Washington, a town that sees so many glittery celebrities and stars, yesterday hosted a different film star on a publicity tour. It was Benji, the famous little brown fluff of fur, promoting his new Disney film, "Benji the Hunted." Benji, his director Joe Camp and trainer Bryan Renfro paid their calls around town.

One visit was to the vice president's mansion for a meeting with Barbara Bush, one of the city's most famous dog lovers, and her new dog Millie. Then it was across town to the Marine Barracks, where the mild-mannered Benji met that tough-looking English bulldog Marine mascot, Lance Cpl. Chesty VIII. The two reportedly got on famously. Then, like most stars, Benji was the center of attraction at a press luncheon at the Potomac restaurant, where he dined on well-done steak tidbits, drank Italian noncarbonated water and enjoyed a dessert of vanilla ice cream. Benji was probably involved in choosing that restaurant since the owner, Warner LeRoy, once owned the film star Toto, the scruffy little dog at Dorothy's side in "The Wizard of Oz."

Out and About Sir Rudolf Bing, the former director of the New York Metropolitan Opera who has been suffering from Alzheimer's disease, disappeared again after he went out to buy a package of cigarettes. He was found 15 hours later in the early hours of the morning yesterday. The 85-year-old Bing, who directed the Met for 22 years, was found wandering and confused in a rough London neighborhood. It's the second time in recent weeks that he has been missing. He has been staying in an inexpensive London hotel with his 47-year-old recent bride Carroll. His wife is a former geriatric nurse who was married twice before. The couple were married in January just two days before Bing was to attend a court-ordered competency hearing. Since then, they have been declared incapable of handling their affairs -- including his fortune, estimated at about $1 million ...

Dominique D'Ermo is in France for the Paris Air Show, so no one is around to confirm or deny the persistent story that he has received a major offer to sell Dominique's, his popular Pennsylvania Avenue restaurant that is a Washington institution. A decision either way is expected when D'Ermo returns to Washington next week ...

A group of former baseball stars showed up on Capitol Hill yesterday to promote the upcoming National Old Timers Baseball Classic, which will be played here June 29. Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole hosted a luncheon for stars Hank Aaron, Early Wynn and Rocky Colavito. Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd and Sens. John Heinz, Alan Simpson, Arlen Specter and Pete Domenici were also at the luncheon. It's easy to attract senators when there are baseball stars coming to lunch. As Aaron was leaving the Hill in his limo, he saw Rep. Tom McMillen walking on the Capitol grounds. Being a fan of the former Washington Bullet, Aaron had his driver stop the car so he could talk to McMillen ...

The burly, ever-arrogant Mr. T has moved out to a fancy expensive house in Lake Forest, Ill., an upper-crust Chicago suburb, and to the consternation of his wealthy neighbors has had workers busy with chain saws cutting down more than 100 trees on his property, some of them 100 years old. When asked why, Mr. T said, "You could say I'm just landscaping. This is my idea, my plan, my money, my land, my secret. And I don't tell nobody what I'm doing." You can bet his neighbors will be watching; Mr. T hasn't heard the last from them ...

Royal Watch: You probably would never have guessed it, but Princess Diana finds ironing relaxing. Diana recently toured a home for the poor and handicapped children in Birmingham, and one of the workers there quoted Diana as saying that when there is a boring program on television she finds it relaxing to do the ironing. Things must be tough at the palace if Diana is now doing the ironing. And later, while touring an office equipment factory, Diana was quoted by a woman as saying, "Don't you think women are more efficient at fiddly work than men?" The women she talked to seemed to know what "fiddly work" was because they said they agreed with her. The British do speak a different language ...