Monday, Oct. 8, 2012 | 6 a.m.
The Italian Job
We Are the World for Haiti
It promises to be a legendary celebration and perhaps the most glittering gala ever in Las Vegas. Two showbiz giants -- Oscar winner Sir Michael Caine and Grammy-winning producer Quincy Jones -- and two culinary kings, Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck, will share the “Power of Love” next April.
Following last year’s knockout Muhammad Ali 70th birthday salute, this, too, will be an amazing televised fundraiser for our beloved charity Keep Memory Alive that supports the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Michael and Quincy will jointly celebrate their 80th birthdays for the gala; both were born on March 14, 1933. They met in 1969 on the movie “The Italian Job,” as the musician was scoring the theme and music tracks, and the British actor was in one of the two lead roles.
They’ve been closest pals -- “kindred spirits,” they say -- ever since they discovered that they were born on the same day in the same year -- but on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Celebrities will travel here to entertain and surprise, and Gordon will join with Wolf and his team for the five-course, vintage champagne gourmet dinner.
“We are really looking forward to the event,” Michael’s wife Shakira told me. “What a wonderful way for two really close friends to celebrate an important milestone and their own legacies with their Hollywood friends and at the same time raise funds for the great work of Keep Memory Alive.”
Save-the-date announcements were mailed over the weekend for the gala April 13 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Tickets will go on sale and be made available to supporters and the public wanting to help fund the incredible medical breakthroughs in our backyard for Alzheimer’s and related brain disorders.
Michael has just finished filming a documentary about London and the Swinging ’60s for music mogul Simon Fuller and in one sequence drove the Aston Martin in the “Italian Job.” The film was remade in 2003 with Mark Wahlberg, Donald Sutherland, Edward Norton and Charlize Theron.
Queen Elizabeth II knighted Michael in 2000 after honoring him with a Commander of the British Empire Award in her 1992 Birthday Honors list. He has appeared in more than 100 films and won two Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- for “Hannah and Her Sisters” in 1987 and “The Cider House Rules” in 2000 -- with four nods for Best Actor in Leading Role.
Quincy has won an astounding 27 Grammys from 79 nominations. His career spans more than 50 years, and his long list of legendary collaborations include Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and 1984’s groundbreaking “We Are the World.” “We Are the World for Haiti” in 2012 including Celine Dion, Justin Bieber and hometown “Queen of Soul” Gladys Knight.
Expect to see many of those superstars in the lineup saluting Quincy and Michael. The 2013 Keep Memory Alive gala will be the first major charity event for Gordon and will follow the December opening of his second Strip restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace. He opens a third Strip restaurant, Flame Burger, at Planet Hollywood next year, which could coincide with KMA.
Larry Ruvo, founder of Keep Memory Alive to honor his late father Lou Ruvo, who died from Alzheimer’s, said: “This will be a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. It is wonderful that these stars so strongly support our cause.
“We have had in recent years some fantastic galas with Siegfried & Roy, Barry Manilow, Celine Dion and last year’s tribute with Muhammad Ali. Now we make history again with the joint birthday celebrations for Michael and Quincy with the largest star turnout of all time.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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