Hardly a week goes by without a flock of Hollywood heavyweights coming to town to support or oppose this cause or that, real or imagined. Hunger, starvation and famine are as real as a kick in the belly, however, and the celebrities arriving here to take part in events surrounding World Food Day on Thursday are welcome. Among them will be Valerie Harper, Jeff Bridges and Joyce DeWitt, who are scheduled to attend Wednesday's Capitol Hill Forum on hunger. Also expected to participate are Sens. Paul Simon, Robert Dole, Nancy Kassebaum and John Melcher, and Reps. Mickey Leland, Bill Emerson, Patricia Schroeder, Benjamin Gilman and Doug Bereuter.

And Esther Rolle, who was at the Kennedy Center last December in "A Raisin in the Sun," will deliver a dramatic reading Thursday at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the annual World Food Day Convocation/Revival. There will also be a Kennedy Center gala that evening at the Terrace Theater featuring the premiere of the film "Beyond Hunger: The Challenge of Development in a Shrinking World," narrated by Rolle.

Out and About

The rock group Fleetwood Mac went to the Capital Centre dressing room following a sold-out performance Thursday night and found an unexpected admirer. Entertainer Whoopi Goldberg, who told them she is a longtime fan, was waiting for them there, and the group seemed as excited at the meeting as she was. Goldberg is filming "Clara's Heart" in Baltimore and St. Michaels, Md. ...

People have often complained that what this city needs is a good New York deli, even if it turns up slightly out of town down around Tysons Corner. Apparently that need was greater than anyone could have guessed, and the world (local division) is beating a path to the door of the Carnegie Deli (local branch) in search of better pastrami and corned beef. The renowned New York deli opened a branch there just last Thursday, but it seems that its reputation had so far preceded it that it ran out of food by Saturday afternoon. Yesterday there were signs on the door apologizing for the empty larder and announcing that the deli wouldn't be back in operation until tomorrow. The Northern Virginia branch may look more like a hotel coffee shop than the original New York eatery featured in Woody Allen's film "Broadway Danny Rose," but so far that hasn't seemed to matter ...

John Wayne's widow says she has written a book about the Duke to "set the record straight." In the book she describes the actor as "a superhuman being" and "the epitome of a man." That isn't too surprising since he worked hard to project those images. She also says he was stubborn, sexist, self-centered and irresponsible with money. The National Enquirer has paid Pilar Wayne, who was married to the Duke for 25 years, $50,000 for excerpts from "John Wayne: My Life With the Duke." The book discloses that she had an abortion during a 1950 affair with Wayne to avoid ruining his career and damaging his reputation while he was in the midst of divorcing his second wife. John and Pilar Wayne were married until the actor's death at 72 in 1979 ...

The third annual Oxford-Cambridge alumni regatta took place off Washington Harbour yesterday, and for the first time it included a women's race. It was won by the Cambridge crew. The men's race, however, ended in a tie; someone who professed to know such things claimed it was the first time that had happened on either side of the Atlantic since 1887 ...

People with money know how to hang on to it. Morocco's King Hassan II owns a little 500-acre estate in New Jersey. The property is assessed for $5.5 million and is taxed at a rate of $115,000 per year. This year the monarch has begun farming part of the land and has asked for an reassessment under a state law that would reduce his property taxes by $48,000. "We know he was just using it as a private estate," says his Borough Council president, James Barrett. "But then again, he has the same right as anyone else to farm it."