(KRT) - Clint Eastwood, himself no stranger to the rough and tumble of elected office, says his friend and fellow actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to need a good measure of luck in his new role as California's governor.
"Politicians have to make unpopular decisions," Eastwood told the French daily Le Monde. "Schwarzenegger is going to understand the nature of his job. I wish him good luck - he's going to need it. It's going to be difficult for him."
Eastwood, the tough-guy actor-director known for his Dirty Harry character and Oscar-winning movie "Unforgiven," was elected mayor of Carmel, Calif., in 1986 and served for two years.
Schwarzenegger, a former champion bodybuilder-turned-action-star, was easily elected last week to replace Gray Davis as governor of the most populous U.S. state.
Eastwood, 73, told Le Monde that his love of movies curtailed his own political career. His latest film, "Mystic River," premiered last week.
He said he had the job for two years and had "absolutely no desire" to run for re-election. "I was able to direct two movies during my term without failing in my duties as mayor," he said. Eastwood added that everyone thought he was going to run for president, especially with a former actor, Ronald Reagan, in power. But, he said, he loves movies too much for that.
ZETA-JONES: `I'LL NEVER DIVORCE'
Catherine Zeta-Jones has vowed to stay with husband Michael Douglas for life, because she's "repulsed" by the idea of divorce, reports IMDB.com.
The Welsh beauty, 34 - who married 59-year-old Douglas in 2000 - insists it's not in her nature to quit.
"I find divorces repulsive," she said. "I will never get divorced, never."
She credits her upbringing for her philosophy on the subject, adding, "I grew up in a small, strictly Catholic fishing village on the coast of Wales. The people there have a different attitude to life than those in Hollywood - people stick together more. It's in the genes. Look at other stars who have come from my area: Tom Jones has been married to his Linda for 47 years, and Richard Burton never really got over Elizabeth Taylor."
Meanwhile, Douglas' ex-wife Diandra Douglas is reportedly planning to write a revealing autobiography, detailing her life with the actor.
The pair divorced in 2000 after 23 years of marriage - a move that cost Douglas a reported $64 million.
Diandra, mother of Douglas' fellow actor son Cameron Douglas, has always refused to talk about the split - but now admits she's considering offers to tell all.
"There are people who have asked me to do it," she says. "Maybe I will do it some day. I love writing, it's a form of meditation because you can reflect your feelings from a very calm position."
HUGH GRANT SAYS HE MIGHT QUIT
Will Hugh Grant's latest film be his last?
The dashing leading man told "Extra" correspondent Jerry Penacoli that he might quit his craft on Monday night's episode of the NBC newsmagazine.
"I'm certainly, still, thinking about giving up acting," Grant said.
Discounting previous reports, Grant says he's not contemplating quitting acting in order to pursue writing.
"I've given up even talking about writing because I never do it," he said.
Rather, Grant says the reason he may quit acting is because he feels a "terrible" and overwhelming "boredom with show business."
The 43-year-old bachelor also tells "Extra" he'd like to settle down one day and start a family.
"Like most blokes, one wants both worlds," he said. "You want two houses, about 300 yards apart. One of which is your single house and another is your family house."
BUT HAVE THEY FOUND WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR?
The wait is almost over: U2's follow-up to the Grammy-winning "All That You Can't Leave Behind" album three years ago is almost done, reports the Los Angeles Times.
"We're in the home straight," singer Bono told a gathering in Dublin recently. "It's filled with big tunes and it's driven by a guitar player who is sick of the sight of me shaking hands with dodgy politicians."
Bono was referring the group's guitarist The Edge, who has recently expressed anger at Bono's political activity.
BEN STEIN TALKS
Ben Stein, the monotone character actor and former host of "Win Ben Stein's Money" on Comedy Central, says his conservative beliefs opened doors for him in vastly liberal Tinseltown, according to the online magazine Hollywood Investigator.
Stein, who was a speechwriter for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, said he first attracted post-Vietnam Hollywood with his editorials in the Wall Street Journal calling producer Norman Lear "the biggest racist on television because his portrayal of the Jeffersons was such a stereotypical, nasty portrayal of blacks."
Lear was upset and arranged to meet Stein, who says the TV producer succeeded at silencing the conservative critic by hiring him as a writer on his show "All's Fair."
"I was the only Republican there in the whole Norman Lear enterprise," Stein said.
His career took off in the '80s when another Republican, brat-pack filmmaker John Hughes, cast Stein as a teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
Stein says the Hollywood political climate is changing.
"I see more and more conservatives in Hollywood," he said. "I did a guest part on "King of the Hill," and the people who run that show are very politically conservative, and are very disdainful for Hollywood liberals. And I see more of this."
SHE DIDN'T DO IT
Nicole Kidman accepted an apology and undisclosed damages Tuesday from a British newspaper group to settle a libel lawsuit over an article alleging that she'd had an affair with her costar, Jude Law, reports The Associated Press.
The settlement with News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun tabloid, is the second for Kidman over the same allegations.
Kidman's lawyer told the High Court libel hearing that a story The Sun published in March implied that the 36-year-old actress had initiated an affair with Law, leading to the breakdown of his marriage to actress Sadie Frost.
"The publication of the article caused damage to the claimant's personal and professional reputation and she has suffered considerable embarrassment and distress," lawyer Keith Schilling said.
News Group Newspapers, editor Rebekah Wade and journalist Victoria Newton accepted that the allegations in the report were untrue and apologized to Kidman.
Kidman, who filmed the upcoming movie "Cold Mountain" with Law in Romania, said Tuesday in a statement: "I am glad that this has finally been resolved."
The Oscar winner said she would donate the damages from both cases to Fara, a charity that helps Romania's abandoned children.
STONES BACK ON IN HONG KONG
The Rolling Stones will play two concerts in Hong Kong next month, despite earlier reports that they wouldn't, reports The Associated Press.
Rolling Stones tour director Michael Cohl said concerts have been scheduled for Nov. 7 and 9 as part of the Harborfest celebrations. The band has never performed in the Chinese city in their 40-year history.
"We have received the deposit money from Hong Kong and the band's lawyers have a signed contract having concluded negotiations last week," Cohl said in a statement.
The Stones' appearance appeared to have fallen through last week, when concert organizers said talks with the band had collapsed amid concerns the band was being overpayed.
The Hong Kong organizers could not immediately verify Cohl's statement.
Harborfest is a concert series intended to revitalize Hong Kong after the SARS outbreak earlier this year. The festival is set to open Friday and run through Nov. 9. Other acts include Prince, Santana and Westlife.
Actress Linda Lavin is 66. Actress-director Penny Marshall is 61. Singer Tito Jackson is 50. Britain's Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, is 44. Chef Emeril Lagasse is 44. R&B singer Eric Benet is 33.
(Compiled by Michael Hamersly from staff and wire reports.)
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