Beatty talking back after ‘Crackpot’ remark

GOOD MORNING: Warren Beatty is picking up the gauntlet tossed him by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s communications director, Rob Stutzman, who called Beatty “a crackpot.” Further, Arnold’s Stutzman challenged Beatty to hie to Orange County and deliver the same speech with which Beatty electrified (standing ovation) the graduating class he addressed last Saturday at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. When I spoke to Beatty Monday morning, he said, “To my knowledge, I’ve never been called a ‘crackpot’ before, but that’s fine.” As for Orange County, Beatty said he’d be happy to deliver the same speech there, a speech in which he pulled no punches on Arnold’s attempts to bring in contributions from states like Texas, Florida and Illinois in order to finance Arnold’s attempts for a special state election … Beatty was besieged by press following his speech, inquiring if he plans to run for governor. He allowed Monday, “It’s important for people in our community to say what you believe and that you do not have to run for public office. People want to push you into closure. I refuse to allow that to happen.” I reminded him he kept a low profile in the presidential campaign. His answer: “Republicans wanted to demonize the entertainment community and I felt, with a high profile, I wouldn’t be helpful. However, (here and now) it’s hard to demonize the entertainment industry in California when the governor himself is a movie actor.” In his address, Beatty delivered a specific five-point program for California — and the nation as a whole. And taking off the gloves against Arnold, who had called the opposition “girly men,” Beatty said, “Bullies are basically cowards.” But lest we think Warren’s leaving showbiz, he said he’s “working on something.” Whether it’s a script or a campaign speech, he admitted, “Every once in a while, I enjoy the sound of my voice.” And it’s the voice of a Democrat. The previous weekend, you would have found Beatty camping out with 10-year-old son Ben at a father-son Boy Scout camp,

SHIRLEY TEMPLE made the switch from movie star to U.S. Ambassador (Ghana and the Czech Republic) and was also a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations in 1969. She has always been a supporter of Republican candidates over the years. But don’t look for her support for John R. Bolton as U.N. Ambassador. During her term at the U.N., Shirley gave me a personal tour of the U.N., an experience I shall never forget. She was surprised when I told her “The Interpreter” claimed to have been the first film to get an OK to shoot scenes at the U.N. But 1964’s “Global Affair” producer Ed Feldman says he not only got an OK from Ambassador Adlai Stevenson to film in the U.N., but Stevenson also appeared at the U.N. in the Bob Hope starrer … Feldman, talking about Jane Fonda and her return to pix in “Monster-in-Law,” recalled Fonda once asking if she could borrow his parking space on the 20th-Fox lot. “You can not only have my space,” he told her, “you can have my CAR!” Ah, those were some fun days in Hollywood.

THE ACADEMY’S centennial tribute to Harold Arlen was taped for the archival and research program in the new Film Archive building of the Academy in Hollywood. It was a priceless tribute to the composer and his music. Michael Feinstein hosted the evening with his combination of music lore and performance. The Acad’s Ellen Harrington spent a year assembling priceless film clips. Feinstein also chatted onstage with Tony Martin, Fayard Nicholas, Mitzi Gaynor, Sam Arlen and Alan Bergman, who renminisced about Arlen. The audience left the theater humming “Over the Rainbow,” “Stormy Weather” and “That Old Black Magic” … Among those on hand was Ray Evans, triple Oscar-winning songwriter (with the late Jay Livingston) who was recently elected to the Western N.Y. Entertainment Hall of Fame … Two days after winding her role as a hooker-with-a-heart in “Nana’s Boy” with Adam Sandler, Shirley Jones segued into a Marjorie Main-like role in Hallmark’s tversion of Lynn Austin’s “Hidden Places” with Jason Gedrick and Sydney Penny. “I segued from high heels, low-cut dresses, to no makeup, gray wig.” On Saturday, Jones received her second honorary doctorate, this one at Washington & Jefferson U., where she also presented a diploma to her graduating niece, Julie Hogan. The ever-busy Jones heads back to the stage and “Carousel,” next month in Waltham, Mass. — this time in the role of Cousin Nellie. … Nataalia and Leonard Ross celebrated their fifth wedding anni (she’s also expecting their third baby in September) at a lavish, black-tie celebration at their home — the spectacular (former) William Randolph Hearst estate in BevHills, into which Ross poured another eight million-$ to bring to it a glory Hearst would have been proud of — I know, I delivered items there to Marion Davies when I was working for the Hearst-owned Herald-Express. When guests left the Ross party, each couple received a silver-framed photo — taken of them when they arrived only hours earlier.