A note of personal sadness on the passing of politically connected Hollywood publicist Stephen Rivers, 55, who lost a prolonged battle with prostate cancer four days ago. He was a good egg who always dealt with me fairly and considerately. Rivers represented Oliver Stone, Kevin Costner, Jane Fonda and former CAA honcho Michael Ovitz among others, and he always had a line on whatever was going down (or coming up) within Hollywood’s liberal-activist family.

He was fast and energetic and, like any good publicist, extremely protective of his clients. After talking with Costner at a post-Oscar party 10 or 11 years ago I wrote that his head was as big as a buffalo’s, and Rivers responded right away — “Back off on that bison-head thing,” he wrote.