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Clinton high on ‘Air Force One’

GOOD MORNING: In case you wondered, President Clinton loved “Air Force One.” He’s already seen it twice and thought Harrison Ford did a great job. While in L.A. over the weekend, Clinton laughingly told friends (and supporters) at the several functions that he was “responsible” for talking Glenn Close into playing her role (which took only one week). “You’d make a great Vice President,” he encouraged her last summer when the President and family were on vacation at Jackson Hole, Wyo., where they met up with Harrison Ford and Glenn Close. Sunday, 5 p.m. Clinton wound his golf game here at Hillcrest, with Bud Yorkin, Casey Wasserman and NASA’s Dan Golin. The President shot an 83 in his first game since knee surgery. He drove his own golf cart to the shop, cleaned off his own clubs, handed out “Bill Clinton, The White House” golf balls, autographed caps of the caddies, and chatted amiably (and lengthily) with producer David Foster and wife Jackie, who had also been driving balls. The President told Jackie he knew her Arkansas family members including Rose Weinberger, an early and staunch Clinton supporter. He knew Foster’s pic, “The River Wild” and complimented Meryl Streep’s “wonderful performance.” Movie fan Clinton also said he looked forward to Foster’s next, “The Mask of Zorro”. … At Saturday night’s non-political dinner honoring Clinton at Edie and Lew Wasserman’s was caterer Arli, former assistant to Ronnie Clint at Chasen’s; Arli prepared a dinner reminiscent of nights at Chasen’s: tiny hamburger hors d’oeuvres to chili, sliced steak tidbits, carrot souffle, etc. Clint and Captain Claude were also on hand to remind all of halcyon days at Chasen’s. The evening, for 58 guests, went well past midnight. Of course, talking about “Air Force One,” Lew told me he had flown on Air Force One in the past. Bud Yorkin said he been invited aboard several times when the President was previously in L.A. and he’d invited the Yorkins to drive with him in his car to the airport. The President told ’em all the movie’s replica of Air Force One boasted a few “refinements” missing from the real thing — like the escape pod, etc. … After Sunday night’s Congressional Candidate fundraiser at the Regency Club, where the President gave an impressive speech about the need for more rainbow coalition and education, Clinton and David Geffen continued conversations into the night.

CARROLL O’CONNOR ADMITS one of the characters in the play he’s written, “A Certain Labor Day” is “quite a bit like” his son Hugh. “He has the same problem (Hugh) had.” O’Connor plays his father. Carroll began writing the play after Hugh’s suicide. George C. Scott plays “a phantom.” Beth Miller directs the play, which bows Sept. 11 in Dallas’ Theater Arts Center. O’Connor’s return to TV is being planned by producer Lynn Loring who, the actor says “was responsible for getting ‘In the Heat of the Night’ on the air — first on NBC, then to CBS.” Loring is married to Mike Bergman, one of the lawyers on O’Connor’s just-won court case. When he was exec producer on “Heat” in Georgia, O’Connor pleaded with the cast and crew, “‘If any of you has a (drug) problem, come to me for help.’ They laughed at me, they just thought I was an old fart.” He recognizes conditions (drug use, and sale) continues on film and TV companies here and on location, but he admits, “I wouldn’t want to try here (to stop it); I tried in Georgia and I was a failure.” But he continues to get the word out nationally, beyond Court TV: tonight he guests with Jay Leno. … Carol Alt, last seen in Howard Stern’s “Private Parts,” will spend the next seven months in Zimbabwe and Pretoria co-producing and starring in a $45 million European co-production, a 12-part miniseries, “Thinking About Africa.”

THE MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY-Renee Zellwegger starrer, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation,” filmed before the youngstars moved into the bigtime, will be released “in a revised version” Aug. 29 via Cinepix Film Properties. McConaughey plays chainsaw wielder Robert Jack’s psycho co-worker “Vilmer”. … Danny Aiello will be roasted by the N.Y. Friars Club Sept. 26. Friars’ Abbot Alan King allows that movie hit-man Aiello “is a perfect target.” Ken Greengrass, who produces at the N.Y. Hilton, promises a plethora of willing basters for the roast. … Seen regularly (four times last week) at Marilyn and Harry Lewis’ Westwood’s Garden at Glendon, Kirk Kerkorian. … Eddie Fisher is now out of the hospital and recuping at home. … On the heels of acquiring ProServe, the Marquis Group (headed by Madison Square Garden prez Robert Gutkowski) has formed Marquis Music with the acquisition of QBQ Entertainment Inc. — which books acts including Billy Joel, Luther Vandross and Metallica.. .. Lalo Schifrin completed scoring New Line’s new comedy “Money Talks,” which has an upped, Aug. 20 release date. … Musical nostalgia note: “Ernie Kovacs’ Record Collection,” is out on a new CD (Varese Sarabande) and includes his “Nairobi Trio Theme,” collaboration with Ferrante & Teicher plus Yma Sumac, etc.

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