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Star Won’t Play Flamboyant Ex-Gov. Earl K. Long

January 27, 1989

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ Paul Newman has decided not to play Earl K. Long in ″Blaze,″ a movie about the stripper to whom the late Louisiana governor took a fancy.

″It was never an official agreement. It was always dependent on what he thought of the movie,″ Newman spokesman Warren Cowan said Friday. ″He had doubts about doing the movie for many months. For whatever reasons, he’s withdrawing.″

Director-writer Ron Shelton, who has not cast the part of stripper Blaze Starr, now also has to find a new leading man.

Tesa Laviolette, director of the Louisiana Film Commission, said that Disney-Touchstone is still committed to the project and that plans to begin filming in Louisiana in March should not be disrupted by the cast change.

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