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SOME JUST CAN'T FORGIVE FONDA

People who won't forgive Jane Fonda for her foolish behavior that day in Vietnam -- cheerfully sitting on the enemy anti-aircraft gun -- will never forgive her. Perhaps only Republicans can be forgiven youthful idiocy. But Fonda's interviews to promote her new memoir and her coming "Monster-in-Law" movie have been fascinating.

Here she is, 67 years old and finally alone. No longer trying to remake herself for the man in her life -- an insecurity that began with dad Henry Fonda. No issues with the beautiful body she tormented with starvation, bulimia and obsessive exercise. No fiddling with the truth of her parenting skills -- not so hot, she says. She does not seem serene, but she's edging toward that state, her emotions close to the surface. She says now is the happiest time of her life, but one senses she wants more. Perhaps more will come in the form of a man who will give and not take, a man who will remake himself for her.

On TV with Paula Zahn the other night, Fonda spoke of her marriage to Roger Vadim, and the threesomes he occasionally wanted. "How did you feel about that?" asked Zahn, as if Jane had admitted to murder. "I'm an actress, you know," replied Fonda, and then added, "And I drank. I drank to numb myself."

This third act of the saga of Jane Fonda might well be the most fulfilling for her.

If "Monster-In-Law" doesn't live up to expectations, it won't be because the public "can't forgive" her long-ago war stance. Jane returned from Vietnam and took up her career. Many successful movies followed and another best actress Oscar for "Coming Home." (Her first was for "Klute.") And then she retired by choice to become Mrs. Ted Turner.

Beverly Sills, the bubbliest and most approachable, adorable opera diva ever, receives the Volunteer of the Year Award at the 28th Multiple Sclerosis Dinner of Champions in New York on April 27. Ms. Sills is being recognized for her steadfast dedication to finding a cure for MS. Beverly's daughter, Muffy, has the disease. Call 212-463-7787 ext. 3016.

Favorite fellows: My dear friend David Barrett participated in the first Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Designers Show House 33 years ago (It's been 44 years since he decorated my first apartment in Gotham.) This year marks his ninth time creating a room for this worthy organization. He calls his room "Reflection" and it captures David's vivid imagination. Stop by 54 East 64 Street beginning Tuesday to see for yourself. Call 212-755-5733 ... THE Fred Ebb Foundation in association with the Roundabout Theatre Co. has created The Fred Ebb Award for aspiring musical theater songwriters with the first of its kind being announced this coming November. There's a $50,000 award included. So, if you think you've got what it takes, contact www.fredebbfoundation.org between May 1 and June 30. Love you, Freddy. ...

Tribune Media Services

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