When Rosie Perez’s dad saw her topless scene in Do the Right Thing, he literally had a heart attack. “He stood up in the theater, said ‘Ay, Dios mío!,’ and grabbed his heart,” she told us last week. “They had to carry him out.” So it’s understandable that only days before she replaced Edie Falco in Frankie and Johnny, she still hadn’t told her father, 80-year-old Ismeal Serrano, who lives in Puerto Rico, that she spends much of her time onstage completely nude. Not long ago, Perez got a call from her dad demanding to know how she could say a “dirty word” on television. Family members had apparently blabbed about Perez’s recent appearance on Conan O’Brien, during which the actress repeatedly used the word bush. “I said, ‘No, I didn’t,’ ” Perez tells us. “And then he said, ‘There’s a rumor you’re going to be naked onstage.’ I was like, ‘No! Who told you that? I’m going to give them a call.’ ” So it’s just as well that Serrano wasn’t in town last week during rehearsals when co-star Joe Pantoliano decided to break the tension. “We were on a ten-minute break and he just dropped his boxers,” Perez says. “And he had a measuring tape. He said, ‘How many inches do you think I am?’ “
Jeff Goldblum may be 50, but he can keep up with people half his age. On a recent Thursday, Goldblum met a bunch of twentysomethings, including Scrubs star Zach Braff and his girlfriend Bonnie Somerville of NBC’s In-Laws, Burn This star Peter Sarsgaard, and a few other friends at the Mercer Kitchen at about 11 p.m. Fran Drescher, who was seated a few tables away, came over to congratulate Braff on his hit sitcom, then insisted that everyone meet Esther Drescher. “Fran said she’d be right back,” one of our spies reports. “She returned with a perfectly coiffed Pomeranian in her arms. She said, ‘Esther Drescher, this is everyone. Everyone, this is Esther Drescher.’ ” After a couple of drinks, the posse – sans Drescher – headed up to Goldblum’s suite. Goldblum played the piano while Somerville sang some “Cole Porter–ish” tunes, reports our spy. But then the front desk called to say that fellow hotel guests were complaining about the noise. When Goldblum and company resumed at a much lower noise level, however, two young female model types appeared at the door. “They had champagne bottles and said, ‘Why did you stop playing? We want to hear more,’ ” reports our spy. Before the night was over, Goldblum took a liking to one of Braff’s pals, a buxom brunette. After saying, “It was nice meeting you,” Goldblum goosed the gal. She giggled and hightailed it on out of there.
Graydon Carter and Samantha Boardman looked like they were making their own fireworks on New Year’s. The couple was spotted on Ron Perelman’s Ultima III yacht for the Revlon mogul’s boat bash in St. Barts. “She was on his lap, and they wereall kissy and cuddly,” a tipster tells us. Meanwhile, Perelman celebrated his birthday just after midnight, because he turned 60 on New Year’s Day. His wife, Ellen Barkin, surprised him with a chocolate cake and a framed artwork depicting the Statue of Liberty. Barry Manilow was onboard to sing “Happy Birthday,” which impressed the hell out of SuzanneSomers. “You just had Barry Manilow sing ‘HappyBirthday’ to you,” Somers cooed to Perelman. “That is so cool.”
Good Morning America aired a live birth in 2001, but ABC newswoman Elizabeth Vargas wasn’t interested in being the first anchor to earn that distinction while she was filling in for Peter Jennings on World News Tonight last week. Although Vargas’s due date isn’t until January 23, her doctor said the baby could come any day now. “He kicks a lot on the air,” Vargas told us. So just to be on the safe side, producers had correspondent Bill Blakemore sit through the newscasts in full makeup, just a few feet away from Vargas, ready to step in if necessary. “Every single night he wakes up, and there’s a massive amount of movement right before I go on the air,” Vargas said of the baby. Noah Kotch, the head writer, said, “Maybe it’s the adrenaline in your body released before the show that he’s reacting to.” So does the baby kick more when Vargas mentions any particular newsmakers? “No,” she said. But then she added with a laugh, “President Bush?”
High roller: We hear Zac Posen is designing uniforms for the $1 billion, 2,010-room Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa set to open in Atlantic City this summer. Posen is telling pals that he wants to give $100 gambling chips to editors at his show during Fashion week next month.
With Aric Chen.