Radio and television talker Larry King, now an amateur expert on heart attacks and heart bypass surgery, is establishing a foundation to make cardiac surgery available to people who can't afford it. King, who had a heart attack a year ago and bypass surgery in December, said he is donating $175,000 from a recent book advance to establish the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. The money is his share of a $250,000 advance for a Delacorte book, "It's Great to Be Here," scheduled for Christmas release. It is the story of King's heart attack and recovery, written by B.D. Colen, Newsday science editor. King said he will also donate his share of the proceeds from the book, as well as the earnings from some of his speeches. An annual fund-raising event will also be established to help support the foundation.

New York Gov. Mario Cuomo is honorary chairman of the foundation and the honorary board includes Ted Turner, president of Turner Broadcasting Inc.; Norm Pattiz, chairman, Mutual Radio; Allen Neuharth, chairman, Gannett Co. Inc.; actress Angie Dickinson; and superlawyer Edward Bennett Williams. The members of the active board include King's brother Martin Zeiger; Matilda Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo's wife; Robert Altman, president, First American Corp.; Baltimore Oriole announcer Jon Miller; restaurateur Duke Zeibert; writer Colen; King's childhood friend Herb Cohen; and King's producers Tammy Haddad (Cable News Network) and Pat Piper (Mutual). Out and About

There are amused smiles among the cast members rehearsing for the upcoming Washington Opera performance of "Cendrillon" ("Cinderella"), which opens at the Kennedy Center Opera House Feb. 27. The cast has been having fun watching Prince Charming perform. Cinderella is being sung by acclaimed mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, and her handsome prince in the opera -- sung by Susanne Mentzer -- is four months pregnant and beginning to show ...

Actor Matthew Broderick got off easy yesterday for his role in that Northern Ireland car crash in which a woman and her daughter were killed. Broderick, the star of "WarGames" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," was on vacation last August with his girlfriend Jennifer Grey, the star of "Dirty Dancing," when the accident occurred. He was accused of driving on the wrong side of the road, but the initial charge of death by careless driving later was reduced to careless driving. Broderick, who had entered a plea of guilty and was not in court yesterday, was fined $175 ...

Royal Watch: Prince Edward, who refused to be caught up in his family's fascination with the military and all those colorful uniforms, started work yesterday morning as a production assistant at the Palace Theater in the West End of London. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber of "Cats," "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Les Mise'rables" fame hired the queen's youngest son for the low-ranking theater job after the prince decided the military wasn't for him. His salary wasn't disclosed, but Edward won't starve: He has meals and a roof over his head at Buckingham Palace and receives about $34,900 a year in pocket money from the British government ...

New York's High School of Performing Arts, which inspired the movie and television series "Fame," was destroyed by fire over the weekend, just as it was in the final episode of the television show that aired last May. Graduates of the noted school include Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino and Eartha Kitt ...