Oil Man and Studio Boss Marvin Davis Gets Hollywood a Mile High for a Good Cause

UPDATED 11/09/1981 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/09/1981 at 01:00 AM EST

Oil and water may not mix, but oil and glitter do, as was evident at the benefit for the Children's Diabetes Foundation at Denver. Oil magnate (and since last May Twentieth Century-Fox owner) Marvin Davis enticed a mile-long list of Hollywood heavyweights to the Mile-High City for the foundation's fourth annual Carousel Ball.

For three days the guests were treated to the Rocky Mountain high life—from an "intimate" dinner for 100-odd at the Fairmont Hotel to a Gucci fashion show and fantasy supper to the 2,200-guest main event. Hosted by Davis' wife (and the foundation's chairman), Barbara, the ball and related activities raised $1.4 million. Cavernous Currigan Hall was transformed, appropriately, into a pastel-striped carousel by Hollywood set designer Walter Scott, whose movie credits include Cleopatra, The King and land Hello Dolly. Frank Sinatra sang a dozen songs, and humorist Art Buchwald provided the patter. He pointed out that Davis, 56, a graduate of Syracuse University, minored in "unfriendly corporate takeovers" and his personal philosophy was "never drill a well with your own money."

Despite the levity, it was a serious affair. The Davises' youngest daughter, 13-year-old Dana, shares the potentially debilitating disease with some 10 million Americans. When diabetes was diagnosed in the youngster six years ago, her father announced, "Well, let's get it fixed." He was stunned to find there was no cure. Since then the Davises have dedicated themselves to diabetes research. And as evidence of this commitment, Marvin Davis ended the weekend by making a whopping personal contribution to the cause—$2 million.

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