One of this country's best-loved actors, Charlton Heston, may be headed for some tough times as he grows older. Appearing via videotape at a Los Angeles media conference Friday morning, the 78-year-old Heston announced that he may be in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease ... suffering from a neurological problem that is often associated with that debilitating condition. In his statement he noted that he still wants to be as active -- both as a performer and politically -- as he can. He says, though, that he must also follow his doctors' orders and rest when they tell him to. He also says he is anxious to appear in another movie, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, when questioned about the project, the actor's spokesman declined further comment. Heston is currently in his fifth term as president of the National Rifle Association and is remembered for his roles in some of Hollywood's greatest blockbusters, including "Ben-Hur" and "The Ten Commandments," as well as interesting parts in such films as "Touch of Evil." He has appeared in nearly 140 movies and numerous TV shows and videotapes, including a major series on the Bible. His movie career began in 1941.
SOBER MATTHEW PERRY LOOKS TO FUTURE
Actor Matthew Perry says he's anxious to put his drug problems behind him and to get on with his career. At 32, Perry was in New York City this week to promote a new movie, "Serving Sarah." People magazine calls it a kind of "road comedy" that also stars Elizabeth Hurley. The actor, who rose to national attention while on "Friends," says that he has to face his demons on a daily basis, but is determined that his life will be clean from now on and feels he has a bright career ahead of him. He also notes that he wants to be less self-centered and a more contributing member of society. By the way, for more on Perry's involvement in "Friends" check out friendstv.com on the Internet.
EMINEM TURNING INTO A DOCUMENTARIAN
Troubled, foul-mouthed rapper Eminem is about to become a documentary host, of sorts. According to MTV, he has been traveling with a film crew on the latest tour of the group "Girls Gone Wild." Eventually, the footage and his likely predictable comments will form a documentary on the tour, a kind of music video with segues. The video is set for a release sometime early next year. The rapper can be seen with the girls a lot, sometimes in "compromising" situations. This is the second video of this type that has been prepared by Mantra Entertainment. The first was a look at Snoop Dogg during last spring's Mardi Gras.
WILL KID ROCK BE THE NEW BRANDO?
It's unlikely that crossover singer Kid Rock will ever become the star that Marlon Brando is, but his latest publicity still shows the singer sitting on a motorcycle in a shot very reminiscent of photos used to hype the Brando film "The Wild One" from the early 1950s. The shot of Rock was prepared during the filming of the movie "Biker Boyz." The movie has Rock starring as the leader of a motorcycle gang. According to published reports, the film is directed by Reggie Bythewood, who was the driving force behind the upcoming Laurence Fishburne-Lisa Bonet film "Cradle 2 the Grave."
A CHICK TRASHES TOBY KEITH'S SONG
A lot of people were amazed when Peter Jennings and ABC decided to dis-invite country's Toby Keith from a huge Fourth of July celebration because of the tone of the lyrics for his song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry America)." In some quarters, including the column, Jennings' decision was hailed because many of us thought it was not right that certain language to be used on the most sacred of secular holidays in this country. Now comes word from country.com that Natalie Maines, one of the Dixie Chicks, feels much the same way. Questioned about the hit by Fred Shuster, the music reviewer for the Los Angeles Daily News, Maines went off, saying: "Don't get me started (on that song)." Apparently the country star feels that the tone and language of the song are counterproductive, lumping all non-Americans together as being bad people. She also admits, though, that a lot of people love the song, or it would not be the monster hit it is. Maines says she thinks the best musical treatment of the aftermath of Sept. 11 is being done by Bruce Springsteen.
VASSAR RIDES NEW SONG TO THE TOP
The song "American Child," by Phil Vassar, is now at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Country Music Television says that piano-playing Vassar follows up on the gold debut of the CD containing the same and bearing the same title. The compilation features a dozen songs that he either wrote or co-wrote. Many of the talents responsible for the previous Vassar hit, "Just Another Day in Paradise" were reunited for this latest project. One of the co-writers on this latest effort is Rob Thomas, the lead singer for the uncapitalized group matchbook twenty.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 390
Here is today's question, suggested by LMarco: "How many objects to you have on your bathroom lavatory stand or table? Count them all. (Packages of swabs, for example, count as one item). Put TABLE in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 385 (QUESTION)
Last week we asked what was the silliest or oddest question you were ever asked. From a random sampling of e-mail, here are some of the replies: The most commonly suggested question was: "Where is the bathroom." Not necessarily a silly question, but many of those submitting it noted that they worked as tour guides or in amusement parks and heard the question every minute. Kyller says that once, while standing at the intersection of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue in the nation's capital (the exact heart of the city's historic Georgetown district), a tourist yelled to him: "How do I get to Georgetown?" Emily says that as a kid her parents kept asking her: "Are you tired?" We've all heard parents ask that. Finally, years ago, while visiting Universal Studios for the first time, I paused with a friend to get a hot dog. After he had walked some distance away, I yelled: "Alec, where are the condiments?" He looked and me and laughed so hard he dropped his soft drink. He suggested we switch places and he would ask the same question. I discovered I was standing under a massive sign that said "CONDIMENTS." MONDAY: More of your comments. GBA.