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George Christy Talks About Yukiyoshi Ozawa, Michelle Phillips, Frank Sinatra, The Riviera White House and More!

Japanese matinee idol Yukiyoshi Ozawa with his world-renowned conductor dad Seiji Ozawa during a concert with the Boston Symphony

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He flew in from Tokyo to meet with the industry insiders and for advice from CAA’s Rhys Broussard, the former assistant to the agency’s top banana Bryan Lourd.  Tall, trim and handsome, he might be a youngish Toshiro Mifune or a Ken Watanabe.

Pursuing a career in acting, Yukiyoshi Ozawa, a matinee idol in his native Japan, is the son of the internationally revered conductor Seiji Ozawa.  Yukiyoshi was welcomed to Beverly Hills by our celebrity hairstylist Yuki Takei, who knows the Who and the Who of his native Japan. They dined at La Dolce Vita on Little Santa Monica in Beverly Hills, a 50-year-old institution  celebrating its anniversary this spring.

Yukiyoshi didn’t miss out on the luxury shopping, finding a smartly tailored navy blue suit at Dunhill’s that he wore to Yuki’s evening.   Wining and dining with him were Michelle Phillips, a glamour girl who  was profiled not long ago with a nine-page article in Vanity Fair.   Hers is an extraordinary life that goes beyond the Mamas and the Papas, and her smarts are forever.

Joining Yuki was producer Jay Kantor, who discovered Marlon Brando.   After picking up Marlon at LAX as a newcomer to Hollywood, Jay enlisted him immediately with an agency.   In quick time, Marlon’s extraordinary acting career took over both screen and stage.  Namely such unforgettable roles in tailor-made dramas as Tennessee Williams’ powerful A Streetcar Named Desire.  The play, critics claim, established a new theatrical era for contemporary theater.

Yukiyoshi arrived with Hayato Mitsuishi, the bright and charming president and director of our local Japanese Film Festival.    Hayato informs  that the festival is growing  with support from the city and the Japanese community that is proud of its historic filmmakers, the likes of Akira Kurosawa. 

The guests loved the civilized quiet ambiance of La Dolce Vita, which Joan and John Hotchkis favor.   The reason being, as Joan tells us, “When we ask friends for dinner, we want to able to hear everyone talk, and more restaurants now have ear-splitting noises.”   Right on, dear Joan.  We recall award-winning ear specialist Dr. Howard House informing us during a luncheon interview that loud noises day in and out do lead to hearing damage.   Dr. House added there’s no doubt that youngsters playing music at the highest decibels will lose their hearing, and, sadly, it is irreversible.

Named for Federico Fellini’s great film starring Marcello Mastroianni as the world-weary Roman journalist, our La Dolce Vita Ristorante was launched by Frank Sinatra as a West Coast counterpart to the infamous Jilly’s in the theater district of Manhattan run by Jilly Rizzo, a former bouncer and pal of Sinatra’s.

It became the hangout for Sinatra’s Rat Pack that included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop, who joined him for boozy brawls at midnight and Frank’s favorite spaghetti pomodoro.  Rat Pack “mascots” included Angie Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley MacLaine, Juliet Prowse.

Owned by Alessandro Uzielli since 2003, La Dolce Vita continues serving its historic Italian menu (clams oreganata, scampi fra diavolo, steak Sinatra with peppers).  Occasional new additions such as sand daba are added.  Alessandro’s the handsome son of New York’s late restaurateur Gianni Uzielli and Anne McDonnell Ford, the Ford Motor Co. heiress.  Auto czar Henry Ford being Alessandro’s grandfather.

Real estate news of the moment.  The same property: 1982.  $4,999,999.  Sold.  Now selling for $33,000,000. 

This is the Pacific Palisades ranch house of Nancy and Ronald Reagan at 1669 San Onofre Dr. with the President’s beloved panoramic views from Griffith Park to Catalina.  The Reagan’s lived there from 1951 to 1981, and the residence has been “spectacularized,” if there is such a word, by Jaman Properties  (filmmakers Janus Cerrone and Michael Manheim),  famous for its hugely successful redesigns of major properties in the area.  They are calling this the Riviera White House.

Very much worth a look-see, if you please, by our high and mighty mega-millionaires.  From here.  Or wherever.

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