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Joan Mangum’s Society Scene—Michael B. Jordan, Lupus LA Team For Fundraiser, Locals’ Books Debut

MBJAM FIGHTING LUPUS–Lupus LA joined forces with Michael B. Jordan for “MBJAM” in Hollywood. Pictured (from left): Lupus LA Chairman Adam Selkowitz, Lupus LA Ambassadors Michael B. Jordan and Toni Braxton, and event emcee Nick Cannon. Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images
AUTHOR AUTHOR–Beverly Hills author Frank R. Heller is congratulated by Lea Purwin D’Agostino at the launching of his new novel "The Secret Empress."

Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 3:44 pm

Michael B. Jordan and Lupus LA celebrated their third annual “MBJAM,” bringing together celebrities, athletes, lupus patients, and kids of all ages for an afternoon of family-fun at Dave & Busters Hollywood. Proceeds support Lupus LA in its mission to find the causes of and a cure for lupus, while providing services and hope to people affected by the chronic autoimmune disease.

Joined by emcee Nick Cannon, special guests in attendance included Jamie Foxx, Toni Braxton, Kyrie Irving, Omari Hardwick, Lilly Singh, Storm Reid, Miles Brown, Niles Fitch, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, Diallo Riddle, and many more. Event partners were American Airlines, Coach, GSK and Warner Bros.

Adam Selkowitz, chairman of Lupus LA (, welcomed more than 250 lupus patients and their families. “I believe our teams are raising more awareness for lupus than ever before,” he stated. “The more we can do to give a face to what is so often referred to as an ‘invisible’ disease, the greater shot we have at finding a cure.”

Michael was accompanied by his mother Donna and sister Jamila on stage, as he shared heartfelt words on how lupus has affected their family. “My mom suffers from lupus. When we moved to L.A. and needed resources to help her, Lupus LA was the first place we turned to. They’ve been awesome to us, so we wanted to give back in a meaningful way.”

Lupus patient Ashley Ramirez and her clan were presented with the inaugural Jordan Family Kindred Hearts Award, which symbolizes strength, love and resilience in the face of the disease.

Lupus is one of America’s most unknown yet prevalent medical problems that affects 1.5 million in the United States, and some 60,000 people in L.A. County alone.

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Author Frank R. Heller, a longtime Beverly Hills resident, mesmerized an SRO crowd at Barnes & Noble in the Grove by talking about his first thriller, The Secret Empress. In introducing him, his long-time pal, ex-deputy D.A. Lea Purwin D’Agostino emphatically told the audience: “This is the best book I ever read.”

Frank spoke about his 30 years experience of traveling to and from China while working in the import business and, before that, with the U.S. Navy. It has all the fascinating facts intertwined with his engrossing fiction. At a time when most Americans are at the edge of their seats watching the developments in China and Hong Kong, The Secret Empress should be of particular and timely interest since it is written by someone with behind-the-scenes knowledge about a part of the world that still, after 3,000 years, has more spies, conspiracies, and intrigues than any other country in the world.

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And speaking of new books, there are two others about to launch that I’m already excited to read.

The first is: Letters From Hollywood: Inside the Private World Of Classic American Moviemaking.

Compiled and edited by Rocky Lang and film historian Barbara Hall with a foreword by Peter Bogdanovich, this reproduces scores of entertaining and insightful pieces of correspondence over five decades from some most notable and talented film industry names of all time­–like Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Elia Kazan, Cary Grant, Francis Ford Coppola, Tom Hanks, Jane Fonda, etc.

Writer-producer Rocky Lang is himself a Hollywood legacy as the son of Universal Studio mogul Jennings Lang.

The book debuts Sept. 8 with a party in the Selwyn Art Gallery in Beverly Hills which will be attended by children of these icons including Jennifer Grant, Sara Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Wyatt McCrea, Danny Selznick, David Wyler, Tina Sinatra, David Ladd and many others.

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And secondly, Sandy Hackett has authored My Buddy, a new book filled with stories about his father, Beverly Hills’ own Buddy Hackett, which will be released on Oct. 8.

“My wife, Lisa, encouraged me to document the incredible memories I shared with my father, who was the best comedian that ever lived,” said Sandy.

Meanwhile, he has become the star of a hit musical, Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show, currently in its 10th season. Once it finishes touring all over the east coast, I can’t wait to see it here in our own home town.

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