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Stone feels good after ‘Practice’

GOOD MORNING: Sharon Stone was not only good for “The Practice” (returning successfully to its Sunday 10 p.m. ABC slot), but “The Practice” was good for Sharon Stone. Now in Vancouver starting “Cat Woman” with Halle Berry, Stone tells me, “I would do it again — it blows the rust out of you.” Stone inked for only three segs — the last is this Sunday. She admits, “TV is a different world. It takes a lot of stamina, and in this role as a lawyer it takes a lot of thoughtfulness. I felt a special kind of responsibility and thoughtfulness. And those hours! They’re so challenging. You’re learning the next day’s lines while running down the hall shooting today’s scenes! I was careful and extremely serious. And I found a new kind of closeness as an actor and a new kind of courage I didn’t have before.” She and David E. Kelley had been talking about her guesting on the show for a long time –“trying to find this ideal.” … She first returned to work in Lion’s Gate’s “Different Loyalties” with Rupert Everett following a layoff because of health and marital problems. She is OK, looked her ever-glamorous self on “The Practice” and is also deliriously happy with 3-year-old son Roan. “It was time to come back to work, to come back to L.A.” In the film she plays the head of a cosmetics company, having graduated over the years from the ranks of supermodel. And for that modeling period she had already posed glamorously in gowns from Valentino, Versace, Fendi, Hermes, etc. “It was two days of fantastic clothes, makeup, wigs,” she enthused. But the film also calls for “many physical things — fights.” She says she’s thrilled to be working with Halle. “We know each other — we’re sisters under the skin.

ALL’S WELL THAT END$ WELL. The terrif bow of “Kill Bill, Vol. 1” has smoothed over talk that Quentin Tarantino would have to fork over overage costs to get “Vol. 2” to the screen by February. “Everything’s fine,” his attorney tells me. “Everything’s worked out with Miramax and (the terms are) mutually acceptable.” The exuberant Tarantino winged out to p.a. the pic in Australia Wednesday, and continues on to Japan. But before departing L.A., he checked on the pic 11 times, driving to theaters in the L.A. area by driving the pic’s now-infamous “Pussy Wagon,” parking it outside the Vista Theater where it may remain for the run of the film … Arnold Schwarzenegger received an invite from Johnny Grant to appear in the Nov. 30 Hollywood Christmas Parade. Grant recalled a conversation with 1990 Grand Marshall Schwarzenegger, who reminded when he first came to Hollywood, he sat on the sidewalk to watch the parade … Among the younger filmmakers reeling from the ban on screeners is “The Station Agent’s” writer-director Tom McCarthy. He made his film for $500,000 and shot it in 20 days before it was nabbed by Miramax for $3.1 million. McCarthy reminds that the screeners’ potency goes beyond Oscar campaigns. “They not only give a leg up (to smaller films), but give continued support getting the word out.” On a whirlwind personal appearance tour with his film, McCarthy says he’ll probably go back to acting next. He’ll be seen in that capacity in Disney’s “The Last Shot,” a comedy in which he, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick and Calista Flockhart go undercover as an indie film company … Michael Caine will “guestar” in “Around the Bend” playing Christopher Walken’s eccentric father. The WB story of a four-generation family films in Albuquerque with Jordan Roberts directing … Tommy Chong’s daughter Precious performs her (very political) one-woman piece, “Porcelain Penelope Goes to Washington” at the Masquers Cabaret tonight and Oct. 23 and hopes to visit her father this weekend in the Taft minimum security prison near Bakersfield. She and her mom Shelby are hoping to organize a benefit to try and change the current law that put Tommy in jail for nine months.

JOHN RITTER WAS REMEMBERED by his many friends in the biz Tuesday night at the El Capitan theater. Michael Eisner led off the many heartfelt tributes to John recalling their first meeting on “Three’s Company” to this season’s “8 Simple Rules.” Talking about Ritter’s generosity, Eisner noted Ritter had completed a “Toys For Tots” pitch shortly before his tragic death … Larry Gelbart recalled he’d gotten a call from Eisner, then at ABC, to do “Three’s Company.” He remembered him from a small role in “MASH.” “It wasn’t as though John Ritter was born to play that role, it was more a matter of our being born with the very amount of common sense required to put him into it. All he had to do was say hello. All John had to do was smile and suddenly it was as though every three-way bulb in the room became a 10-way. His was a present that literally shined.” Among others who spoke: Harry Thomason, Billy Bob Thornton, Katy Sagal, Bernie West, Peter Bogdanovich. The evening finale’d with the arrival of the USC Marching Band — which John loved as a former Trojan. It was a tough day for Gelbart. Earlier, he taped a tribute to Herb Gardner, who died Sept. 24. Gardner will receive a noontime tribute on screen and stage Oct. 28 in the Booth Theater. Dan Sullivan, who’s producing this tribute, is also directing on that stage the new William Nicholson play, “The Retreat From Moscow” starring John Lithgow … “Finding Home,” bowing at the Hollywood Film Festival Saturday night, is also the 20-year personal and professional celebration of producer Victoria Paige Meyerink and director-writer Lawrence Foldes. Friends who personally consulted on the pic include Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Arthur Miller and Michael Cimino. The Foldes tell me they’ll donate a portion of their proceeds from the film to the research of fractionated gamma knife treatment at the New England Gamma Knife Center. Victoria, with a brain tumor in 1998, was treated with this procedure. They are next prepping “Memories of the Heart” and “Shifting Sands” … Arthur Hiller, in accepting the insignia of a Chevalier des arts et lettres from French Consul General Jean-Luc Sibiude, Tuesday at the consul general’s home in BevHills, thanked the French government for their statements against anti-Semitism and urged more of the same along with continued support of the arts … “Acts of Love,” Monday at the Canon, boasts performances by Lily Tomlin, Eric Stolz, Annette Bening, Laurie Metcalf, Richard Schiff, Dana Delany and more — all to benefit CAN — Cure Autism Now. A dinner and after-show party are part of the program. For details, call (323) 202-1054 … Also Monday night at the BevHilton, Merv Griffin kicks off the 20th anni Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita with a bash honoring Hall of Fame jockeys Chris McCarron, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Eddie Delahoussaye. And Merv will also host a large contingent of stars at the Breeders’ Cup anni at Santa Anita Oct. 25.

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