Most of the year, Irving (Swifty) Lazar is a literary agent. On Oscar Night, though, he and his wife, Mary, throw the party of the year at Spago. It’s no longer the only bash in town, but it’s still the biggest stop for the biggest stars. And everyone wants in.
Ask Maury Povich of “A Current Affair,” who arrived with wife Connie Chung. “I couldn’t make this party on my own,” he said. “I just got in because Swifty is in love with my wife.”
Or you could ask Jackie Collins, who was there for the eighth year in a row. All night she snapped photos of guests such as her sister Joan Collins, Michael and Shakira Caine, George Burns, Rupert Murdoch, James Stewart, Michael York, Mary McFadden, Tina Brown, Raquel Welch, Freddie Fields, Fred de Cordova, Marvin and Barbara Davis, Gene Kelly, Georgette Mosbacher, Lesley Ann Warren, Don Rickles, Bob Newhart, Farrah Fawcett, Ryan O’Neal and more.
As usual, everyone yelled for the winners, hugged their host, greeted Spago owners Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff, and chowed down on pizzas. Champagne flowed like water, but since this is the ‘90s, the Evian also flowed like champagne.
The real party didn’t begin until well after 11, though, when the limousines began arriving from the Music Center. Fans outside went crazy for new arrivals Billy Crystal, Don Johnson, Diana Ross, Lauren Hutton (with a broken leg), Danny Glover, Robin Williams, Oliver Stone, Lena Olin, Jodie Foster, Denzel Washington and Candice Bergen.
Tom Selleck, who arrived with wife Jillie Mack, said that he was nervous that the satellite hookups would fail and he would be forced to improvise. “And I’m not funny,” he insisted to Sherry Lansing.
“Don’t sneak up behind me when I’m eating strawberries,” growled Jack Nicholson, who’d established an “A” table in the back of the restaurant with Warren Beatty, Dan Aykroyd and Martin Landau. Meanwhile, out front, Richard and Lili Zanuck arrived with their Best Picture trophies to applause from the room.
Later arrivals included Jerry Brown, Ron Perlman and Claudia Cohen, Barry Diller, Betsy Bloomingdale, Gene Siskel, Jessica Lange, Robert Wuhl, Joel Silver, Cindy Crawford, Anjelica Huston and Isabelle Adjani.
By 1:15 a.m., Irving Lazar had gone home, but things were still going strong. Morgan Freeman was just arriving, and gate crashers were still trying to get through the door. Better luck next year.