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John Ritter Remembered; Interview With Sharon Stone

Aired September 12, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, John Ritter, the beloved television and film and stage star dead at the age of 54. Suddenly, shockingly, struck down by an undetected heart ailment. Suzanne Somers will share her memories of her co-star in the long-running TV comedy "Three's Company."
And then Sharon Stone, sexy, outspoken, single again. We'll talk about that and her own brush with death. In-depth and personal next on LARRY KING LIVE.

In a little while, three people who worked closely with John Ritter, and knew him well, Henry Winkler, Richard Kline and Priscilla Barnes will join us.

We'll open the program on the phone with Suzanne Somers, who co- starred with John Ritter on "Three's Company."

How did you hear about this today, Suzanne?

SUZANNE SOMERS, ENTERTAINER: You know, I woke up this morning and I turned on the television and there was Diane Sawyer saying, It's always tragic when we lose someone so young. And I thought, Who? And then she said John Ritter and my heart just fell to my feet. It's just so shocking.

KING: Did you know anything was the wrong at all with John?

SOMERS: No. No, not at all. Not at all. And, you know, I -- I just -- when I heard, I called his wife immediately. And, his wife is a wonderful person. She's the one who really put John and I back together again. And I talked to her this morning and she was just -- just in shock. Kept saying it's inconceivable.

KING: You had had a riff for a long time, hadn't you?

SOMERS: Yes. And you know, anybody listening, if you have unresolved issues in a relationship, make a phone call and end it because, I'll tell you, that was my shock at his death but the relief that we had had resolution. I would -- today would have been unbearable for me if we hadn't had that.

And I really have to thank his wife. I was in the bathroom at a premiere for "Victor/Victoria" and she walked in and -- she's this beautiful woman. And she said, I am John Ritter's wife. And I didn't know her. And, she said, you and John have to get together. And she dragged me out of the bathroom and brought me to his table. Brought me to his table. And the two of us just looked at each other and hugged each other, and cried.

And what was so -- we were both so willing to forgive and it all had been so stupid. I don't even know what it was about. But I'm so glad to have patched things up.

I talked to him just a few months ago. He wanted me to guest star on his show in a dream sequence and...

KING: Ah! Would you have done it?

SOMERS: Yes. Well, I called -- you know, we talked about it and I said, you know, we haven't done anything together outside of "Three's Company" for over 20 years and I feel there's a hunger for it because people's asked me all the time, "When are you and John Ritter going to get together again?" I said, "This is just a dream sequence. We're not even in the same scene together. Why don't we do a whole episode or..."

KING: Yes.

SOMERS: " ... do a movie project." So we were -- we had been talking about finding a project for the two of us. It's just so sad.

KING: I saw him on Broadway in "Dinner Party." He was -- don't you think he was kind of an underrated actor?

SOMERS: He is -- he is the -- the finest physical comic that I am aware of. I put him up there with Dick Van Dyke, who is just, you know, incredible. I don't think John ever got the real kudos for being as good as he was.

He was like playing ping-pong ball with a great player. He'd just bang the ball across the table and you better be fast to get it. And he also -- he had great joy. And, when you're on a set with John Ritter -- it is just delicious and I'm sure everyone on his series today is just devastated because John turned the room on.

He was -- he was -- the only other person I met in my life who had that same kind of charisma when he walked into the room was Sinatra. You know Sinatra and you how when he would walk in a room, it was like -- the lights went on even if it was dark? John would that, He had that it.

KING: Your differences had nothing to do with how the two -- how well the two of you worked together?

SOMERS: And, be it clear, when -- when we worked together, the entire five years I was on that show, it was beautiful. Delicious. It was -- it was the last day -- it was the mob fury created by the producers that created this whole thing that none of us even understood what it was. But what -- the chemistry that people see on that show is the chemistry we had.

I loved John Ritter. I loved him then. I love him now. And I'm so grateful to have worked with him and so glad we had the resolution. I'm so sad for his family. Oh my God. KING: It was wonderful that you were able to resolve it. How is your own health?

SOMERS: I'm doing real good, Larry. You'll be the first one to know when everything -- when I'm out of the woods. You know that.

KING: Is it a five-year thing?

SOMERS: Yes. Two more years. Two more years.

Yes, I was thinking about that today. Audra's gone -- Audra Lindley. Norman's gone. John's gone. When that came out of my mouth -- John's gone -- it took my breath away.

KING: Yes.

SOMERS: It's such a loss. It really is such a loss. And these people that drop into our lives and make us feel good, they have purpose and John had such a purpose. Everybody liked him. You won't find anybody you talk to who didn't like him. Everybody liked John. Great guy.

KING: Thanks, Suzanne. Thanks for spending time with us.

SOMERS: Thanks. Thanks a lot. Bye bye.

KING: Suzanne Somers, who co-starred with John Ritter on "Three's Company."

We'll meet other folks who worked with John in just a moment. And then Sharon Stone.

By the way, as you know, Johnny Cash also passed away. We're going to replay out last interview that John -- in fact, the last major interview Johnny Cash did will be replayed Sunday night on LARRY KING LIVE. And on Monday night, half and half. Half the show devoted to John Ritter, half devoted to Johnny Cash.

Right back with Henry Winkler, Richard Kline and Priscilla Barnes right after this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That'll be $5.25.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what you had in mind for tonight, but I am not that kind of girl.

RITTER: I can go to a locksmith. I'll bite them off!




RITTER: All right. All right. Where is she?


RITTER: Oh, you know who I mean. Where's Cindy? We know she's here.


RITTER: Don't play dumb with me. We know you've got her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My -- my hearing aid. I can't hear without my hearing aid.

RITTER: Where is Cindy? We want her now!


JOYCE DEWITT, ACTRESS: Come on. Let's make a run for it!

HARRISON: Jack, what are you doing to my father?

RITTER: Don't thank me now, just make -- your father?


KING: He was pretty good.

We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Henry Winkler, actor, producer, director, longtime friend of John Ritter's. Co-starred with John on Broadway in the "Dinner Party." We saw that play. Terrific. They were on LARRY KING LIVE together to talk about it. And was set to do a guest shot -- he was set to do a guest shot on Ritter's sitcom, the new one, "8 Simple Rules."

Richard Kline is with us in Los Angeles, actor, director, friend of John's, played Larry Dallas on "Three's Company." Larry was the playboy, a used cars salesman, a good buddy to John Ritter's character, Jack Tripper.

And in Washington is Priscilla Barnes. Priscilla played Terry Alden on "Three's Company" during the last three seasons of the show. She was the nurse who roomed with Jack after Chrissy, the Suzanne Somers part, and Chrissy's ditzy cousin Cindy, moved on.

Henry, how did you come to know and work with John?

HENRY WINKLER, JOHN RITTER'S LONGTIME FRIEND: I met him at the 25th anniversary, ABC. I moved my chair back and bumped into another chair. Turned around. I said, oh my goodness, I just saw you in a promo for your new show. You fell out of frame. And from that moment on, we have been friends and we have worked together for these 25 years.

KING: I remember the night you and he were on to talk about "The Dinner Party."

WINKLER: It was the last time that we talked to you.

KING: I went to see it, and he was wonderful in that, as were you.

WINKLER: You said before, you used the word "underrated." You know, John did so many different things so well. He could fall down and make you laugh, and he could do "Sling Blade."

KING: Right.

WINKLER: And he was limitless in his ability.

KING: Richard Kline, what was it like to work with him?

RICHARD KLINE, CO-STARRED WITH JOHN RITTER: Hi, Larry. It was amazing. We had so much fun working together for eight years. The second I met him, the second I was in the rehearsal hall with him, I knew that we would have a long term relationship.

KING: Because?

KLINE: We just clicked, comically, as actors, but also, as friends. And we've been friends since 1977.

KING: Priscilla, what was it like for you to work with John Ritter?

PRISCILLA BARNES, JOHN RITTER'S CO-STAR: I can just echo what everyone has said, that he was a brilliant actor and he was brilliant at comedy and drama, but that he was a very generous actor, as well. I mean, so many performers will just work in one, where they have a set thing where -- what they are going to do and they know what they're going to do and it doesn't matter what you give them, they are going to do that thing. John would watch you. He would see something you were doing, he would react. He would laugh and he would take it to the next level. You know, he was a truly ensemble actor. He was brilliant.

KING: How did you hear about it, Henry?

WINKLER: I heard about it because I was on the set with him. I was being a...

KING: Oh, you were there?

WINKLER: ... I was a guest on his show this week. And we were having the best time together figuring it all out.

KING: This was when, yesterday?

WINKLER: This was yesterday. This was yesterday. And he said, I'm tired. And I said, you're always tired. He said, well, I just took a nap. I said, that's your favorite thing to do. And then he excused himself for a minute, and I went off to do work with the dialogue coach, and then I was rehearsing with the dialogue coach because I heard he went home early. It was his daughter's birthday yesterday, so I figured he went home to celebrate with Stella.

Then I got a call from the AD saying, from Lynn (ph) saying, you know, you were supposed to be here on Friday, today, at 11:00. Come in at 1:00. He's had a hard night. I said, fine. And the next thing I got, a phone call from the producer, Floaty Suarez (ph), who said I'm so sorry, but John is no longer with us. Wow.

KING: How did you hear, Richard?

KLINE: This morning my wife was online, AOL, and told me at 7:00 in the morning. I was on my way to physical training for my ankle, or whatever. And I was just stunned. I'm still kind of stunned. I'm usually a lot more viable than I am now, but I'm totally in shock. And John and I were at the Dodger game last month. And there was a foul ball hit directly almost like between us, and of course I reached out and tried to grab the ball, and almost took two fingers off. And John reached back behind the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), he said, do you want the ball? I said, no, give it to Stella. She would like it.

KING: Priscilla, how did you hear?

BARNES: I heard about it just this morning. I just flown in on the red eye from L.A. and I was on a connecting flight in North Carolina, and the captain had said that we had to wait on the plane because they didn't know, there was some kind of a mechanical problem.

So when we were waiting, deciding if we were going to leave or not and what they were going to do, there was a flight crew in the row ahead of me. And I kept hearing this whispering. And so it was like 4:30 a.m. my time. And you know, Ritter, John, blah blah blah. And so I was sitting next to my husband, and I leaned forward and I said, excuse me, I said, because I didn't know whether they meant their own personal friend John Ritter, because that isn't a really uncommon name.

And I said, excuse me, are you talking about John Ritter your friend, John Ritter the actor? And they said, oh, I thought that you knew. And they said that he passed away just that early -- late that night or early in the morning.

And it's just so surreal, because I was -- I had just gotten married and I was here to meet my in-laws, and you know, it's just so -- it's very surreal, it's kind of that ying and yang where you're starting hope and then you -- someone is just taken from you. It doesn't seem real.

KING: I go so far back, I interviewed his father, Tex Ritter, who sang "High Noon" in the movie that won the Academy Award, and was a great -- he grew up in show business.

WINKLER: He was dedicated to show business.

KING: What was he like to do a play with?

WINKLER: You know, most of the time what you did was you got out of the way...

KING: When you've got to do the same thing every night?

WINKLER: ... because -- I will tell you what we did. Lynn Cariu (ph) and John Ritter and I met at -- behind the set every night. We shook hands and we said, I'll see you out there for nine months. Didn't miss a night. The one thing that John was was grateful. He loved what he did. He loved his children. He loved his wife, Amy, and he loved his work. You know? It's a gigantic loss. He's irreplaceable.

KING: And you can't say enough, right, Richard? I mean, there isn't enough -- words don't fit.

KLINE: For eight years on the set. One of the keynotes -- and Henry knows this, because he worked on the sitcom for quite a while -- people who had guest starred on our show occasionally would write notes to the show and say "thank you for a great time that we had on the show." It was a wonderful atmosphere on the set. And John set the tone for that. He was a gracious, funny, loving human being. And I shall miss him deeply.

WINKLER: He brought that to "8 Simple Rules." When I got there on Monday, the one word that everybody said, everybody, we are so happy. And it was all because of the tone that John set.

KING: Priscilla, life isn't fair?

BARNES: No. I was -- I was listening to Henry and I thought that he put it so eloquently. I mean, John could bring you to his knees in laughter, and yet he was a very private person. You know? He -- I think I worked on the show for like a year and a half before I knew who his dad was. And he carried around his private pain and angst. But I run into so many actors over the years, and when they see me, they always relate, you know, that they worked with him in some way, and people love him. Because he doesn't think about himself. He wants everyone to be happy on the set. He's just joy, joy, joy.

KING: Always think of him in the present tense. Thank you, Henry.

WINKLER: Oh, I'm so sorry we're here for this, but thank you.

KING: Thank you, Richard.

KLINE: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Thank you, Priscilla. BARNES: Thank you, Larry. Hello, Richie.

KLINE: Hello, Priscilla.

KING: Henry Winkler, Richard Kline, Priscilla Barnes. Suzanne Somers earlier. Sad day.

We'll be back with Sharon Stone, starring in a new thriller, "Cold Creek Manor." Don't go away.


KING: A film will open next Friday night. I'm going to see the movie next week. I've seen previews. And tonight I saw just one and a half minute like trailer of "Cold Creek Manor." Two people watching are still painted out starring Sharon Stone and Dennis Quaid. It opens in theaters next Friday, September 19. Before the movie, you look fantastic.


KING: Speaking -- we've been talking about sad things tonight. How did you hear about John Ritter

STONE: Oh, through some friends. It was surprising. Surprising, you know? It's always a kind of a shock when you hear someone young. It reminds us to live in the moment, I think. And to treasure that we never know.

KING: Tell me about your health. What happened to you?


KING: Yes.

STONE: So many things have happened to me.

KING: Health wise.

STONE: I had a brain hemorrhage a couple of years ago.

KING: What happened when you have a brain hemorrhage?

STONE: Your head hurts. And, I've done a public service announcement for the stroke foundation because I really want to remind people that if you have what you think is the worst headache you've ever had, go directly to the hospital. Don't wait an hour. Don't wait for it to get worse and don't want to see if it goes away. Because it's very, very important to go immediately.

KING: How did you know it wasn't a migraine?

STONE: Well, it's so severe, it is beyond a migraine.

KING: Really?

STONE: Yes. And you feel you've been shot in the head. It's unbelievably painful.

KING: Did you nearly die? is that true?

STONE: Well, yes. I think you really hang by a thread and for me, I believe that it was a power of prayer that really kept me alive and I think you feel that kind of circle of love when people pray for you and I know that they did.

KING: Really?

STONE: Yes. And I appreciate that so much because I think that so much of the time that we spend in your life, we wonder if people care about us and if we're loved. And I think when people put so much effort into making sure that you live, somehow you feel like that question's been answered.

KING: Did you have surgery?

STONE: Oh, yes.

KING: Had to go into the brain?

KING: Well, they went in through my femoral artery which is an artery you get to just above your hip, but they did go in through my neck. It was actually -- I had a tear in the artery in the back of my neck. Which bled into my brain and they blocked that by putting platinum coils in there and shutting it down.

KING: Is that pretty assured it won't happen again?

STONE: Well, let's hope not.

KING: You can't do anything to prevent something like this, right? This is like what happened John Ritter, this is one of the freak things.

STONE: Well, yes. Except I get to be here with you.

KING And you get to be alive?


KING: Was it tough now coming back to work?

STONE: No. It was nice coming back to work.

KING: You hadn't worked in how long?

STONE: Oh, almost four years. Three and a half years. But...

KING: Long time for you?

STONE: Yes, but a nice time. I decided that I wanted to take sometime off and have a baby and I wanted to be with my son until he was a couple of years old. And then this happened and I took another year off. KING: Sharon Stone's son and my little son Cannon have the same birth date. May 22nd, 2000.

STONE: Yes. They play together.

KING: Boy are they cute?

STONE: It's amazing to watch them grow up together.

KING: What was adoption like?

STONE: It was very exciting. And I talked to people about it and really encourage it because I think, you know, once you -- some people really think I want my own kid but you really do get your own kid. It's unbelievable -- it's uncanny how much Roan looks like us. And, how you -- he is our own kid. And, it's just another one I think of god's big birth canals. You ask god to bring you your child and your child shows up.

KING: He's here when he's handed to you, right?

STONE: I think before he was handed to me, he was mine. The minute I knew he was coming, I started dreaming about him and thinking about him, and we were on the phone to the doctor and the delivery room and I just knew the second he was born. And the second he breathed his first breath, I felt that happen in my heart. And...

KING: I don't get too personal because I want to talk about films but anything to talk about having the marriage break up?

STONE: Well, you know, I really had hopped that it would be a forever thing and I think because of Roan, there's a forever connection.

KING: Will be forever connected, right?


KING: Is he a good father?

STONE: Yes. But I don't think that -- I mean society tells us that you have to feel sad when relationships end but I look at my life, you know, I have happy memories from other relationships, you know.

I'm -- you know, in my 40s and I look back through my life and people I have relationships with and we're great friends and I feel terrific about those relationships and I think you can feel wonderful about relationships that didn't go forever.

KING: Sure.

STONE: I mean, look at you.

KING: Still a smart ass. You going to remain -- you have to be friendly for Roan, don't you? You don't have to be. STONE: Cordial and respectful.

KING: Is it going to be nasty or is it going to be okay?

STONE: Oh, shut up. You want to talk about your 17 marriages right here and right now, Larry?

KING: Would you stop that. That's not true. I just wanted to ask you. I worry about you. I like you. You're a pain. Still a pain.

Do, you die in this movie?

STONE: Do you want me to.

KING: Speaking of the movie, as we go to break, here's Sharon Stone in a scene from this movie will fry your eyes out, "Cold Creek Manor."


STONE: Oh! Hi. Oh, nice job.

STEPHEN DORFF, ACTOR: Thank you, Ms. Person (ph).

STONE: Leah.

DORFF: Like the jet, right?

STONE: Yes. Oh. We didn't know it was going to be this hot.

DORFF: I don't think your daughter likes me very much.

STONE: Oh, sure she does. She's just a bit shy.

DORFF: She's a pretty girl.


DORFF: Just like her mommy.




RICHARD GERE, ACTOR: You must have known something was going on.

STONE: Yes. I thought you were working late.

Are you in love with her?

I'm sorry. Isn't that the traditional question? I say, Are you in love with her. And then you say, Well, I don't know. I'm very confused. I need some time. And then I respond... GERE: Look. I -- I didn't plan this.

STONE: I believe that.

GERE: What does that mean?

STONE: I'm the planner. You're the creative one. Isn't that the deal? Isn't that what this relationship is based on?


KING: What a career. Sharon Stone. "Cold Creek Manor" is the new one. Opens next Friday.

By the way, before I ask about it, how did you -- how did you pick the name Roan?

STONE: It's a Celtic name and I...

KING: Oh, and we all love Celtic names.

STONE: Well, my family is Irish, you know. All the kids in my family were Michael, Sharon, Kelly and Patrick. And we wanted the Irish side of the family to have a little...

KING: So it's....


KING: Do you call him Roani (ph)?

STONE: Yes, we do it. We call him Roani. Roani Baloney.

KING: Do you worry about him being a celebrity kid?

STONE: You know, I try to keep that to a dull roar. I try to keep his privacy in tact and...

KING: Does he go to preschool?

STONE: He goes to pre-k.



KING: Are you dating? Are you out and about?

STONE: Well, I haven't been on a date yet though...

KING: Come on.

STONE: ...the magazines keep saying that I have been on dates and...

KING: You have not been on a date? STONE: I have not been on a date, no. They say I went on a date with Kate Hudson's brother and I didn't know she had a brother, but we looked him up on the Internet to see what my phantom date looked like.

KING: And?

STONE: He looked nice but, you know, no date.

KING: You don't get calls? Come on.

STONE: I've had some calls. Yes, I've had calls. And I've talked to nice people on the phone.

KING: Do you miss dating?



STONE: No. I'm just not ready. It's just really an overwhelming thought to me right now. I'm trying to take it easy and take it slow.

KING: Live down here now? Don't live in San Francisco anymore?

STONE: That's right.

KING: Tell me about "Cold Creek Manor." First, what's it like to work with Dennis Quaid?

STONE: Well, he's lovely.

KING: Great actor, isn't he?

STONE: Great actor. Really talented actor and a really disciplined actor and old friend and someone I was really pleased to work with. And he's such a gentleman. And -- old fashioned kind of gentleman. Kind of guy that stands up with when you come in the room and gives you his chair and...

KING: Don't see many of those.

STONE: No. It's such a pleasure.

KING: So it's been four years. How did the script come about? How did they entice you to do this?

STONE: I met a terrific gal at Disney named Nina Jacobson (ph) who I liked very much and she has a couple of kids. And I felt very safe and comfortable with her. And -- so when she called me and said I have movie that I think is really right for you, I felt like it might be a right time to come back for work. And it was Mike Figgis directing, who I've known a long time, and who -- I love his movies. I just thought, "Leaving Las Vegas" was incredible and all the way back to "Internal Affairs" was just a great amazing.

KING: Great movie.

STONE: Great. And he's just so smart and the guy scores his own movies and works on the rewrites himself and -- you know? Can handle a camera.

KING: Did you like the script right away?

STONE: I didn't love the script right away but when I thought, OK, it's -- because I -- you know, I thought it's a big formula studio movie and do I really want to do that? And, I was basically scared to go back to work. I had been out so long I was going to find any reason why I didn't want to go back to work.

And then I thought, well, with Mike, it'll be really interesting and with Dennis, I'll feel really safe and so then I started thinking about the reasons why, yes, it is really good and it is great to be in the studio movie and it is great to be safe with a studio.

KING: Are you happen with the movie?

STONE: Yes, I am.

KING: Now this is a movie who buys a house, right? That looks fantastic.

STONE: Yes, and they buy a great, big, fabulous house in the country and they...

KING: And they have children?

STONE: They have -- we have two great kids. And these actors were fabulous. And we moved to this big house in the country and it's -- that's in foreclosure, so we get it for a song, and -- because the guy that lost it is in jail. And that's played by Stephen Dorff who plays it just brilliantly...

KING: He's some actor.

STONE: Oh! And he was so great as the villain that he really scared the living crap out of us, you know? We -- they say cotton (ph) -- were freaked out. And it was just so fun to make. So he comes and he wants his house back and...

KING: And it's a story about terror of the people who lived there before, right? Because the advance copy says when you buy a house, do you know who lived there before?

STONE: Well, he lived there before he went to jail and then he gets out of jail and he wants his house back.

KING: So he's doing the haunting?

STONE: He's coming after us and we don't really know exactly why or what's up.

KING: Is playing horror or playing afraid different from other kinds of playing?

STONE: Well, yes. I'm used to being the one that terrorizes people in movies which is a lot...

KING: That's right. You're a villainess.

STONE: Yes. I'm that sort of femme fatale type, so...

KING: In "Casino" you were a victimness (ph).

STONE: In a way. But she sort of created havoc through the intensity of the way she received -- she received it.

But with this, you know -- you've got people terrorizing you. It's exhausting. You really do -- yes, I didn't think about that when I took the part. I didn't think, hey, I'm going to be out in the rain for weeks on end. Or, Hey, I'm going to have to be thrown down a well or deal with all these snakes. And they were real snakes.

KING: Real snakes (ph).

STONE: Oh my -- you know, I spent a whole day in bed with a boa constrictor. You know, you have to deal with that. And that's kind of daunting.

KING: Were you scared when you see the film?

STONE: There was actually one moment, even though I was prepared for everything because obviously I was there, there was one moment when where I screamed and jumped out of my chair myself even -- yes.

KING: They do it to you, these kind of movies, don't they?

STONE: Yes, because I kind of go for those sort of movies. I was a big Hitchcock fan and...

KING: Does it -- the borderline is that it's not -- is it manipulative or not manipulative? In other words, does it...

STONE: Well, hopefully they are, because I think when you go to see a scary movie, you want to be manipulated, you want to be scared, you want to be turned around because I think it's -- I think it's sort of sexy. I think people want to be scared to grab the person in the seat next to them...

KING: Sure.

STONE: ... or hold their hand or leave the theater for...

KING: How's it -- how's it testing, as they say?

STONE: Oh, good. It's tracking...

KING: They're tracking. They show this to audiences and get audiences' opinions, right?


KING: Have you gone to a tracking session?

STONE: Not on this movie.

KING: But you have in the past?

STONE: Mm-hmm.

KING: When you sit there, around you, and you know the people are going to judge the movie at the end, it's kind of...

STONE: You know what I did years ago, when "Basic Instinct" was being shown to an audience of critics? Mimi (ph) and I snuck into one of the critics' screenings, wore hats and snuck into the back of the theater. And watched to see what they really thought, not what they were going to write and it was so fun.

KING: Wow.

Speaking of that kind of movie, as we go to break -- we'll be taking calls for Sharon Stone. Her new film is "Cold Creek Manor." It's in theaters next Friday, September 19.

Here's a scene from "Basic..."



KING: I wonder what scene they're going -- from "Basic Instinct." Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you kill Mr. Boz, Ms. Tramell?

STONE: I'd have to be pretty stupid to write a book about killing and then kill somebody the way I described it in my book. I'd be announcing myself as a killer. I'm not stupid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know you're not stupid, Ms. Tramell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe that's what you're counting on to get you off the hook.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: Writing the book gives you an alibi.

STONE: Yes, it does, doesn't it? The answer's no. I didn't kill him.


KING: We're back with Sharon Stone. The new film is "Cold Creek Manor." It's in theaters next Friday. Let's take a call. Wilkesbury, Pennsylvania, hello. CALLER: Good evening, Larry. Hi, Sharon.


KING: Hi are you there?

CALLER: Yes, I am.

KING: Speak.

CALLER: Sharon, I was wondering if there will ever be another "Basic Instinct 2" if you found the right director and the producer. I thought the chemistry between you and Michael Douglas was fabulous. And you look great and healthy, thank you.

STONE: Thank you.

KING: You do look great.

STONE: Well, thanks. You know, you never know. We're always endlessly in discussions about it. It seems like it comes and goes and comes and goes. I don't know. But thank you.

KING: Whose idea was it on the leg turn?

STONE: Well, you know, we talked about it from the beginning. Paul Verhoeven, it was his idea. But of course, it was a big surprise how it turned out.

KING: Did you not expect attention from doing a scene without underpants in which you cross your legs?

STONE: Well, the idea, the way that it was put to me you wouldn't see up my dress. You would just have the allusion. I was surprised when you actually could.

KING: When you saw it, you were surprised?

STONE: Yes. That would be putting it mildly.

KING: What did it do for your career?

STONE: The movie itself or that particular part of it?

KING: That part.

STONE: Well, I think that it was a big shock. I mean, it was a break through to have a studio picture have that kind of graphic nudity. So I think to have a mainstream picture have that kind of shocking thing created a sort of event marketing situation. The movie in itself, I thought, was just a giant success and was great for everybody.

KING: And a great twist in the end.

STONE: Oh, yes. And the movie made, I think, half a billion dollars.

KING: You appeared with David Letterman on Wednesday night, our friend Davis, and you had a kiss -- well let's watch what happened and I'll ask you about it. Watch.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST "LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Now, was I correct, you have not been here in nine years?

STONE: In a coon's age.

LETTERMAN: In a coon's age. Was it something that didn't untoward happen the last time you were here?


LETTERMAN: What was the problem?

STONE: I don't remember but I remember leaving thinking you were a stinker.

LETTERMAN: You wouldn't be the first. That's a long list. If I said something or did something, for god's sake, I apologize.

STONE: Want to kiss and make up?


STONE: Okay. Again? all right. Come on.


KING: You'll do anything, won't you, Sharon? Are you going to do the suspenders again?

STONE: Isn't that sweet? Get over here.

KING: There we go. We have clips -- here's the history of Sharon Stone and suspenders. Watch.


KING: This is the first time we're together.


KING: It was always -- want to do that again?


KING: Go ahead. I don't care.

Go ahead.

STONE: She loves, for these moments. KING: Every time she comes, something happens on this -- there she goes. Get it over with. One more time. You love it. Oh. Go ahead. Do it.

STONE: Oh, can I?

KING: Love that. It's a turn on.


KING: Boy, I look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Boy was I fat.

STONE: The history of our hair alone.

KING: What were you doing with that brown hair?

STONE: I was doing "Last Dance." Yes, Yes.

KING: It looked, it looked...

STONE: For my craft.

KING: Now are you back full-time now? Are you going to do movies? Are you full-time actress again?

STONE: Well, yes. I just finished three episodes on "The Practice," which start airing October 4. And then I'll be moving on to play opposite Halle Berry when she is cat woman for Warner Brothers.

KING: They're going to make a whole movie about Cat Woman?

STONE: Yes. She is the cat.

KING: And you are?

STONE: I am her costar.

KING: Villainous?

STONE: Can't say.

KING: What do you play on "The practice?"

STONE: I play a lawyer who believes that God speaks to her and she has some trouble with her firm and goes to the practice for representation.

KING: Well, they've changed that program? They dropped some people?

STONE: Yes, they did. And James Spader has come in to be the helm of that show.

KING: You work in scenes with him?

STONE: Yes, I do. Which is just fabulous. He's such a great actor.

KING: Why are you doing episodic television?

STONE: Well, you know, David Kelly is such a fabulous -- yes. That's the about the best way to put it. You don't get writing like that too often. When he called me and said, I'll write a character for you, I mean, gosh, why not?

KING: Why not.


KING: We'll take phone calls for Sharon Stone. Her new film is "Cold Creek Manor" with Dennis Quaid. It's in theaters next Friday, September 19. Don't go away.


KATHY BATES, ACTRESS: What about her? She ever want to kill her husband?

STONE: Why would she want to do that?

BATES: Maybe she found out you were sleeping with him.

STONE: That's so clever. What did you do, ask one of the faculty or any of the students? Oh I know, you read it in the brochure, right?

BATES: So she knew?

STONE: Of course she knew. Ask her. Come on, she's not a murderer. She's an ex-nun for Christ's sake.

BATES: I remember them. They disappeared over night like dial phones. What about you? What if you wouldn't leave her?

STONE: Honey, if I couldn't get a man to leave her, I wouldn't kill him, I'd kill myself.



KING: Was "Casino" fun?

STONE: Oh, yes.

KING: Rickles.

STONE: Oh, he was hilarious. Every day.

KING: Galliano Island, British Columbia, with Sharon Stone. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry, thank you for taking my call. Sharon, you have been so good in so many movies. The very first movie I ever saw you in was "Total Recall" with Arnold Schwarzenegger. My question is, what do you think about Arney baby running for governor? Thank you, Sharon.

STONE: Well, I think he is a very dedicated, prepared individual. And I think should it come to pass that he becomes governor that he would prepare himself and do a good job. I don't know what else to say.

KING: You like working with him?

STONE: I love working with him. I learned so much from him.

KING: He'll be here Wednesday night, folks, by the way. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wednesday night. Right here.

Pittsburgh, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Hi, Larry. Hi, Sharon.


CALLER: Sharon, I wanted to ask you. How has your career changed from when you first started out to now? And I also wanted to congratulate you on your new movie.

STONE: Thank you. Well, I would have to say from when I first started out, I would have learned how to act.

KING: What was your first movie?

STONE: My very first movie was a Woody Allen movie called "Stardust Memories." I stood in line to be an extra. And I got cast as an extra. And I went to do that work, and the girl who was supposed to do a small reoccurring role in the movie didn't arrive. And I got upgraded.

KING: When did you know you were an actress?

STONE: I mean, I think really deep down in my heart know that I really could do it 100 percent all the way, maybe when I finished "Casino."

KING: Really?

STONE: Yeah. More than I was just a star.

KING: Yeah.

STONE: Then.

KING: Laguna Miguel, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thanks very much for taking my call.

KING: Sure. CALLER: Sharon, you have done some great work with charities as a part of your career. And I am just curious to know, now as a parent, has your focus with charities changed or are you going to continue to do the kind of work that you have done so well for all the great causes that you support?

STONE: I think that my focus has changed, because the ease with which I do it has changed. Perhaps because my time is somewhat more limited, I've relaxed into it in a different way. And when I do it, I don't know but I've found a kind of internal graciousness about it. It seems easier now.

KING: You fought AIDS a long time.

STONE: Yeah. I still am.

KING: Did you have a white light experience? Did you see death? Really?

STONE: Yeah.

KING: You did?

STONE: Yeah.

KING: Come on.

STONE: Yeah, I did. You know, it sounds -- it sounds...

KING: Spooky.

STONE: But it isn't spooky. It's so comforting to have had that experience, to have -- it's been two years now, so you know, when I talk about these things now, they seem to me more ordinary than they did at the moment that it all happened, but, yes, at the time that I had the brain hemorrhage and the day that it was all really had reached the nadir of the experience, I became unconscious and I really sort of went into the vortex of that white light. And...

KING: What's it like?

STONE: It's very, very beautiful. And very comforting. And very peaceful. And quiet. And clean.

KING: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, last call for Sharon Stone. The film is "Cold Creek Manor." Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Sharon. You look fabulous.

STONE: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is, will you be adopting anymore children?

STONE: Well, I just...

KING: You can as a single parent. STONE: Yes, I can. We'll just have to see what the plan for me is. I would love to have more family, but I don't know what the -- my destiny holds.

KING: So, not -- can't say yes, can't say no?

STONE: No. I can just say, wouldn't that be lovely?

KING: That could be a song. All I want is a room somewhere. Far away from the cold night air with one enormous care. Wouldn't that be -- you're great.

STONE: Thank you for having me.

KING: Thank you, dear. Sharon Stone, the new film is "Cold Creek Manor." It will be in theaters next Friday, September 19. Our thanks to Sharon and to Suzanne Somers for sharing her thoughts on the death of John Ritter.

We lost another beloved man named John this morning, country music legend Johnny Cash, a true American original. We were honored to have him on this program many times. On Monday, the day of his funeral, Naomi Judd, Barbara Mandel (ph) and Kris Kristofferson and Johnny's brother Tommy Cash will join us to remember the Man in Black. And this Sunday night, we'll replay our final interview with Johnny Cash from last November. It was among the very last major television interviews he did, partly because of his health problem, which we spoke about that night. Here he is in his own words and his own music.


KING: Are you bitter?


KING: Yeah. Angry. You know? You're a young guy. You're only 70.

CASH: No. I'm not bitter. Why should I be bitter? I'm thrilled to death with life. Life is -- the way God has given it to me, it's just a platter, a golden platter. Life laid out there for me. It's been beautiful. I've been with you many times, Larry. And it's all been uphill every time. You remember?

KING: Yeah.

CASH: Yeah, things have been good and things do get better all the time.

KING: So you have no regrets?

CASH: No regrets.

KING: And no anger at why did God do this to me?

CASH: Oh, no. No. I'm the last one to be angry at God. I've -- I'd really (UNINTELLIGIBLE) if I shook my fist at him.




KING: We thank Sharon Stone for a great portion of the show tonight.

Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, Paul McCartney will be with us. He'll be talking about a special he has got on the McCartney goes to Russia. And Tucker Carlson will be aboard and so will Bobby Kennedy, Jr. And Sunday night, we'll repeat our interview with Johnny Cash.


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