- The Washington Times - Friday, June 12, 2009

“Hustle and Flow” actor Terrence Howard came to Washington last week and revealed to Green and Glover some political views that deviated sharply from the usual Hollywood groupthink.

“Political dogma stifles intellectual growth,” he told us, volunteering that he has supported people of all political parties.

He explained that his next big role will be a cornerstone of his career, as he portrays Col. A.J. Bullard in “Red Tails,” a story about the Tuskegee Airmen and their historic fight to combat racism in the military. It will be directed by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas.

Although President Truman desegregated the military in 1948, Mr. Howard says the “Man From Independence” “was not a revolutionary, he was a politician. He did what he had to do.”

As if that wasn’t politically incorrect enough, the suave, soft-spoken Oscar nominee went on to say: “I don’t think President Obama has been that revolutionary in reaching out to ethnic communities. President Reagan did a lot for the black community that people don’t realize.”

Mr. Howard also lamented the pressure politicians face not to change their minds. “We all change our minds. Look at me. I married, then divorced, married her again, and now I am divorced again,” he said with a laugh about his marriage to Lori McCommas.

Let’s hope he gets it right next time. He told G2 he is recently engaged to a “crazy half-Filipino, half-Irish woman.”

Wilson watch

The Four Seasons Hotel was hopping last night! Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry dined at Bourbon Steak while “Wedding Crashers” actor Owen Wilson sat on a sofa at the bar.

The movie star — in town for a shoot on an untitled project co-starring Reese Witherspoon and Jack Nicholson and directed by James L. Brooks — was surrounded by several male friends, but that didn’t stop a gentleman fan from expressing his appreciation for the actor by writing him a note, wadding it into a paper ball and tossing it in Mr. Wilson’s general direction.

Mr. Wilson graciously picked up the note and read it. We’re fairly sure he’s seen more bizarre behavior from his fans.

At about 9:30 p.m., Mr. Kerry whisked past the bar without noticing that he was in the presence of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Perhaps Mr. Wilson found it refreshing to be ignored for a change.

Meet the Mrs.

Shawn King, the much younger better half of CNN’s Larry King, is more than just a trophy wife. The bombshell blonde with mile-long legs told Green and Glover that her hubby owes his successful ratings to her fashion sense. Well, almost.

She explains that “after some gentle guidance,” she persuaded Mr. King to bag the huge eyeglasses he favored in the 1980s and 1990s, which overwhelmed his face, and switch to the more subdued style he wears now. “People wrote in and said they noticed the difference, and that’s all it took.”

But it doesn’t stop there.

Mrs. King, who is a singer and mother to the couple’s young sons, also tells us she likes to help him match his ties with his trademark suspenders.

The Kings will perform together June 19 and 20 at the Encore in Las Vegas. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. The Missus will sing, and “the king of talk” will, well, talk about life and his favorite interviews.

This, apparently, is nothing new for the lovebirds. Mrs. King told us with a mischievous smile, “We perform at home all the time.”

Chilean chills

The Latin American restaurant Ceiba was as hot as its famous salsa this week, thanks to a smokin’ guest from the homeland. We hear that Mario Kreutzberger, known to millions as “Don Francisco,” the host of Univision’s TV megahits “Sabado Gigante” and “Don Francisco Presenta,” slipped into the hot spot on 14th Street Northwest to sample the special Chilean Week menu prepared by Chilean guest chef Matias Palomo.

In his native Chile, Mr. Kreutzberger, also known as Latin America’s David Letterman, is a national hero, thanks to his fundraising efforts for hospitals. His dinner companions included one of his biggest D.C.-based fans, Chilean Ambassador Jose Goni.

“The other diners were almost as excited as the staff,” Ceiba general manager Janice Conner told us. “We were delighted to host them all — especially while Chef Palomo is with us.”

To contact Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover, e-mail undercover@washingtontimes.com.

• Stephanie Green and Elizabeth Glover can be reached at undercover@washingtontimes.com.

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