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Cameron thrilled with role

"I want a minimum of information given with a maximum of politeness," said that great sphinx, Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

So what happens when you run into gorgeous Cameron Diaz at the trendy Anat B. dress shop in Beverly Hills? She has just put on a sizzling Pucci-style sundress, and is busy checking herself out. She's wearing no makeup but looks like a dream anyway.

Being rather shy about just up and approaching people (I know, an odd affliction for the nosy gossip columnist I am supposed to be!), I'd have left her alone -- it wasn't a public event and stars are entitled to their private lives.

Luckily, it was the never-shy press rep Hal Lifson who ran into Cameron, and as soon as Miss Diaz had zipped herself into her faux Pucci, Hal asked the star about her coming movie, "The Green Hornet" based on the comic book character. She said, "I am thrilled about the movie and my part, Lenore Case, is much more involved in the plot than you might think." Cameron's Lenore is the secretary to Britt Reid, who fights crime as the Green Hornet. Seth Rogen plays that role. (This I have to see -- Seth, often robust to the point of corpulence, doesn't strike me as the action type, although he supposedly went into training for the film.)

Also on board are Edward Furlong, the great Tom Wilkinson and brand-new Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.

Interestingly, Cameron was aware of the short-lived 1966 "Green Hornet" TV series. And she went so far as to recall actress Wende Wagner, who played Lenore Case. "Oh, how hot was she? Why wasn't she a bigger star? She could have been." (Apparently, she didn't want to be. Wagner edged out of the biz after "Green Hornet" and became a painter, living in Malibu until her death in 1997.)

The very patient Miss Cameron also listed her other projects, "Let's see, 'Shrek Forever After' and 'Knight and Day' and 'Bad Teacher.' And then she said, sweetly, "I hope you don't mind, but I'd love to try a few more things on, OK?"

* * *

Any minute now, Jimmy McDonough's sensational new bio, "Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen" will be optioned for the big screen. There's no way Hollywood can avoid it.

This book reads like a house afire and Tammy ran the gamut -- the many husbands, the lies, the pills, booze, the neglected children, the superstar antics -- the fake "kidnapping." She's country music's version of Judy Garland -- or, as the New York Times' Allison Glock pointed out, "like Courtney Love, with talent."

This will be a chew-up-and-spit-out-the-scenery role if brought to life onscreen. And whoever plays the tormented Tammy will be looking at an Oscar nod. (LeAnn Rimes, are you listening? Life with Eddie Cibrian can't be that much fun.)

* * *

Raquel Welch, the last of the red-hot sex symbols, has a new book coming, amusingly titled "Beyond the Cleavage." Part self-help and part personal philosophy with some memoir stuff thrown in, this is probably the work that will reveal just how far Raquel has traveled from the wary star she used to be. Welch was defensive at times (often with good reason) and stressed out by her image and obligations. Her two beautiful children were the most important of those obligations, yet she suffered separations and guilt as she made her career as a single parent.

Thursday, Raquel in all her glory (and believe me, it's all still glorious!) will appear at the 92nd Street Y, joined by author Dr. Gail Saltz, to discuss her life as a star, her ambitions as an actress, the inevitable encroachments of age, and how she initially fought, finally accepted and now enjoys the fantastic iconic image of "Raquel Welch."

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