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Lunch: Moguls, Mavens and a Vampire Primer

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Had we stopped by on Monday we would have seen Anjelica Huston (Love you on Medium!) Oh well. This week Hollywood on the Hudson was strictly a downtown affair as it seems all those Tinseltown types were staying busy with the Tribeca Film Festival. Today’s crowd at Michael’s was the usual mix of movers and shakers with one MIA mogul (Welcome back, Ron!) resurfacing after an extended absence.

I was joined at the bar by my long time pal Kathryn Leigh Scott who was in town from Los Angeles on her way to London. Kathryn and I met back when I doing a piece for TV Guide about NBC’s short-lived nighttime version of the ABC daytime cult classic Dark Shadows created by the late, great Dan Curtis back in the (gasp!) late sixties. I might be dating myself a bit, but I was totally obsessed with the show — and its lead actress, none other than Kathryn — when I was an impressionable youngster who rushed home every day from school to watch the gothic soap that introduced vampires and werewolves and other creatures that went bump in the night to a generation of fans.

These days the absolutely ageless Kathryn, having sold her incredibly successful imprint Pomegranate Press which published countless tomes on Dark Shadows and other pop cultural touchstones, is concentrating her considerable talents on writing fiction. Her first novel, Murder in Primetime, was a hit and now she’s hard at work on her next thriller. But Dark Shadows remains a big part of her busy life. Tomorrow she departs for the UK to do three new recordings of new material based on the show for Big Picture. The project is timed to DS‘s 40th (!) anniversary.

Kathryn has also sent none other than Johnny Depp the complete collection of her DS books as primer for him to study as he prepares to sink his teeth into the role of vampire Barnabas Collins for the feature film version of the show. Turns out Johnny is a long time fan — something Kathryn first discovered when she worked with the Oscar nominee on 21 Jump Street back in his teen idol days. “To have everything come full circle and see Johnny do this is marvelous!” We can’t wait!

I was happy to introduce Kathryn to my pal People‘s East Coast news editor Liz McNeil, who was lunching with staff writer Nina Burleigh (another rabid Dark Shadows fan!) and attorney Suzanne Kimberly Bracker. Turns out Suzanne is something of an expert on celeb divorces. Who could these gals have been talking about over lunch? The list is long, don’t you think? Talk about great dish!

Here’s a rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The Imber Gang: Gerry Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield and the gang. Just asking, but is Fox News’ Monica Crawley breaking into this ole boys’ network? This is the second time we’ve spotted the blonde beauty lunching with these formidable fellows…

2. Peter Brown and, we’re told, a lady “ambassador” of some import.

3. Hallmark honcho Henry Schleiff with Steve Scheffer and John Redpath.


4. Let’s do lunch: a casually clad Ron Perelman sporting a collegiate vest and rolled up sleeves — long time no see! — and Ron Myers.

5. Howard Rubenstein and three folks we didn’t recognize.

6. Charles Osgood (Who doesn’t love CBS Sunday Morning?), Sammy Cohn and pals.

7. Producer Beverly Cahme and Yahoo’s Margaret Miller.

8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia with Annette Tappert and a distinguished looking fellow.

11. Producer Jon Hart, who was nice enough to stop by the bar for a chat. Great to see you!

12. Linda Janklow.

14. Stan Shuman and one of the tannest guys we’ve ever seen!

15. My pal Tony Hoyt and Missy Godfrey.

16. Peggy Siegal with another dark-haired power gal.

17. Judy Price.

18. Francine LeFrak and CEO of Linden Alschuler & Kaplan Public Relations, Lisa Linden. I stopped by to chat with the formidable duo and was thrilled to get the scoop on Francine’s latest project. Turns out this talented multi-tasker is currently “looking for a director” for a new script, ‘A Fearful Joy,” which depicts the “life changing” year in Mother Teresa’s life when she was 36 and, says Francine, “had a crisis” of faith” that resulted in asking the Pope to leave the order and found Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. Can’t you just see Angelina Jolie in the starring role?

19. Great Ink prexy & publicity maven Roxanne Donovan with A. Mitti Liebersohn of Cushman & Wakefield.

20. Deb Grubman.

21. Quest‘s Chris Meigher and, we’re told, editor Georgina Schaeffer.

22. We couldn’t see…

23. Cablevision’s Barry Frey with some “suits.” See you on the train to Scarsdale tonight!

24. Chuck Pfeiffer and pals.

25. Jason Weisenfeld and a bevy of fashionable beauties…

26. David Corvo and a lady that set off her Palm Beach tan with a hot pink ensemble (When did sunscreen become so passe?)

27. Accessory Network’s Michele Ateyeh (thanks for stopping by to say hello and giving me your card — I can finally stop misspelling your name!) with Tita Cahn (Sammy’s widow) and the charming Giovanni Lofaro. Ciao! Next week, says “Micky” she’ll be back with my good friend Lisa Silhanek. See you then!

29. Betsy Perry.

30. Lifetime Television exec Frank Rico with designer-turned-development director Steven Stolman (who stopped by DPC’s table to trade air kisses with Annette).

81. Peter Price.

Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.

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