1976: Beatty big on Hughes biopic

How do some of the women who were close to Howard Hughes feel about Warren Beatty portraying H.H. in the biopic? Jean Peters, formerly wed to Hughes, cautiously noted, ” I never feel that kind of picture is very successful, but I’m not going to think about it.” As for Beatty, she allowed, “He’s a very talented actor.” …Jane Russell, when asked about Beatty’s Howard Hughes film, said, “Good luck to him! But I won’t go to see it. When you knew the original why do you have to see a substitute?” Russell admits she became “unglued” when hearing of Hughes’ death, saying, “He always kept his word — was loyal — and I was the same. He treated me decently as I did him.” Russell, who has recently played the silo circuit, says she will now limit her showbiz career to the Playtex bra commercials. “They’re well-handled,” she smiled. It’s rumored that one of the scenes in Beatty’s biopic will show him “engineering” Russell’s “Outlaw” bra. (2006 update: Warren never did get around to making his Hughes biopic and Leonardo DiCaprio starred as Hughes in Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator ” in 2004.) When I asked Warren if he still has some idea about making a Hughes biopic, Warren was his usual evasive self — but polite — saying, “I am going to do another movie, but I’m not going to say what it is.” As for his political future, he said he would not be speaking at the Hillary Clinton fundraiser at Ron Burkle’s tonight (Friday). And as for running for governor of Calif., he was positive: “I told everybody I wasn’t going to run. It still holds.” And Beatty’s Howard Hughes film is still on hold.

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