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People in the News

April 17, 1995

NEW YORK (AP) _ ``9 1/2 Weeks″ star Kim Basinger is working on a nine-month production.

The 41-year-old actress and wife of Alec Baldwin is expecting a baby in November, her publicist, Robert Garlock, said Monday.

Basinger, who starred in such hits as ``Batman″ and the recent ``Ready to Wear,″ was working on a new Robert Altman movie, ``Kansas City,″ when she learned she was pregnant. She withdrew from the movie because the film’s insurer didn’t want to be liable for the risks to her pregnancy, Garlock said.

He said Basinger was feeling great, and well enough to continue to work.

Altman asked Basinger to name the baby Robert, or Roberta if it’s a girl, the spokesman said.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Those Washington eggheads who doubted George Bush’s love for country music get the former president cussin’ mad.

``A lot of the sophisticated Beltway pundits would have had the American people believe that this was an affectation on my part, that I was saying I liked country music to be a good ole boy and thus get people along the South or in Tennessee or Texas to vote for me,″ Bush said in an interview to be run Wednesday on cable’s Nashville Network.

``It burned me up,″ the fromer president said. ``They always wanted you to fit a mold. Yes, I grew up in the East, and yes I was privileged ... but this music was part of my heartbeat and these cynics wouldn’t ever see it. They couldn’t believe that.

``Too bad. The hell with them.″

Country stars like Loretta Lynn helped Bush’s campaigns and celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary in January at the Grand Ole Opry House.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ West Virginia’s 77-year-old Sen. Robert Byrd stays in shape jogging his mind and flexing his memory.

Like those who drag themselves out for a morning run, the Democrat said his exercise requires discipline.

``I consider myself a person of average intelligence, but I work at it,″ Byrd, now in his seventh term, told the Charleston Daily Mail in a recent interview.

Byrd can name every Roman emperor, king and queen of England, and president. He quotes Shakespeare, Milton and Greek philosophers at will. He also earned a law degree while in Congress.

Orphaned at birth, raised in coalfields by an aunt and uncle, Byrd worked as a meat cutter before entering politics. Mental calisthenics are part of his lifelong regimen of self-improvement, he said.

``There’s nothing like poetry that can seize your audience and make them follow,″ Byrd said. Most recently he helped kill the balanced budget amendment by rattling off Emerson, Byron and Gibbon.


LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Kieu Chinh, who appeared in the 1993 movie ``The Joy Luck Club,″ is going back to Vietnam this week to be reunited with a brother she hasn’t seen in 41 years.

``I feel I’ve gone through many obstacles and painful moments during my life, but my life is still incomplete because I don’t know what happened to my family,″ said Chinh, whose family was separated in 1954, after her country was divided. ``My brother and I need to see each other to make our lives complete.″

Chinh, now 55 and living in Studio City, also planned to visit her father’s grave and ask his forgiveness for allowing him to die a poor man.

Chinh, who played the protagonist’s mother in ``The Joy Luck Club,″ is well-known to Vietnamese audiences throughout the world.

She starred in 22 movies in Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and India before fleeing her country in 1975.


NEW YORK (AP) _ John Travolta’s white disco suit, the tablets from the Charlton Heston classic ``The Ten Commandments,″ and the 1940 Buick Phaeton from ``Casablanca″ will go on the auction block in June.

The car in which Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman made their climactic drive to the airport in the 1943 film is expected to be the top money earner at Christie’s film and TV memorabilia sale June 28.

The car is expected to sell for $60,000 to $80,000, said Christie’s spokeswoman Kirsten Schabacker.

Travolta’s white suit from ``Saturday Night Fever,″ consigned by film critic Gene Siskel, is expected to fetch $30,000 to $50,000. The Ten Commandments tablets, with stage directions etched on the back, are expected to sell for the same.

One of the later bits of movie memorabilia on the auction block is the bus bench on which Tom Hanks sat in ``Forrest Gump.″ The bench, one of two in the movie, is expected to bring $6,000 to $8,000.

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