SAG Trained Reagan for Top Billing, Cary Grant Says

Cary Grant says Ronald Reagan got good presidential training as an actors’ union leader. Grant, the 81-year-old movie idol who has known every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt, told Parade magazine that he “liked the Kennedys, but I also like Reagan. Reagan’s work on the Screen Actors Guild was excellent training for what he became. Our business, you know, involves a huge number of unions, and he had to learn about them and a lot of other businesses.” He added, “What I really admire most about Ron and Nancy is their admiration for each other.” Grant said also that his friend Howard Hughes, the late industrialist and one-time movie maker, was “the most restful man I’ve ever been with. Sometimes we’d sit for two hours and never say a word to each other.” He said he remembers Hughes as having only two suits and never owning a tuxedo. “If he needed one, he’d borrow one of mine,” Grant said. “One thing I know he liked about me a lot was that we were almost exactly the same size.”

--Leading Shakespearean actor Ian McKellen said in Athens that his acclaimed performance as Coriolanus was inspired by tennis star John McEnroe. “Playing Shakespeare, I imagine what a character would be like if he were alive today. Coriolanus is John McEnroe,” the British actor told a news conference in Greece. McKellen was in Athens for two performances of “Coriolanus” by Britain’s National Theater. “Coriolanus is a great athlete who fought battles in public but hated the crowd who came to watch him fight, and who felt superior to the people who provided him with his stardom,” the actor said. “I can believe in Coriolanus because McEnroe exists.”

The farmer-husband of country singing star Loretta Lynn says he probably would lose his 1,100-acre spread without his wife’s successful music career. Oliver (Mooney) Lynn said he expects to lose money on his Tennessee farm this year, as he did in 1984 in the face of rising costs for fertilizer and machinery and lower crop prices. The farm, about 60 miles west of Nashville, likely would fold without his wife’s career, he said. Lynn was speaking to promote this weekend’s FarmAid concert, at which his wife is among the entertainers scheduled to perform. Funds raised from Sunday’s star-studded benefit in Champaign, Ill., should go to help American farmers regain the foreign buyers they once had, he said.