Pretty Woman celebrates birthday afloat with beau

THIS JUST IS ...

October 28, 1998|By DAN RODRICKS

GOOD MORNING, daaahhhlings, and happy birthday, Julia Roberts. The actress, in Maryland for the filming of Lakeshore/Paramount's "The Runaway Bride," turns 31 today. (Only 31!)

Is this woman livin' it or what? Her boyfriend is Benjamin Bratt of "Law & Order." She's making a movie here with the hunky Richard Gere - and getting paid more than $17 million to do it, one of the few actresses to command that kind of dough. (USA Today says the $17 million salary for "Bride" makes Roberts the highest-paid actress of all time.) Somewhere I hear Ella singing, "I got the world on a string I"

This Just In has learned - from Daily Variety, dearies, which learned it from the New York Daily News - that Bratt took Roberts away from Baltimore Saturday night for a "quiet birthday dinner" near Annapolis. Instead, they ended up on a studio-chartered yacht with 60 people, including Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, and "Bride" cast members Joan Cusack and Hector Elizondo, and Ellen Sauerbrey. (Just kidding about Sauerbrey!)

In "Bride," Roberts plays a woman who keeps leaving men at the altar, and she becomes quite the celebrity in the process, the stuff of T-shirt legend. For a scene shot in Baltimore County last week, director Garry Marshall needed people selling hot dogs and hawking "Runaway Bride" T-shirts. And he needed T-shirts fast.

He got them on quick notice, too. East Coast Sportswear & More's Dan McClury says he had 20 shirts printed and on location at Waugh United Methodist Church, Long Green Road, within three hours. One of them read: "Will She or Won't She?"

Meanwhile, production continues at a fierce pace on "Liberty Heights," Barry Levinson's fourth hometown portrait, this one set in 1954 and focusing on growing up in Baltimore's ethnically segregated neighborhoods.

While most scenes have been shot in Baltimore - they turned a stretch of Redwood Street into a strip of Block nightclubs - the director and his crews head for Frederick next month for the staging of a big James Brown-style concert scene at the Weinberg Center for the Arts. They're looking for 500 extras.

Look us in the eye, Parris

Regarding this business of Maryland's so-called Sunny Day Fund and companies that benefit from it giving contributions to the Glendening-Townsend re-election campaign: Is Ellen Sauerbrey saying that, if elected, she would not take campaign contributions from companies getting Sunny Day money? If that's what she's saying, we should get it in writing.

Has there been a TV commercial yet in which Parris Glendening actually looks into the camera and speaks to voters? If so, I haven't seen it.

This Sunday, is President Clinton going to ask the congregation at New Psalmist Baptist Church for forgiveness, or is Parris Glendening going to ask the president for forgiveness? This could get complicated.

Oh, and one more thing: I miss Ray Schoenke.

The Schaefer collection

Check out the photographs of William Donald Schaefer down at the Waterfront Hotel on Thames Street, across from the "Homicide" police headquarters. Gene Raynor, campaign manager and master of the Waterfront, set up a gallery on the second floor, adorning the walls with photographs from the life and times of Don Donaldo. The man certainly loved the camera, and the feeling was mutual. The most remarkable photo is of Schaefer, a young splinter in crisp suit and two-tone shoes, standing next to his mother, Tululu, on the Ocean City boardwalk long, long ago. Worth the trip.

TV Guide as primer?

Here's some food for thought on why kids can't read. A curious teacher in a Baltimore County first-grade class asked the 13 kids in her "low" reading group how many had televisions in their rooms at home. Eleven raised their hands. (Some asked whether she meant big TVs or small ones.) The teacher then asked how many had VCRs to go with their in-room TVs. Nine raised their hands. Some volunteered that they also had CD players; one complained that it took too much space on her dresser. Some of these kids are not yet 6.

Critters bucking the trend

Eddie Donnellan, one of Baltimore magazine's Top Ten schoolteachers and a coach in Baltimore Youth Hockey, tells me he's seen whitetail deer at Echodale and Perring Parkway. That's within the city limits, hon!

A friend, Mayfield Mac, confirms the sighting.

One night last week at Mount Pleasant Park, the sliver of green across from the golf course with the same name, two whitetails hoofed through the area during the scrimmage of girls soccer teams.

"This is south of Northern Parkway, mind you," Mac says. "Fox are familiar sites between the golf course and Herring Run Park, but deer are something different. At least they made it past the Towson roundabout!"

Pub Date: 10/28/98

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