Rare Real-Life Cameos by Woody, Warren and the Kennedy Kids Steal the Show at a New York Gala

updated 04/28/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/28/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

For 25 years New York lawyer Arthur B. Krim has led an intriguing double life. As a movie mogul calling the shots at United Artists and, since 1978, Orion Pictures, he's renowned for such box office hits as Dr. Zhivago, Rocky I and II, Arthur and Amadeus. But in political circles, he's known as the Democratic Party's champion fund raiser and behind-the-scenes kingmaker. With unflagging support from his wife, Mathilde, a distinguished medical researcher, Krim has advised every Democratic President and many of the party's hopefuls since JFK. When about 550 stars of screen and politics gathered at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria hotel to fete the Krims, it was, in Walter Mondale's words, "a tribute to two of the finest Democrats in the country."

Among the crowd invited to dine on poached salmon and to dance to the theme songs from Krim's movies were Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Warren Beatty, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., F. Murray Abraham and Senators Gary Hart and Ted Kennedy. The quality turnout delighted Lynda Byrd Robb, a friend of the Krims's since her father, Lyndon Johnson, was Vice-President. "It's a testament to Mathilde and Arthur," she said. "They're esteemed by so many people."

Ted Kennedy called Krim "a dear and valued friend to all the Kennedy brothers." Mondale recalled the movieman's support during his 1984 presidential campaign. "I arrived in New York both behind and broke," he said. "I needed a friend and Arthur and Mathilde were just that. We stayed at their home, ate their food and sought their advice." The $1,000-a-plate gala raised more than $500,000 for the 1986 and 1988 Democratic campaigns. Krim has never been interested in seeking political office himself and has no idea how many millions he has raised for his party. Said he, "I never stopped to count."

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