May the Birthday Be with You

By Tim Buckley   |   June 4, 2024

Star Wars tycoon George Lucas celebrated his 80th birthday in grand style.

The Carpinteria resident hosted a mega bash at his Skywalker Ranch, 40 minutes north of San Francisco.

The ranch is home to a sprawling main house, the man-made Lake Ewok and Skywalker Sound, a 153,000 square foot post-production facility with a 300-seat theater.

The impressive guest list included Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Tyler Perry, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Hamill, Oprah Winfrey, Glenn Close, Queen Latifah, Steve Martin, Robert De Niro, Chris Rock, and Alicia Keys, among many other bold-faced names, as well as Lucas’ friends and family.

Musicians played Star Wars and Indiana Jones-themed music throughout the magical evening.

When’s the Housewarming? 

After a protracted legal battle with octogenarian entrepreneur and disabled veteran Carl Westcott, local warbler Katy Perry has finally become the owner of a two-acre secluded Montecito estate.

Katy, 39, made a subtle tribute to her daughter, Daisy Dove Bloom, by acquiring the property, including two guest houses, through her LLC DDoveB on May 17, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The victory comes just two days after her swan song on ABC’s American Idol wrapping up seven seasons as a judge on the hit show.

The former Dos Pueblos High student has been embroiled in a fierce four-year struggle to buy the 9,000 square foot, eight-bedroom home from Westcott, a mogul in the car dealership and communications businesses.

In the heat of the pandemic’s chaotic real estate frenzy in June 2020, Westcott inked a deal to sell the estate for $15 million to Katy’s business manager Bernie Gudvi, acting on her behalf.

However, Westcott had second thoughts and tried to back out just days later. Legal fireworks ensued with both parties launching lawsuits.

The courtroom drama culminated in December 2023, when a judged voted in favor of Katy, upholding the sales contract.

She is scheduled to testify in the trial’s second phase in July, which will determine the charges involved.

So far Katy has shelled out $9 million for the estate, according to property records.

The remaining sum, contingent on the damages in court, could bring the total up to $15 million.

Home on the Horizon

Carpinteria actor Kevin Costner has admitted it wasn’t an “easy decision” using his beachside estate to finance his three-hour $100 million passion project film Horizon: An American Saga, which just debuted at the Cannes Film Festival with co-star Sienna Miller.

And the Oscar winner, 69, who also stars in and directed the film, has been working on the project for 30 years after finding it difficult to get the cash together for it.

It has been reported Kevin personally raised over $50 million of Horizon’s hefty $100 million budget.

Costner is said to have a net worth of around $250 million and was raking in $1.5 million per episode for his hit show Yellowstone, making him the best paid actor on TV.

He tells the Associated Press: “No, it wasn’t an easy decision, but it was a decision I needed to make – wow, why am I having to do this? I think I’m making mainstream entertainment.”

Even though it boasts a huge budget, the movie has been slammed by critics despite earning ten standing ovations from the audience in the south of France.

New Boo

How nice seeing my former London Daily Mirror colleague Anne Robinson, 79, is now dating Queen Camila’s ex-husband Andrew Parker-Bowles.

Anne was also host of the TV show The Weakest Link from 2000 to 2012, a role now held by Montecito-based actress Jane Lynch.

Andrew, 84, a retired British Army officer, was also an amateur jockey. He played in then Prince Charles’s polo team in their younger days at Guards Club at Windsor.

He also dated the future monarch’s sister Princess Anne for a few years starting in June 1970. The relationship ended sometime prior to Parker-Bowles’ engagement to the then Camilla Shand.

Scholarships Going ‘Round

The Rotary Club of Montecito, in partnership with the City College Foundation, has awarded 12 scholarships of $1,250 to standout students pursuing study in a career technical education program. Club president Tony Morris said fields include anthropology, early childhood education, nursing and cosmetology, among others.

Bobbi Abram, the foundation’s new CEO, says: “The club has generously supported scholarships to SBCC’s career technical education students for nearly 30 years. The college’s outstanding CTE programs provide specialize skills that students need to reach their career goals and fulfill important professional roles in our community.”

Remembering Richard M. Sherman

On a personal note, I mark the passing of Richard M. Sherman, known for penning songs for innumerable films such as Mary Poppins, who has died in Los Angeles aged 95.

I met the songwriter, who notably collaborated with his brother Robert B. Sherman, a number of times with the late Milt Larsen, who owned the Magic Castle in Hollywood and, more recently, its Montecito counterpart near the Andree Clark Bird Refuge.

During his career Richard won numerous accolades, including two Oscars and three Grammy Awards.

I vividly remember him singing the Mary Poppins song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” backwards!


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary at Lucky’s with Paramount boss Brian Robbins and designer wife Tracey… Brazilian Victoria’s Secret supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio checking out Lotusland… Actor Christopher Lloyd picking up his Java jolt at Pierre Lafond.

Pip! Pip!


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