Heston Takes a Shot at Rosie

National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston has harsh words about TV talk-show hostess Rosie O'Donnell in the new issue of Guns & Ammo magazine. O'Donnell, you'll remember, had a heated exchange in May with gun-supporting guest Tom Selleck. Heston, apparently still bitter, writes: "Ironically, when Rosie O'Donnell isn't demonizing firearms and bullying gun-owners, she's been busy profiting from her celebrity endorsement of Kmart, the largest-volume firearms retailer in America." O'Donnell's manager, Bernie Young, tells Variety that the TV star is okay with hunting rifles, but not with handguns or assault weapons. Above all, Young says, she supports responsible gun control--and Kmart knows that. "They're well aware of her position," Young says. O'Donnell is scheduled to film a new Kmart commercial--along with Penny Marshall--on Aug. 29.

Different Politics, Still Pals

Here's an unlikely political connection: The son of millionaire novelist and hyperactive British conservative politician Jeffrey Archer is working for Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley.

While Will Archer is helping Bradley woo liberal Democrats from campaign headquarters in West Orange, N.J., dad Lord Archer is in Britain trying to persuade right-wingers to let him scoop the Tory candidacy for London mayor, reports The Post's Will Woodward.

Archer Sr. and Bradley have been pals for 30 years. They met at Oxford, when Archer was training to be a teacher and Bradley was a Rhodes scholar. Archer spoke at a recent fund-raising bash for Bradley in London.

Will Archer, a twenty-something theater producer, wouldn't comment on his new role. A Bradley spokesman said: "He's helping out on the campaign, doing a lot of things, mostly on organizing events."

Coleman Says He's Broke

The perennially troubled Gary Coleman has yet another problem: bankruptcy. The ex-"Diff'rent Strokes" star--the highest-paid child actor in his day--yesterday filed paperwork for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Los Angeles, claiming a debt of $72,000.

"I can spread the blame all the way around," the 31-year-old Coleman said, "from me to accountants to my adoptive parents, to agents to lawyers and back to me again."

Coleman earned up to $64,000 a week for "Diff'rent Strokes," which aired from 1978 to 1986, and he was worth a reported $7 million as recently as 1990. His bank account dwindled as a result of a bitter legal dispute with his adoptive parents (Coleman accused them of stealing up to $1 million), as well as medical problems (including two failed kidney transplants).

Coleman has had a rough year, having been arrested and sentenced in the assault of an autograph-seeking fan, then being taken into custody for not paying the $400 fine in that case.

End Notes

O.J. Simpson and his two kids, Justin and Sydney, are houseless. The former football star said they're living in two rooms at the Luxe Summit Hotel off Los Angeles's 405 freeway because their rented home in nearby Pacific Palisades was being sold. Simpson denied reports that he was forced out of that home because neighbors were upset about his presence or because his dog had destroyed the back yard. He said he can't buy a house in California because of his notoriety and legal problems. . . . Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), 96, was hospitalized yesterday after collapsing--apparently from the heat--at a reception at the University of South Carolina. He was released after undergoing tests. . . . Elizabeth Taylor is in the hospital after fracturing a vertebra in her back in a fall at her Bel Air, Calif., home. The 67-year-old actress "is in no danger from a neurological viewpoint and she is resting comfortably," neurosurgeon Patrick Rhoten said in a statement released by Taylor's publicist yesterday.