'Phone Call for Mr. Kissinger'

Henry Kissinger had no idea who David O. Russell was when the Hollywood director sauntered up to his table at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, holding out his cell phone. "Someone wants to talk to you," Russell told the former secretary of state, who was lunching on Tuesday with wife Nancy, Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald Graham and Graham's sister, Lally Weymouth. The Post's Sharon Waxman reports that on the line was longtime Kissinger pal Robert Evans, the colorful producer and former Paramount Pictures chief -- and also a close friend of Russell's. Evans and Kissinger hadn't spoken in years, but they chatted away and agreed to get together real soon.

Making Ben Franklin Proud

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia has announced the 2003 Benjamin Franklin Medal winners and Bower Award laureates. The festivities, which take place April 22-25, with the awards ceremony on April 24, will honor Jane Goodall, Paul B. MacCready and Herbert D. Kelleher, among others. MacCready, "the father of human-powered flight," will receive the Bower Award for Achievement in Science, which includes a $250,000 prize. Kelleher, co-founder and chairman of Southwest Airlines, will receive the Bower Award for Business Leadership, while Goodall, best known for her work with chimpanzees, will receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science.

A Highflying Book Club When your book club meets in the White House complex, it's not hard to get celebrity authors to drop by and schmooze. Yesterday 77-year-old Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter and his 47-year-old daughter, Kris Stoever, were invited to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building by the 1600 Penn Book Club to discuss "For Spacious Skies," their bestseller about Carpenter's adventures, including near-death experiences as both an astronaut and an aquanaut. "About 60 people came to meet my dad and watch his presentation, while we both answered [questions] afterward," Stoever said.

An Easier Spin With the Tops Motown singer Theo Peoples, who'll be performing as a member of the Four Tops at Sunday's free Kennedy Center Millennium Stage concert, says life is less hectic than when he was with the Temptations. "Singing with the Four Tops really helps out my family life," Peoples said. "The Temptations work 40 weeks a year! With the Tops I can be a daddy, a husband and an entertainer. After all, I'm trying to work and stay married."

End Notes

At the age of 49, the self-made queen of daytime television, Oprah Winfrey, finds herself on Forbes magazine's billionaire list for the first time, while Bill Gates, who lost more than $10 billion last year, still reigns supreme with a net worth of $40.7 billion . . . Two camera crews are better than one, at least while shopping in Beverly Hills. Rocker Ozzy Osbourne and Roseanne separately shopped at Barneys New York while their camera crews, filming footage for their respective reality series, crossed paths, or rather, clothing racks. Talk about reality . . . Looks like caffeine is not the only thing popping eyes at Starbucks chains across the nation. Playboy magazine is preparing a "Women of Starbucks" layout, expected before the end of the year, despite the coffee company's lack of endorsement. Applications are due before April 1 . . . And in Santa Clara Superior Court, convicted dog killer Andrew Burnett, who threw a bichon frise into oncoming traffic in a California road rage incident in 2000, is suing the dog's owner and the San Jose Mercury News for more than $1 million, alleging post-traumatic stress disorder and mental anguish. Burnett, who was sentenced to three years in prison, plans to represent himself.

-- Compiled by Anne Schroeder

from staff and wire reports

Henry Kissinger's lunch in New York included an indirect call from an old friend.Oprah Winfrey's net worth is one for the books: She makes Forbes's billionaire list.