'Roxanne' AFI Benefit Nets Whopping Profit

"Good-hearted." Roy Scheider used the adjective a little embarrassedly, but it was clear that "sweet, wonderful and lovely" were also the operative words Thursday night.

It was at the American Film Institute Associates benefit premiere of "Roxanne," where sights frequently missing at such events were produced--like the stars of the film, dozens of other famous names and faces, an overflow crowd and a whopping $175,000 clear profit, as announced by Associates President Ava Ostern.

Columbia Pictures did a bang-up job of providing a lavish party spread under the Century City sky--with Rococo piling up oysters, deserts, grilled-to-order chicken, simply gobs of great food. That was to sustain one while watching multitudinous celebs--like "Roxanne" star Steve Martin with his wife, Victoria Tennant, along with co-stars Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich and Shelly Duvall (with her steady, the adorable Kim Cranston). Nancy and Alan Livingston chatted with Tony Perkins and Tony Franciosa, while Joan Rivers and her hubby Edgar Rosenberg looked like they were indeed listening.

Martin had done the film's screenplay, but was lavish in his thanks to "experts Danny Melnick and Fred Schepisi." And, of course, stars and others talked about summer plans. Back from the Kentucky Derby, Mary Ann Mobley and Gary Collins are planning to be off in August for the opening of Saratoga--the guests of Mary Lou Whitney. Scheider is off to Moscow, to narrate and host the massive Ted Turner special on Russia that is shooting starting July 5. Bon voyage to Italy-bound Hal and Roz Millstone. New World's Bob Rehme was telling AFI's Jean Firstenberg how there were a dozen possible Marvel Superhero films upcoming--including one with Spiderman and his new bride.

Chuck Fries looked pleased as punch at the party put on by his steady, Ava Ostern, along with Dolly Gillen and Nancy Ellington (and also probably because he's been named '87 Entertainment Exec of the Year by the California Society of CPAs). Chatting it up were Roz Wyman and Peg Yorkin, while the table to stop by was hosted by AFI chair Bunny Wrather and Martin Manulis. They were joined by Franklin and Jean Shaffner, Faye Kanin and Jack Schneider. On hand were the happy Columbia execs David Puttnam and David Picker and a group of Coca-Cola execs, led by Ike Herbert, who flew in from Atlanta--and weren't they happy they did.

NO THANKS--That's what Warren Cowan said when he was offered the job of public relationing the return of Jimmy and Tammy Bakker. He did admit, however, that he thought up the idea of Marjoe Gortner (a former kid-evangelist) writing about the bouncing Bakkers for TV Guide.

KUDOS--In a sight usually seen only on TV commercials, there was an actual airline employee going down the long lines at LAX and helping people get on their flights quickly. Just for the record, congratulations and thanks to Chris Riley of TWA, who in the jumble of hundreds of kids and vacationers Friday morning, acted just like the airline reps do on the ads.

UPCOMING--Producer Steve Tisch has signed on to co-chair the Foundation for Children with Learning Disabilities benefit Sept. 27. That, of course, is the pet project of Carrie Rozelle, his co-chair. This year, a portion of the money raised will establish a learning disabilities program at MacLaren Hall . . . Vital Options (Support for Young Adults with Cancer) holds its Dice for Life, a Mystery-Casino night at Le Bel Age next Saturday . . . Tuesday in D.C., Tony Curtis, Cliff Robertson, MacDonald Carey, and Charles Durning are among the Hollywood contingent at a benefit for the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation.

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