While other stars and celebrities were locked into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to attend the Academy Awards Monday night, another 200 or so big-name folk had their own festivity at Spago.
They enjoyed pizza appetizers with an assortment of duck, salmon, sausage and other fancy toppings. Plus the drinks of their choice. (The mainstay of the evening, veal, was being served as the Oscar show was ending.)
There were people like (to name just a few) Andy Warhol, Walter Cronkite, Linda Evans, Jacqueline Bisset and good friend Alexander Godunov, Johnny Carson, Barry Diller, Angie Dickinson, Dennis Hopper, George Segal, Michaels Caine and York, Marvin Davis, plus son John Davis with Cathy Lee Crosby. Candy Clark and Raquel Welch were there in short and strapless sarong gowns.
It was super agent Irving (Swifty) Lazar's annual Oscar bash, newly moved this year from the Bistro Garden to Spago, above the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Lazar, who's been doing this about 25 years now, said that he made the move because he figures that Spago's is now the new "in" place to be.
This was sort of like an "A" team, as these sorts of Hollywood alphabet parties go, with about 80 more of the "A" people due in from the Pavilion when the show there was over.
Guests socialized through most of the ceremonies, while the awards were being screened on TV sets. They generally ignored many of the early awards, and the room only grew quiet a few times--once when Prince won his Oscar for best original song score ("Purple Rain") and again for Cary Grant and the subsequent Jimmy Stewart film clips.
And when Sally Field rendered her emotional acceptance of her best actress Oscar, many eyes misted.
A veritable army of paparazzi mingled outside, waiting for star faces to show themselves. A lucky few tuxedoed photographers were permitted to roam the restaurant. In addition, Warhol, who has an upcoming guest shot on "The Love Boat," bought a tiny 35-millimeter camera to record the event.
The walls were festooned with posters from the movies of the year. Near "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and "Purple Rain" artwork sat Johnny Carson, the veteran Oscar host who was paying close attention to the screen and to Jack Lemmon, his semi-replacement. But he said he preferred to be where he was, adding, "Five years is enough."