July 08, 1996 12:00 PM


The career makeover of the Duchess of York, the former Sarah Ferguson, continues apace. On the heels of that reported $1.5 million advance from Simon & Schuster to write her memoirs comes word that Fergie’s agents at International Creative Management are attempting to set up a deal with Bloomingdale’s for her to help design a line of children’s clothing. (The Fergster has no previous design experience.) Fergie’s American PR rep says, “She won’t be just lending her name. She intends to work with Bloomingdale’s people.” Maybe the duchess should talk to Kathie Lee Gifford about this one….

“Get me a Donald Trump type!” That’s the call that may soon go out to the casting community if producer Robert DeBrino lands a network commitment for Trump Tower, a one-hour dramatic series in the opulent tradition of TV’s Dallas and Dynasty. DeBrino, a former New York City policeman whose Los Angeles-based Canterbury Films has various movie and TV projects in development, tells me that his proposed series is loosely based on Trump’s luxury midtown Manhattan building, with wealthy tenants and a landlord couple not unlike The Donald and his wife, Marla. As for the Trumps themselves, DeBrino says, “they have agreed to perform cameos.” …

Steve Martin might want to thank John Travolta for bailing out of the movie The Double last month after Travolta and director Roman Polanski reportedly had script differences during rehearsals in Paris. Producer Peter Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment needed a replacement fast, and I hear that Martin, who was first offered $8 million to sub for Travolta, used Mandalay’s desperation as negotiating leverage to win his highest paycheck ever: $12 million. (Travolta, claiming at first he needed to return to the U.S. to be with his ailing son, forfeited his reported $16 million salary when he left and is now being sued by Mandalay.) Martin’s agent, Ed Limato, would say only that he sought a certain figure for Martin, “and we got it.” Production, nevertheless, has been pushed back to the fall….

You would think producing and directing the $90 million adventure movie Titanic, which 20th Century Fox hopes to release next summer, would satisfy action-director James Cameron’s thirst for projects about the 1912 sinking of the luxury liner. Not so. Cameron (True Lies) just signed for a mid-six-figure advance with ReganBooks to write a novel, his first, also titled Titanic. I’m told that while this won’t be a direct novelization of the movie, it will include the notorious nautical disaster….

During a recent Tonight Show appearance, comic George Wallace joked that Dionne Warwick got involved with the Psychic Friends Network only after a psychic told her how long it would be before she’d have another hit record. Warwick, not amused, called Wallace to complain. “If your psychics are so good,” he asked her, “why didn’t you call me before! did the Tonight Show?”…

Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly were having dinner last month at Toscana, a chic restaurant in the Brentwood section of L.A., when a small boy walked over to their table and stood there gaping. Carrey smiled at the kid and said, “Okay, pop quiz: Ace [pause] blaaannk.” The kid gulped and said, “Ventura?” Carrey responded with a hug and an autograph.

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