After 10 P.M. There Were More Stars Than Can Be Seen in the Heavens

"After 10 p.m. there were more stars than can be seen in the heavens, to quote the MGM lion!"

It seems I wrote this sentence, with this emphasis, about the famous Vanity Fair magazine annual Oscar party at Morton's back in the year 1995. Or at least this quote reappears in the current "The Best of Vanity Fair Oscar Nights" -- a 20th anniversary special edition magazine out now on the newstands in time for the the Academy Awards happening on March 2.

This one is a keeper for celebrity watchers. It contains pages and pages of mostly-never-seen-before photographs and articles about the Oscar night party and it is dazzling in its round-up. I have looked through it twice, found myself quoted, perused people I saw and those I didn't at most of the annual events and I am wondering now what Hollywood ever did without this magazine under the aspect of Graydon Carter's creative editorship? (Vanity Fair made its post-Oscar night party almost as important as the Academy Awards itself!)

I was most amused by Bruce Feirstein's "Rules for the Red-Carpet Season" -- on page 26 of the special edition. Following is his advice to nominees:

1. Act like an adult. (Go to the parties, do the grip-and-greets; smile for the cameras. The audience will probably forget the name of your movie in six months, but Hollywood will never forgive or forget -- if you fail to promote it.)

2. Write a speech. (It's fine to act flustered and exclaim, 'I never expected this! I didn't prepare anything!' so long as you've already committed the whole thing to memory. Otherwise, paper will suffice. But let's be honest: haven't you been practicing for this moment, in the shower, since you were 11 years old?)

3. Work the emotions. (Tears are good; tales of adversity are better; acknowledging the influence of a graying icon in the audience -- Spielberg, Lucas, Scorsese -- is best of all. Be sure to mention your agent, significant other and fellow nominees. They're all keeping score.)

4. Lose gracefully: (Keep in mind that when the presenter says, "And the winner is..." there's a camera on you. Mask your disappointment with a deep, emotionally convincing smile -- by thinking about all the people you're going to fire the next day.)

5. Thank Harvey Weinstein: (Even if Harvey had nothing to do with your film, thank him anyway. It can't hurt, it might help with your next project, and, either way, the audience won't know the difference. They'll just assume he made the movie.)"

• Another magazine -- the Winter Edition of Q magazine, published by Chris and Elizabeth Meigher, is out now with Brett Ekland on the cover. Inside is a tribute to another cinema and modeling icon -- my pal Lauren Hutton. This edition is full of rare and gorgeous advertising and photographs of, for and by the famous. The editor writes: "LIVING LEGENDS: Our intrepid chronicler Liz Smith takes a look, as only she can, at another living legend this issue with an examination of Lauren Hutton's spellbinding career Hutton, an American original, skyrocketed to fame and onto the cover of fashion magazines, and found herself in one of fashion's favorite films, 'American Gigiolo.' Here, Smith goes behind the famous gap-tooth smile to tap into the heart of Hutton."

Çall 646 - 840 3404 extension 106 if you want this $5 issue. I hate to brag but somebody's got to do it, so forgive me.

I have long been proud of my friendship with the amazing down-to-earth Lauren Hutton. And I want to display a private photo taken of the two of us in Venice way back in 1990. I know everyone reading won't see this but it's not in the magazine Q. It shows the two of us, who were in beautiful Venice for a Giorgio Armani documentary screening, acting like regular "tourists," which is all we were!

• You can tell I've been doing my favorite thing during recent snow-bound days. I've been looking at some of my favorite magazines -- actually holding them in my hands --
while everyone else is mostly forgetting and forsaking print for the Internet.

But one I loved is Time magazine for February 24, with a fabulous photo of the late Shirley Temple, at age eight, extolled by her friend and fellow child actor, Margaret O'Brien, who first met Shirley on Valentine's Day in 1945.

Margaret writes: "We kept in touch through the friendship world (not the movie world) and
I've never forgotten our first meeting. That's why I have always kept her in my heart on Valentine's Day, never more than this year."

•I LOVED the picture of Dame Helen Mirren being received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace recently; I think it was during the Bafta Awards. The photo made it look as if Dame Helen, one of the world's greatest actors, is pointing and lecturing the Monarch who seems to have her purse firmly on her left arm and is more or less "bowing" to Helen.

This is an illusion, of course. Helen would never be so rude to the Queen who she played sympathetically only a few years ago. But I do recall early on in her acting career, Helen was a kind of silent anti-monarchist. Playing the Queen more recently, turned her into a believer.