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January 30, 2007

Etch her success in stone

Liz Smith - www.nypost.com

January 30, 2007 -- 'I'VE BEEN called a bitch - and a lot worse - for years. And you know what, so what? People who think that aren't going to change their minds. And I wouldn't dream of sending them to therapy to 'rehabilitate' their feelings. How absurd."

That's Sharon Stone on the Isaiah Washington/T.R. Knight "Grey's Anatomy" controversy. Miss Stone added, "Please, I call all my gay friends 'big fags.' " (Hmmm . . . when the politically correct cops get on Sharon's case, I do pity them!)

I chatted with Sharon last week before she arrived in the city for her AmFAR honor tomorrow at Cipriani 42nd Street, and a round of theater and partygoing. The star was in great humor, and displayed her typical generosity of spirit. Complimented on her performance in the movie "Bobby," she says, "Isn't Demi Moore great?"

Complimented on her performance in "Alpha Dog," she says, "What about Justin Timberlake? He is a real acting find. That was a difficult role, and he did it so well." Mention Rupert Everett, and she immediately whoops, "Oh, I love him. What a fantastic talent! You know, a top movie executive told me a few years ago that if Rupert wasn't openly gay, he'd definitely have landed James Bond. Isn't that sh - - ty?"

Stone will soon begin filming "Elliott Rocket" with Jimmy Fallon and Lucy Liu. I ask her where it will happen. "In Florida. I'm looking to find a man closer to my age!" We laugh, and then Stone does a dead-on impression of a gravel-voiced Miami yenta, poolside. ("Get mommy some suntan oil, dolling.") Recovering from this, I ask, "Are you actively dating?" She responds, "I'm inactively dating."

Aside from her delightfully profane "great broad" status, Sharon continues fund-raising for AmFAR and is in the midst of a terrific project for Planet Hope with her sister, Kelly. The Good Citizens Drop-Out Project (or Planet Hope Minnesota) provides winter coats for kids whose clothes are so threadbare they actually have to leave school. Burlington Coat Factory is helping. ("I'm always up late, watching TV, and I saw all these commercials for Burlington Coats, so, I called them!") This cross-country endeavor by Sharon also includes getting prom dresses and tuxedos for underprivileged kids. Sharon - who doesn't accept the word "no" - has persuaded many designers to become involved. On Feb. 21, she'll host a benefit gala in Hollywood. "Everybody has to contribute a prom dress or a tux, and no matter what, bring cash!"

"Wow," I said, "Three kids to raise, and you are now a true matron of philanthropy."

Sharon gasped and laughed, "What, what? A matron of philanthropy? Is that how it is? Well, honey the giving stops right now."

With 1992's "Basic Instinct," Sharon became the movie queen of her own fantasies - and ours. In the ensuing years, she has transformed into a woman few would have suspected, beneath her beauty and glamour.

GOTTA GIVE Austin's Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards credit for originality. The March 9 event, which this year is a tribute to the late great Ann Richards, usually selects a movie star and a Texas-themed movie to honor. They were originally hoping for Shirley MacLaine and "Terms of Endearment." But Shirley's schedule didn't permit.

So now the celeb will be Sweden's own Ann-Margret and the film, 1962's "State Fair." Fans recall that this was the one in which A-M first displayed the sizzling singing/dancing ability that later rocketed her to superstardom in "Bye Bye Birdie." A-M will receive a Tiffany Co. Star of Texas Award. This is a big deal, because A-M is a quiet girl, and rarely makes public appearances. (In real life, she is the polar opposite of her sexy image.)

IF YOU pick up a bottle of 2004 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, you'll notice a fetching watercolor decorating the label - pine trees in Provence, France. This was dashed off by none other than Prince Charles, who has turned into quite a nifty artist. Well, he has to do something while waiting to ascend the throne. Previous labels have featured works by Dali, Bacon and Picasso . . . INTERVIEW magazine saw quite a boost in circulation, at least in Los Angeles. Al's Newstand in Beverly Hills, Calif., got an order for 200 copies of the mag's February issue. They were sent straightaway to the Bel Air manse of Elizabeth Taylor. Miss Taylor, who is the cover Dame and the single object of editorial affection for this Valentine's issue, is autographing each mag and sending to friends . . . IT IS exciting but a little odd to see the picture of a celebrity on a U.S. stamp and to recall having interviewed that star back in 1946 on the campus of the University of Texas. This is my reaction to finding the great Ella Fitzgerald carrying the mail these days. The fabled singer was my very first byline in a newspaper. A tisket, a tasket, indeed! . . . FEB. 10 is the big Clive Davis pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hilton. The guest list always turns out to be sensational, from all aspects of the biz - music, movies, TV. Clive likes to keep everything a secret up to the last minute. But this year I think we'll see a lot of "Dreamgirls" talent - Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, maybe even Eddie Murphy - up there performing.

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