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At the Cannes Film Festival, most celebrities can’t get enough exposure. But after just one day spent promoting her latest movie, The Apostle, Farrah Fawcett pulled the plug on her remaining two days of appearances. The explanation? Food poisoning. Paul Bloch, Fawcett’s personal publicist, says she’s still in Europe, “taking some time for herself.”

During the glitzy American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) benefit in Cannes, San Francisco Examiner executive editor Phil Bronstein told me he’s having a hard time adjusting to the Hollywood scene. He sat through the charity auction with a bemused look as wife Sharon Stone, the gala’s host, worked the crowd. She vamped, she cajoled—and helped the audience part with more than $1 million. On our way to dinner, I asked Bronstein how he deals with this strange new world. “You’re here, so you know,” he said. “You just have to pay attention.” Sounds like he’s trusting his basic instincts.

An 18-karat gold ring with a Ceylon sapphire and diamonds caused a big stir at the auction. Elton John bid $85,000, but the bauble sold for $90,000. Although John also bid $30,000 not to perform at the gala, for $70,000 he joined Ringo Starr onstage for a rousing version of “Great Balls of Fire.” When the crowd was asked if anyone would pay $100,000 for an encore, someone bid $110,000, and we heard “Twist and Shout.”

Starr’s wife, Barbara Bach, told me that Linda McCartney’s death “makes [me] appreciate each day,” adding that she and Ringo are constantly together. “Always being together means that you don’t have to explain where you’ve been,” says Starr. “I always want to be with her. She’s all I need. She keeps me full.” Says Bach: “There is a lot of me.”

As Hollywood dream teams go, it would be hard to top the one-two punch of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Although Grant was in Cannes to promote his upcoming romantic comedy Mickey Blue Eyes, he was equally eager to discuss his costar in The Notting Hill Film, which he and Roberts are currently making in London. “She’s my kind of girl,” says Grant. “She’s very silly—the sort of girl you’d like to sit next to in school.” In fact, during their first week of rehearsals, Grant was sitting next to Roberts and started scribbling on her script. “I drew a rude picture, and she laughed,” Grant says. “That’s when I knew she was okay.”