More MS news articles for May 2001

Rocking to Beat MS

05/24/2001 - Thursday
Liz Smith

'AH, YES, I wrote 'The Purple Cow'/ I'm sorry now I wrote it!/ But I can tell you anyhow,/ I'll kill you if you quote it." The author was the late humorist Gelett Burgess.

IT WASN'T a Denise Rich party per se, but the wealthy Democratic party-giver seemed to be having the time of her life last weekend at the "Rock 'N Soul to Erase MS" gala and the reopening of the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa in L.A. Well, who could resist the VIP lineup for this Nancy Davis-sponsored charity that raised $2.6 million for multiple sclerosis research? Marvin and Barbara Davis, Nancy's famous parents, give their own hot parties to fight diabetes. But Nancy has MS. And Tommy Hilfiger, whose sister has MS, was her co-host.

John Travolta and Nelly Furtado joined singing stars Stevie Wonder, Donna Summer and Brian McKnight onstage with David Hasselhoff. David and Montel Williams bid against one another for a $38,000 trip around the world. David won! Denise herself "got down" in purple and pink floral bell- bottoms with silver spike heels as she danced in the aisles with female pals while Summer sang "Hot Stuff" and "Last Dance." The ageless Cher introduced Stevie Wonder and later did a private sing-along in the hotel lobby with David Foster. Others in the glamourous crowd were Sidney Poitier, Jennifer Tilly, Lea Thompson, Penny Marshall, Tony Danza, Dominique Swain, Tom Arnold, Kelly Preston, Anjelica Huston, Robert Graham, the Steve Tisches, Sly and Jennifer Stallone, Bill Maher, Kathy Najimy, David Lander, Larry King, LeRoy Neiman, Stone Phillips and Cornelia Guest. Even Madonna's ex, John Enos, was on hand. Dustin Hoffman wheeled in his mother-in-law, Marcia, a 30-year MS survivor. Dustin wisecracked, "She's doing well. On a scale of 10, she had a 9 1/2 sexual experience with my father-in-law before we got here!" Actress Holly Robinson Peete brought her mother, Dolores. Holly and hubby Rodney just arrived from Singapore. He stayed home with their twins to catch some zzz's. But she modeled an $80,000 diamond necklace up for auction. A brown Labrador pup sold for an $11,000 bid by David Faustino of "Married With Children" fame. People were snapping up the $250 one- of-a-kind ceramic tiles designed and signed by 50 stars.

Jason Cerbone, whose character died on "The Sopranos" season finale, caused a stir when he arrived looking even more adorable than his on-camera self. He was with the actor who ordered his "hit," Joe Pantoliano. Cerbone was upbeat in spite of his "death." He said, "Working with Jimmy Gandolfini is like taking a class. I learned so much. But doing those love scenes was awkward. You gotta dive in-I guess." At the post- party given in Moomba in West Hollywood, Nancy Davis and designer Hilfiger, wearing hot orange and pink, were joined by Mick Jagger.

You can see some of this event at 10 p.m. June 23 on VH1. A fund-raising CD, "Keeping the Dream Alive," goes on sale from Sony Epic records in June.

YOU CAN GET my Pink Teacup recipe for sweet potato pie out of the Jodi Della Femina-Daniel Benedict "Celebrity Dish" cookbook that they'll be selling along with InStyle magazine at a fund-raiser in the Hamptons Saturday. Patrick McMullan did the photos, and the stars who claim they can cook include Sean "Puffy" Combs, Sting, Donna Karan and celebs like that. Call 917-509-2341 about the party.

IS IT PUBLICITY? Is it love? What is it? I mean Carmen Electra's crush on Ricky Martin. Some people report she is openly pursuing him.

Telephone calls have come his way, as well as, some say, a bit of Carmen's lingerie. She attends almost every one of his concerts. He is said to be flattered but keeping a cool head about it, saying his career is the only love of his life.

SO MANY AUSSIES are hitting it big in U.S. entertainment. This year, there was Judy Davis playing Judy Garland on TV, and then Poppy Montgomery came along to portray Marilyn Monroe. Heath Ledger says he wants to step into Gene Kelly's dancing shoes. He has been talking of a revival of "Singin' in the Rain." And, how about Hugh Jackman as Elvis or Guy Pearce as Monty Clift? Who could Oscar winner Russell Crowe play? He'd be a perfect Humphrey Bogart if he weren't so tall. Russell has about a foot on Bogie. But he does have the same surly snarl and snarky attitude.

AIDS ACTIVIST Sally Fisher wants us to join the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt round-the-clock vigil of name reading, beginning in Washington at 7 a.m.

June 1 and going for 57 hours. The AIDS March should reach the Capitol steps around 3 p.m. June 3. They say this is a life-changing experience. This year, many actors and political leaders will be on hand. Send e-mail to if you're interested in volunteering for the event.