Tuesday night, and just back from the Golden Globes, etc–Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones hosted a real movie like New York 80th birthday party for theater and film producer Marty Richards. Michael was the first cousin of Marty’s late wife, Marylea Johnson, and the families have always been close. So there were Michael and Catherine right inside the door of the Rubin Art Museum in Chelsea, shaking the hand of everyone Marty has ever known–and that’s a lot of people!
Among the better known faces: Robert DeNiro and wife Grace, “Chicago” director Rob Marshall (Marty produced the Oscar winning movie and the play), Steve Guttenberg, plus Clive Davis, Tamara Tunie and singer husband Gregory Generet, Caroline Hirsch of Caroline’s Comedy Club fame. and New Line Cinema founder Michael Lynne with wife Nineh. I complimented Michael D on how well he looked–and he said, “You always say that, it’s time to move on.” I like that spirit. Now Michael says he’s house dad while CZJ completes five new films.
More: Broadway legend Chita Rivera led off the many tributes to Marty, and Broadway star Lilias White entertained the crowd singing “At Last” to Marty backed by the famous Lonnie Youngblood Band. (Lilias got her big break in “A Life,” the hit musical Marty produced in the 90s.) A telegram was read from Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
By the way, in addition to all his showbiz successes, Marty has been an fervent fundraiser and supporter of the Mary Lea Johnson Richards Transplant Center at NYU Hospital in memory of his late wife. The unit opened in 1990, a year after MaryLea’s death, and has been a leader in liver and kidney transplants.