Two things actor Robert Blake always appears to be, off screen as well as on, are tough-talking and socially concerned. Currently in town trying to finagle a meeting with President Reagan, Blake is spending his free time here lobbying for various causes.
The television star has been speaking on local radio shows, trying to raise money for the Great Peace March, a walk from Los Angeles to Washington demonstrating support for nuclear disarmament. The marchers are now camped about 60 miles outside Las Vegas.
The march has had severe financial difficulties, and 700 to 900 participants have dropped out, Blake said yesterday, but he is certain the 500 remaining will make it to Washington in November. "They've turned into lizards. They can survive on dirt and shrubs," he said.
Blake spoke last night at the Library of Congress, protesting the recent budget cuts. "I can't believe they took $18 million away so we can make more bombs," he said. He also joined Jesse Jackson and actress Oprah Winfrey at a memorial service at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church marking the 18th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.
The main purpose for Blake's visit, however, is to talk with Reagan. He said, "I just want to shake his hand and tell him we share his goal of global nuclear disarmament now."
Of Meese and Medal
Graham T. Allison, dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, has apologized for deciding to present Attorney General Edwin Meese III with a medal without first consulting faculty members, the Harvard Crimson reported yesterday. Critics at Harvard have questioned Meese's understanding of the U.S. Constitution, charged that he opposed affirmative action and alleged that his personal financial conduct did not meet proper ethical standards.
"I explained that I have obviously failed to think through as carefully as I could have how a reasonable instinct could be misinterpreted," said Allison. The dean said he intended the Kennedy School 50th Anniversary Medal for Distinguished Public Service to be a gift of thanks to Meese for his participation in the anniversary celebration.
Allison said he personally made the decision to award Meese the medal, adding that he did not regret the decision and had no plans to withdraw the offer. Meese is scheduled to accept the award and make a speech at the school Wednesday.
Haing S. Ngor,the Cambodian doctor who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of fellow countryman Dith Pran in the movie "The Killing Fields," was sworn in yesterday as an American citizen. Ngor, who took the oath of citizenship in Los Angeles, said, "I thank God very much . . . Bravo freedom. Bravo U.S.A.!" Ngor said he is writing a book and a screenplay about his life.
Priscilla Davis, the Texas socialite whose husband, oil tycoon T. Cullen Davis, was acquitted in the 1976 murders of her lover and 12-year-old daughter, is holding a garage sale. Sort of. She is selling off expensive items such as a 1980 Clenet automobile, two Chippendale sofas and two dozen fur coats, which she simply won't have room for when she moves from her Dallas estate into a luxury condominium. The sale, which began yesterday, will last five days and is expected to net at least $500,000, according to the auctioneer. Said Davis, "Some people have garage sales. I have an estate. I think it's a great idea. I wish I'd thought of it sooner. Maybe I'll do it every year."
Publishers Chris Whittle and Phillip Moffitt, whose holdings include Esquire magazine, have agreed to separate as business partners and divide their shares in the 13-30 Corp., their specialty magazine publishing company, according to a report in The New York Times. Whittle, 38, and Moffitt, 39, have been partners since they were students at the University of Tennessee, and are widely credited with being the first to bring out magazines sponsored by a single advertiser. After the separation, Whittle will head Whittle Communications, a reincarnation of 13-30; Moffitt will own more than 50 percent of the shares of Esquire Magazine Group Inc.
The guru without a country, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, is still trying to settle down. Currently in Montevideo, Uruguay, on a 90-day tourist visa, Rajneesh applied for permanent residency in Uruguay Thursday, providing a health certificate and a $10,000 certificate of deposit in a local branch of an American bank. Said a senior Uruguayan immigration official yesterday: "It is very probable that he can stay here."