono, who lives in Manhattan, was left out because the memorial “was for family and close friends only,” says McCartney’s spokesman Geoff Baker. “Yes,” Ono tells PEOPLE, “[son] Sean and I were not invited. We were a bit hurt, but I know that Paul is dealing with a tragedy as best he can, so he is allowed. We sent flowers for Linda to the memorial.” Ono’s assistant, Michael Phillips, told the New York Post that he “wouldn’t have any idea why” she was snubbed. Possibly McCartney was rankled by a BBC interview Ono gave last December that compared her late husband John Lennon to Mozart and Paul to the composer’s competent but uninspired rival Salieri.