Turns out real-estate developer Al Gersten gave the ultimate for a political candidate last weekend. He sacrificed his tennis court. Gersten and his wife, Marilynn, hosted a $500-a-head dinner for Americans for Hart at their Beverly Hills home, with the cash going to alleviate Colorado Sen. Gary Hart's '84 presidential campaign debt. Monsoon-like rains wreaked havoc on the tent constructed over the sunken tennis court, with the AstroTurf acting like a sponge and problems occurring with poles. Coming up: a resurfacing. The black-tie event raised $90,000. And all the contributors got to hear Hart use John F. Kennedy's quip: "I am deeply touched--but not so deeply touched as you are to be here tonight." And certainly not so deeply touched as the tennis court.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILLIE--Assembly Speaker Willie Brown turned 52 this week, and so 52 of his "closest friends" were set to gather Thursday night at the Bev Hills home of actor George Hamilton.
YOUNGER THAN SPRINGTIME--That was the style of the lunchtime conversation from Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who met with several dozen socially secure women at Robinson's Bev Hills on Tuesday to endorse the Glycel Skin Treatment. Barnard, who performed the world's first human heart transplant in 1967, admitted that he loved being seen as a playboy, and then was asked if his girlfriend, Karen Setzkorn, used the products. He smiled and said, "Ah, but she is young." Irwin Alfin, owner of Alfin Fragrances, which distributes Glycel, said that the treatment--claims about it have been questioned in newspaper articles and on "Nightline"--would be met with enthusiasm "when we get some of the product in your hands and you decide." Barnard spoke only a little of the product and of his research. He said, "I have been labeled a playboy, and I am a boy and I don't like to play with teddy bears." He spoke about his transplant surgery, then became emotional. "I am not trying to poison people. I'm not trying to hurt people. I'm trying to contribute in a special way." Among those listening at lunch were Marilyn Gevirtz, Barbara Lazaroff and Robinson's president Al Schettini.
MORE POLI-SIGH--For the $1,000-a-head dinner at the Sheraton Grande on April 3 honoring Sen. Robert Dole, he'll be joined by Republican colleagues Jim Abdnor of South Dakota, Alphons D'Amato of New York and Steve Symms of Idaho. Also on hand--Transportation Secretary Libby Dole and two GOP senatorial candidates--Louisiana Rep. Henson Moore and former Missouri Gov. Kit Bond. . . . Tired of the hotel-dinner circuit? Public affairs consultant Don Livingston will be hosting lunches and dinners for his Washington buddies April 9 and 10 aboard a 130-year-old Chinese junk. His friend Alen Sands York will bring the Mon-Lei from New York to D.C.--and will also use the chance to himself host Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr.
MIXING MEDIA--The AFI Associates have a great come-on to join their International Film Society. They've enlisted help from L.A.'s consular corps. So, on April 6, one can catch the Japanese satire "The Funeral," then have super at the residence of Consul General Taizo Watanabe. On April 27, Her Majesty's Consul General David Ballentyne and Mrs. Ballentyne will host a supper after the L.A. premiere of "The Whistle Blower."
BLOW SOME MY WAY--Don Johnson might be off the smokes, but some bodies out there still think lighting up is cool. Cigarettes appeared this week in the hands of slinky model in slinky ads for Chanel and Gianni Versace in the biweekly fashion publication, W.
SECOND CAREERS--Julio Iglesias and Rex Harrison, who do very well in their primary careers, thank you, get a chance to display their other talents. Two paintings--Iglesias' of the New York skyline and Harrison's "Barbados"--go on auction March 29 to benefit the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. The auction, at the Marriott's Las Palmas Hotel, will also include works by Gina Lollobrigida, Paloma Picasso, Lydia Heston, Sally Struthers, Dinah Shore, Red Skelton, Anthony Quinn and--who else--Frank Sinatra.