Minn.’s Ventura guests on soap

GOOD MORNING: Add politix and showbiz — Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura tapes a guestint on “Young and the Restless” today. “It’s my favorite show,” said the governor, who’s acting opposite his favorite heavy (you should pardon the expression), Eric Braeden. Ventura’s other showbiz activities while in L.A. this week include dinner with friends Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the latter another who muscled into showbiz. Ventura also appears with Jay Leno Thursday night to promote tourism for Minnesota. Ventura’s visit to L.A. started Tuesday at the office of Noel Irwin Hentschel, CEO-chairman of American Tours Intl., to promote L.A. and international visitors to his state. Tuesday night, Ventura met a contingent of Japanese tourism leaders to encourage ’em to head Minnesota’s way … Ventura’s showbiz relations include his 20-year-old son Tyrel, who worked as Sean Penn’s assistant on the Jack Nicholson starrer, “The Pledge.” Tyrel will also work at Penn’s house this summer when he’s editing the pic … During this visit, Ventura did not meet with Pierre Cossette, who’s planning the B’way musicalized version of Ventura’s life. “I’m looking forward to it,” said Ventura. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be the subject of a B’way musical. I’m sure Pierre will do right by me.” Pierre tells me he’s aiming the show for arenas (plenty of space for wrestling tag teams) as well as B’way. “It’ll be a combination ‘Rocky’ and ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,’ ” Pierre enthused. First on Cossette’s agenda: taping a pilot in Montreal to star Canada talkshow hostess Sonia Benezra. “It’ll be an international talkshow,” says Pierre. “She speaks five languages.” … I asked Ventura his plans to run for another term. “I haven’t decided on that yet,” he said. But he plans to be in Berlin in 2002, while he’s still in office, to pitch international tourism for his state.

A NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIER will be named for Ronald Reagan, March 4, when Nancy will christen it at Norfolk, Va. It’s the Reagans’ 49th wedding anniversary, she sadly told me, adding, “It’s such a shame he cannot enjoy all these wonderful things being bestowed on him”: the National airport, a federal building, highways, schools, etc. … I learned of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan’s christening when I called Nancy to tell her about the http://www.RonaldReaganPosters.com web site. It was launched by Irv Letofsky, former editor of the L.A. Times’ Calendar section, and a group of movie poster collectors. The site includes posters and lobby “standees” plus critical comments by reviewers of films from 1937-1964. They, of course, include “Knute Rockne,” “Kings Row,” “Hellcats of the Navy” (in which both starred) — and “Bedtime for Bonzo.” Nancy was surprised to learn about the poster sale when I called, but allowed, “Well, it’s no secret we made those pictures.” Letofsky has collected more than 1,000 posters and cards. He’s never met or interviewed Ronnie or Nancy. He notified Ron, Maureen and Mike Reagan of the site but Nancy and Ronnie’s offices were not aware of the Web site contents. Letofsky said he plans an exhibit of the posters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

TUESDAY’S TREMENDOUS, HIGH-PROFILE turnout at L.A.’s SAG h.q. rallying behind the SAG and AFTRA strike vs. TV advertisers will be matched in N.Y. today at Bryant Park. Among those at L.A.’s rally: Steve Allen, Billy Baldwin, Tyne Daly, Tony Danza, Richard Dreyfuss, Frances Fisher, Sally Kirkland, Elliott Gould, Monty Hall, Buddy Hackett, Valerie Harper, Jack Klugman, Jayne Meadows, Peter Mark Richman, Fred Travalena, Alfre Woodard, Noah Wyle. Expected in Gotham: Susan Sarandon, Lauren Bacall, Judd Hirsch, Jerry Orbach, Tony Roberts, Joe Bologna, Renee Taylor, etc. … Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, Garry Marshall and Sherwood Schwartz tape special memories for Nick at Night, which airs their prized series year after year. And tonight at the Polo Lounge they will be feted at a dinner by Nickelodeon … Thursday, at the TV Acad, Martin Short moderates a panel “From B’way to TV,” with the on-camera and behind-the-scenes makers of ABC-TV’s “Annie” which aired on “The Wonderful World of Disney” … Chris Connelly, Talk mag cover story contributor, moderated a successful launch of a series of Sunday conversations by Talk and the Chateau Marmont, this one with Martin Amis, author of “Experience” (Talk Miramax books), and Edmund White, author of “A Married Man.” Next Talk Sunday Conversation is Aug. 20 with Christopher Rice. August cover is Elizabeth Hurley … Jeff Goldblum, Jack Lemmon, Penn & Teller, Nancy Wilson, Rodney Giffey, Melissa Etheridge and Gil Shahan have been added to the Hollywood Bowl’s opening night gala honoring John Williams and Garth Brooks, June 23 … “In a commitment to help curb desperation, anger and disillusionment on the streets of L.A.,” Angela Bassett and an all-star ensemble join the second annual “Have I Got a Story to Tell” fundraiser June 23 at the West Angeles Church Sanctuary 3045 Crenshaw Blvd. … Sorry to report Fred De Cordova suffered a stroke and is at Cedars-Sinai. And wife Janet underwent cataract surgery, Tuesday … Richard Gully was toasted on his 93rd birthday at Le Dome. His greatest present: Richard passed his test to get his driver’s license renewed four more years! Gully’s life would make a terrif movie — like how he got his citizenship, by enlisting in the U.S. Army, which took him through D-Day on Utah Beach to the Battle of the Bulge.

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