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The Insider

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It was less than a month ago that Mia Farrow and British playwright Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) were spotted strolling the Irish streets of County Wicklow, where the actress has been filming Miracle at Midnight. But now I’m told that Woody Allen’s ex may have warmed up to another writer closer to home. He’s novelist Philip Roth, whose bestsellers include Portnoy’s Complaint, and I hear that he and Farrow like to keep company whenever she’s stateside. So are Roth—who was divorced from actress Claire Bloom in 1995—and Farrow just being neighborly, since the two live some 20 miles apart in rural Connecticut? Reps for both are keeping mum….

Although most people close to director Renny Harlin and actress Geena Davis characterized the couple’s April split as amicable, I’m now hearing the decision to end their four-year marriage was anything but mutual. A source tells me it was Harlin who wanted out and that Davis is still very much in love with him and even hopes for a reconciliation….

It’s back to the drawing board for producer Ed Pressman (City Hall). He is still looking for a Hollywood heavyweight to play David Begelman in a film based on Indecent Exposure, the 1982 bestseller by author David McClintick chronicling Begelman’s years as president of Columbia Pictures in the ’70s, when he was caught embezzling the studio’s money, and on a subsequent Vanity Fair article by McClintick detailing the events leading up to the executive’s suicide in 1995. Pressman’s first choice had been Michael Douglas, but he recently took himself out of the running. Pressman, although disappointed by Douglas’s decision, says he will concentrate his efforts now on getting the right script and director….

Bob Dole may have lost his bid to be President, but his campaign opened up a whole new world for him as a Madison Avenue pitchman. If you’re tired of his VISA commercials, which have been running on TV since debuting during the Jan. 26 Super Bowl, Dole recently filmed an upcoming Dunkin’ Donuts plug as part of a campaign with Sugar Ray Leonard, Mary Lou Retton and Larry Bird. The commercials have to do with retired people staying retired. But at the end of his spot, Leonard winks at the camera, which I assume means he’s still not ready to give up his boxing comeback. Does Dole have a few fights left in him too? …

Another celebrity endorser, folksy Wilford Brimley, he of the Quaker Oats commercials, is about to try his hand at a singing career. The 62-year-old character actor has sung in public occasionally, most recently at a nightclub last month in Los Angeles. His handlers are so convinced there’s a receptive audience out there that they’re planning to book concert dates for him in New York City, Chicago and Boston. In the meantime, Brimley is about to go into the studio to record a CD of his favorite music from the ’30s and ’40s.