Plans are in the pipeline to bring America's latest screen siren and Britain's most
famous cinematic nanny to Cambodia later this year.
Sharron Stone, the homicidal temptress from the controversial hit "Basic Instinct,"
may tour repatriation camps late next month while Julie Andrews, who picked up an
Oscar in the title role of "Mary Poppins" almost 30 years ago, is expected
here in November.
The two stars will visit Cambodia at the request of the U.N. High Commissioner for
Refugees, Sadako Ogata, according to Richard Walden, president of the California-based
Operation USA humanitarian group.
UNHCR officials in Phnom Penh could not confirm the plans but said they had heard
Walden said that Stone, Tinseltown's hottest female lead, could be here late September
or early October, but might not be able to make it until March.
"Her problem is finding a hiatus between film projects," said Walden, who
brought the politically active actor Ed Asner to Cambodia in 1990.
"She's very smart and intelligent and her roles are very smart and intelligent.
. .the average starlet in Hollywood would not be interested in meeting the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees," Walden said of Stone.
Andrews is no stranger here, having visited in 1982 with Operation USA (then known
as Operation California) and helping to sponsor the first consignment of western
aid to Cambodia after the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.
She is expected to visit Cambodia in November but a date has yet to be firmed up.
The British actress, who won hearts around the world with her portrayal of the governess
Maria in "The Sound of Music," has adopted two Vietnamese children.
The two celluloid thespians will follow the chain of resettlement-including visits
to camps in the west of the country-if their trips come off.
Walden hopes that they will go home and talk to the media of their impressions, bringing
the plight of the Cambodian people into the sitting rooms of common folk across the
U.S. and Britain.
Operation USA, which has organized several aid consignments to Cambodia since 1979,
taps the clout of Hollywood stars to raise money and awareness of deprived people
in the Third World.
"It's very important now because of all the competition for money, to get a
good story to help raise cash," Walden said.