- The Washington Times - Monday, August 7, 2006

Barkin sells bling

Actress Ellen Barkin, who earlier this year divorced Revlon owner Ron Perelman, is also letting go of the family jewels.

More than 100 pieces from her collection will be sold at auction by Christie’s on Oct. 10. This single-owner sale will be presented in conjunction with the annual fall Christie’s auction of Magnificent Jewels, scheduled for Oct. 11.

According to Christie’s, Miss Barkin’s collection features premier examples from virtually every major designer, style and time period — including lots once owned by tobacco heiress Doris Duke and the Duchess of Windsor and an unrivaled group of pieces created by reclusive Paris-based jeweler JAR (Joel Arthur Rosetta).

The jewelry, estimated to be worth more than $10 million, was received by Miss Barkin during her five-year marriage to Mr. Perelman, the 34th-wealthiest American according to Forbes magazine, with an estimated wealth of $6.1 billion.

“As exquisite as the collection is, they’re just not memories I want to wear out every day. For other people, they’re pieces of jewelry; for me, they have history. … I’ll take a break from the jeweled-trophy-wife look,” said Miss Barkin, 52, who — according to the San Francisco Chronicle — reportedly received $20 million from Mr. Perelman when the marriage ended.

“Rarely does a collection combine such a perfect balance of superb period jewels by the most famous jewelry houses, special creations by leading contemporary designers, as well as top-quality precious stones,” said Francois Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Europe.

Getting out of ‘Dallas’

Jennifer Lopez isn’t saying why she suddenly left the cast of “Dallas” — but an industry insider tells the New York Post there are two very big reasons: a subpar script and the less-than-strapping John Travolta, who was scheduled to play J.R. Ewing opposite J.Lo’s Sue Ellen.

“The script [is no good],” the newspaper quotes an unnamed source as saying. “And John Travolta? If it had been a man’s man like Ed Harris or Tommy Lee Jones … but you don’t just go from doing ‘Hairspray’ to ‘Dallas.’”

The film, based on CBS’ hit nighttime soap (1978-1991), is due in theaters next year.

Neighborly gesture

Actor Jack Nicholson is planning to take a wrecking ball to Marlon Brando’s old Los Angeles home, according to published reports.

Mr. Nicholson paid $6.5 million for Mr. Brando’s Mulholland Drive house when his friend and next-door neighbor died two years ago. The three-time Oscar winner, 69, reportedly is planning to demolish it and plant frangipani flowers on the lot, the New York Daily News reports, citing a story in the Times of London.

Mr. Brando, who died in 2004, had called his home Frangipani after the cream-and-yellow flower beloved by Buddhists. Mr. Nicholson told the paper it would be too expensive to restore the “derelict” house, which has been contaminated by mold.

Manilow sidelined

Barry Manilow will take a break from his regular gig at the Las Vegas Hilton to undergo surgery to repair torn cartilage in both hips, Associated Press reports.

The 60-year-old singer-songwriter, who has a four-year contract with the hotel, suffers from labrum tears in his hips — a painful condition exacerbated by his high-energy performances, publicist Carol Marshall said Sunday. He’ll continue performing through his appearance at the Emmy Awards on Aug. 27 and will then have outpatient arthroscopic surgery at a Southern California hospital, Miss Marshall said. Recovery and rehabilitation time is expected to be about eight weeks.

Mr. Manilow will miss about 20 concerts at the Hilton — all of which will be rescheduled for the 2007 season — and is scheduled to return in mid-October for the introduction of his new album, “The Greatest Songs of the Sixties.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports.

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