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City of Angles

Still Superman

July 05, 2001|ANN O'NEILL

Christopher Reeve, who wrote the bestselling memoir "Still Me," is at work on a new book, which is due out in the fall. This one's called "Nothing Is Impossible." In the book, Reeve explores the mental and emotional changes he underwent as he coped with a devastating spinal injury from a 1995 riding accident.

"The idea for the book was the realization that I've probably given 100 speeches all around the country," Reeve told us by phone from his home in Westchester County, N.Y. "I was curious to see if there's been an evolution. I would look at my state of mind five years ago and see how it's changed."

Reeve said it really is a case of mind over matter. Before he was injured, he never could have imagined adjusting to his paralysis. But, he added, "we've learned how to manage it, discovering untapped resources. My optimistic outlook is possible because of the progress being made in research, and because of the discovery that not only am I alive but I've managed to find a life which I would have thought was impossible."

Reeve, who has urged Congress to spend more money for spinal cord research, also talked about battling conventional wisdom on the subject. "It's research on an engineering problem rather than a theoretical problem," he said. "All of us are required to take a fresh look almost daily because old-fashioned thinking is being replaced by new thinking."

Reeve finds time to dictate five or six pages every day, between touring the country giving speeches. "This will be a very different book from 'Still Me,"' he said. "It's going to be a stocking stuffer, so to speak. Much more modest."

Couples

TV's "Extra" will break the news tonight that Dennis Quaid has bounced back nicely from his split with Meg Ryan, thank you very much. Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995 and the former fiancee of singing pugilist Oscar De La Hoya, tells the celebrity news show that she and Quaid are an item.

"He's just an amazing friend," Moakler says. "We've both been through similar experiences." She says they met in April, when she saw the actor perform with his rock band. She says she's taking it slow.

"I could be on the rebound," Moakler said. "I'd like to think I'm not, but I could very well be."

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News reports that actress Tara Reid and her MTV fiance, Carson Daly, have definitely split. Reid, who is favoring raccoon eye makeup these days, is famous for "Josie and the Pussycats." Daly, who once dated Jennifer Love Hewitt, is famous for the music channel's "Total Request Live."

So now you know.

Multi-Tasking

George Gallo, 45, is a director ("Trapped in Paradise"), a writer ("Midnight Run") and, it turns out, an artist. He recently opened a show of paintings, "The Quiet Hours," at the Art Academy of Los Angeles. It will run through Aug. 4.

"I like stories that are basically about conflict. The kind of painting I do is all about harmony," he said. Putting brush to canvas keeps him grounded in a way pen and paper can't. "In Hollywood, it's all about you, you, you, and what's hot this moment," Gallo said. With painting, "you start to get in touch with your own mortality."

His current film project is "Friends Again," the story of a stalker who kidnaps a famous movie director. It's a comedy, he assures us.

And, as if all this weren't enough to keep him challenged, he's also quit smoking. "I always associated my creative thought with a cigarette in my mouth. I've written four screenplays since I quit, so I guess I can do without."

Sightings

Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger and producer Al Ruddy, power-dining at Spago Beverly Hills . . . . Drew Barrymore and possible husband Tom Green, lunching at Spago in jeans and T-shirts . . . . Spike Lee, doing the right thing with a glass of champagne at Asia de Cuba . . . . Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, sharing a cozy meal at the Bistro Garden in Studio City. We're told Marlon Brando likes to order his Bistro Garden meals to go.

Quote, Unquote

"I didn't have time. I was too busy breaking up Tom and Nicole's marriage." George Clooney, to "Access Hollywood," laughing off rumors that he came between "Ocean's 11" co-star Julia Roberts and her former beau Benjamin Bratt.

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Times staff writers Gina Piccalo and Louise Roug contributed to this column. City of Angles runs Tuesday-Friday. E-mail: an

gles@latimes.com.

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