LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Five weeks after open heart surgery, actor Carroll O'Connor publicly thanked fans and friends for their encouragement and he offered some advice.

O'Connor's full-page message Wednesday in the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety entertainment industry newspapers coincidentally appeared hours after comedian Lucille Ball underwent emergency heart surgery.

Jim Mahoney, a publicist for O'Connor, said the actor called Miss Ball Wednesday to see how she was doing. O'Connor, currently starring in TV's ''In the Heat of the Night,'' is recuperating in Atlanta.

In the newspaper ad, O'Connor, 64, said: ''When your good doctor tells you to take the latest kind of cardiograph, and the latest is miraculous in what it can reveal about your heart, don't postpone, don't evade, don't content yourself with the fact that you're feeling swell.''

O'Connor, perhaps best known as blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker in the ''All in the Family'' TV series, said he looks forward to better health and ''possibly (though I hate making big promises), to having a pleasanter personality.''

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Sen. Albert Gore Jr. and his wife, Tipper, say they are thinking positively as their 6-year-old son recovers from injuries suffered when he was struck by a car on April 3.

''It's been a difficult experience,'' Gore, D-Tenn., said Wednesday. ''But it has been an experience that has certainly put a lot of things into perspective and teaches you what's really important in life.''

''It's drawn us closer as a family,'' Mrs. Gore said.

Albert Gore III lost about 60 percent of his spleen as the result of the accident and suffered a concussion, a bruised kidney, lung and pancreas and a broken leg and a broken rib. He was hit near Memorial Stadium as the family left the Baltimore Orioles' season-opening baseball game. The boy was in satisfactory condition Wednesday at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Words of encouragement have come in letters from thousands of people, including many cards written by children who had suffered through similar experiences, said Gore, a Democratic candidate for president in 1988.

''The number of drawings and cards has just been incredible. ... His hospital room doesn't have any bare wall space in it,'' he said.

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KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) - After two days of meetings with government and opposition officials, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said the international relief effort in Sudan would only temporarily help the country.

The country has had six years of civil war, an influx of refugees and severe water shortages in refugee camps.

Carter traveled to Ethiopia on Wednesday to meet with leaders of the south Sudan rebels after his peace talks in Sudan.

When he left Sudan, the former president said in a statement that the country needed peace before it could solve its problems. The rebels took up arms in 1983 to demand greater autonomy, political, economic and administrative reforms.

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NEW YORK (AP) - The opening of singer Carly Simon's art gallery will help children in need and drug and alcohol addicts.

Riverrun Gallery will open May 2 with an exhibition featuring three of the Oscar-winning singer's favorite artists.

The gallery will donate funds from the opening to the Hazelden Foundation in Minneapolis and the Association to Benefit Children in New York.

Hazelden is a non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation center; ABC takes care of children who are homeless or afflicted with AIDS.

The gallery is expected to put on four shows per year, said Gina Silvester, one of two friends working with Simon on Riverrun. The debut exhibition will feature artists from Martha's Vineyard, where Simon has a home.

''The concept for the first show is Carly Simon's. These are the artists she's collected for 10 years,'' said Silvester.

Simon won an Academy Award last month for ''Let The River Run,'' the theme for the movie ''Working Girl.''

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - John Goodman, the husband on the television show ''Roseanne,'' will tie the knot in real life.

The bride-to-be is Annabeth Hartzog, a model and college student in New Orleans. They met in October 1987 when Goodman was in Louisiana filming ''Everybody's All American,'' Stan Rosenfield, Goodman's agent, said Wednesday from Hollywood.

Rosenfield said Goodman proposed on Saturday. The wedding will be in October in New Orleans, but no specifics were released.

''Because of the enormous amount of curiosity about them, they will not announce the date. They don't want a recurrence of the Sean Penn and Madonna incident,'' Rosenfield said.

Reporters and photographers disrupted that wedding when they buzzed the site in helicopters.

Rosenfield said neither Goodman or Hartzog wanted to talk to reporters.