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Showbiz heavies rally behind health plan

GOOD MORNING: A “doctor’s appointment” was kept Tuesday morning at the Playboy Mansion by SAG prexy Barry Gordon, AFTRA local prexy Marvin Kaplan, Danny Glover, Richard Masur, Playboy Enterprises exec VP Richard Rosenzweig and civic leaders with Dr. Bill Bronston of the California Physicians Alliance. The gathering was a strategy session to involve the entertainment industry in the campaign for passage of the California Health Security Act, a single-payer health plan initiative that will appear on the November ballot. Why at Playboy? The August 1993 Playboy issue contained an article on a similar plan suggested by the mag’s editorial board … Michael Jackson is feeling fine, is in good spirits — and in great voice, I hear from those working on the session Michael’s cutting in N.Y. for his new album. In addition to his Grammy-winning producer Bruce Swedien, Jackson also brought in composer-producer David Foster to do part of the new album … NASA is giving full cooperation to Imagine/U’s “Apollo XIII” project, says Brian Grazer. The Tom Hanks-starring movie will shoot “all over the country,” including Houston — with giant mockups on Universal stages. Grazer and partner/director Ron Howard are among co-chairmen of the Apollo XI Silver Anniversary Dinner July 16 at the BevHilton celebrating the 25th anni of man’s first landing on the moon. Vice President Al Gore is expected to give a major space policy speech. Frank Braun chairs and others include Roy Disney, Lew Wasserman, Sidney Sheinberg, Frank Sinatra and Merv Griffin … Prez Bill Clinton will be serenaded June 30 at the Kennedy Center by 17-year-old Farah Alvin, singing a medley of Henry Mancini tunes. Alvin, one of 20 Presidential Scholars of the Arts, headed the cast of “Fame: The Musical” at the Alex in Glendale …”Lois and Clark’s” Dean Cain was a guest Tuesday at the Congressional Arts Caucus in D.C., speaking to a group of students on the importance of art and education. He’s a Princeton alumnus.

PIERRE COSSETTE’S B’WAY-BOUND with more projects. Last night, at his Malibu home, he unveiled his latest find, Rod Harris’ “Phantom Angel,” a musical. Cossette’s also readying the Hank Williams tuner and ‘Swing Sisters” for B’way …”Gettysburg’s” Ron Maxwell is off to a battlefield re-enactment of Pickett’s charge, Thursday at Gettysburg. He says of TNT prez Dennis Miller, “I owe him a great debt of gratitude.” Maxwell continues prepping “Joan of Arc” for TNT –“more than $ 20 million and less than $ 40 million”… Richard Lewis has a development deal with ITC on his comedy script of “No Life to Live,” which he says “is tragically autobiographical.” He’ll first be seen in “Wagons East,” starring the late John Candy … Producer Wendy Finerman greeted previewers as they departed the 6:30 p.m. screening of “Forrest Gump” and those arriving for the 9 p.m. showing at the Bruin Monday. And why not, the pic was “a labor of love” which she and Steve Tisch had been working on for nine years as it made its way from WB to Par. Receiving congrats from the audience, Finerman shared the praise with the entire film troupe. As for director Bob Zemeckis, she said, “I would do anything with him — the phone book included.” Among her projects (with first look at TriStar) are “One for the Money,” a woman-bounty-hunter comedy, and “The Fan,” about a sports celeb’s stalker … Castle Rock and Columbia preemed their “Little Big League” Monday at the Cinerama Dome with a party on the parking lot converted into a baseball field with amusement park games. Jonathan Silverman was joined at the party’s mound by “teammates” Timothy Busfield, John Ashton, Luke Edwards, Ashley Crow, Scott Patterson, Joseph Latimore and Antonio Todd.

INGRID BERGMAN joins Humphrey Bogart in Mark Roesler’s Curtis Management Group roster of over 200 celebs whose likenesses are protected to benefit their heirs … Martina Navratilova celebrated Tuesday’s Wimbledon win at dinner with k.d. lang and friends. Martina, 38, goes into the semifinals Thursday. And on Aug. 29, the first day of the U.S. Open, she launches her novel, “The Total Zone” (Villard), about a troubled teenage tennis star … Oksana Baiul, 16 -year-old Olympic skating champ, in Phoenix with the “Tom Collins World Figure Skating Tour,” met with writers Mimi Rothman Schapiro and Bill Wells to talk her biopic for Robert Halmi/CBS … The “Happy Birthday” chorus at Spago was for Jack Carter celebrating his 70th with family and pals. Best voice was Jerry Vale’s. Diners at nearby tables joining in the chorus included Ann Miller and Esther Williams … The Who’s Pete Townshend, who wrote and composed “Tommy,” wings in from London for the July 15 performance at the U Amphi to benefit the Children’s Action Network and Education First!

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