Nurse Kathleen Matthews, One Life to Live

Is veteran Channel 7 newswoman Kathleen Matthews trying to break into soap operas? Not exactly, even though the co-anchor of WJLA's 5 and 6 p.m. broadcasts will appear in the Aug. 11 episode of ABC's "All My Children."

"My part is as a nurse at the Seaview Hospital," said the 45-year-old Matthews, mother of three and wife of CNBC shouting head Christopher Matthews. "I'm playing opposite Dr. David Hayward, who is the current love interest of Susan Lucci's character," Erica Kane. Decked out in green scrubs, Matthews appears in three scenes and speaks in one--telling Dr. Hayward how to get to the lab: "Just go down the hall, make a left, you'll see the sign, Doctor."

She got off the line in two takes after the director exhorted her to be serious. "He said, 'Remember you're a nurse, and the doctors on this set are like the pope,' " Matthews said. "I was not nervous because I'm on TV every day. For me, it was humorous and fun." Matthews, who never watches soaps, said she did the cameo for a behind-the-scenes look at soap opera extras, to be aired the same day, and will donate her paycheck--$150 union scale--to charity. She said she's not conflicted about venturing from journalism into soaps. "It's almost like the news."

The Latest Buzz

* Thirty years after walking on the moon, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin is an action figure. Friday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel he'll introduce the Col. Buzz Aldrin model in Hasbro's G.I Joe Classic Collection.

"There's a lot more attention paid by a larger number of people to walking on the moon," Aldrin, 69, told us yesterday when we asked him which is more exciting--going up in space or taking up shelf space. "But there's a lot more long-term life, I think, with the introduction of a live-action figure, which I hope will be a collectors' item of historical value."

Aldrin wouldn't tell us how much value he's taking from the deal.

Meeting Gore With Foot in Mouth

* New Hampshire podiatrist John Dinella is the winner of The Source's exciting Mortifying Moment Award for an encounter he had with Vice President Gore in the Granite State town of Rochester. Dinella, 46, was among 80 registered Democrats invited to schmooze with the veep last Friday at the home of Walter and Mary Ellen Hoermer.

The presidential candidate "entered and dutifully made his way around the room, shaking hands with anyone who seemed remotely interested," Dinella wrote to The Post's Peter Carlson. "I decided to make a joke. There are more French Canadians in Rochester than any other ethnic group. When he shook my hand I said, 'Would you like a good line for a speech in Rochester?' He said, 'Sure.' I said, 'Ich bin ein French Canadian.' With a very puzzled look he continued to shake my hand as he solemnly intoned, 'Ich . . . bin . . . ein . . . French Canadian.' He clearly had no idea what I was talking about. All the blood drained from my head."

Hostess Mary Ellen Hoermer, who hustled Gore off to the next voter, told us that Dinella "is kind of a practical joker. Usually he's very funny, but neither the vice president nor I was really sure what he meant. It was just one of those moments that fell completely flat."

Dinella, attempting another joke yesterday, said: "I thought they were gonna take me out back and pistol-whip me." Not at all, said Gore press secretary Chris Lehane, in full-pander mode: "We in the Gore camp would like to let him know that not only did we enjoy his joke, he should feel free any time to come to any future Gore events with more jokes!"


* Basketball god Michael Jordan's mom, Delores Jordan, canceled her speech at yesterday's National Parents Day lunch on Capitol Hill because one of her daughters and a grandson were in a car accident, event organizers told us. They said the relatives--whose names they didn't give us--are doing okay.

* Word from the Associated Press is that 17-year-old Prince William, showing off his driving skills at Highgrove yesterday, braked just in time to avoid hitting a bunch of photographers.