Sunday, September 07, 2008

Stars brave storm to attend Twinight bashStars brave storm to attend Twinight bash

Holy Hanna, Batman! Was that really you sharing cocktails and mango lobster hors d'oeuvres with J.R. Ewing, the Incredible Hulk and two-thirds of the gang from "Three's Company" in Centre Island?

By thunder it was. An eclectic mix of a dozen stars, from '60s Hitchcock heroine Tippi Hedren to "Married With Children's" David Faustino didn't let a little wind and rain keep them from descending Saturday night on Twinight, the multimillion-dollar manse of businessman Richard Baron Cohen (no relation to Sacha) to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Cold Spring Harbory Fish Hatchery and Aquarium.

"I wanted a good mix of people," said Baron Cohen, who's also a member of the trout rearing facility and environmental education center's board of trustees. "Adam West I've met several times, and my wife was a competitive bodybuilder once, so that's how I knew Lou Ferrigno. My mother loves Larry Hagman, so I asked him."

Guests also got to see the reunion of Joyce DeWitt and Priscilla Barnes from "Three's Company" as well as Hagman and Cindy Williams, she of "LaVerne & Shirley" fame.

"I did a movie for Larry that he directed called 'Beware! The Blob' and I played a girl who got eaten by the Blob," Williams said.

All of the celebrities on hand, including "Mr. ChiPS" Erik Estrada, who arrived late because of the storm, Emmy winner Ed Asner and '80s TV sex symbols Morgan Fairchild and Stefanie Powers, were asked because of their involvement in other green projects.

The stars, none of whom live on Long Island, were paid to attend the $250-a-plate gala. Some, such as Hedren, who operates the Shambala Preserve for wildlife in Acton, Calif., were familiar with the work of the hatchery. "Preserving animals and the environment is something that always has to be considered, to be aware of, to be thoughtful about. Otherwise, we are on a collision course," Hedren said.

For some, coming to Long Island wasn't just a socially conscious journey but a trip down memory lane. "I've sailed across from Larchmont to Oyster Bay and spent the night at your lovely yacht club," Powers said. "My boyfriend has a boat there and he sails and races up and down the Eastern seaboard."

Ferrigno also is no stranger to the area. "I was always involved with Long Island fishermen. I grew up in Brooklyn, but I used to come here to meet girls when I was 19 and 20," Ferrigno said.

Asner, as curmudgeonly as his TV alter ego Lou Grant, was more direct about why he attended: "I was asked, I was informed, and I hope to think that I'm an environmentalist. And I had nothing to do."