Gloria's Titanic Libido

Gloria Stuart wins the prize in the way-more-than-we-needed-to-know category. The 89-year-old actress, best known for playing Old Rose in "Titanic," has just penned her autobiography, and what a steamy read it is! Stuart's memoir is titled "I Just Kept Hoping," but the New York Post jests that "she might have called it 'I Just Kept Humping.' " Stuart, who says she advocates free love, chronicles her many conquests--including the rugged Greek with whom she spent an entire weekend in the sack ("there was so much activity I could hardly get out of bed," she writes). When she was 72, Stuart took as a lover a 78-year-old man whom she'd slept with years before and forgotten. "I didn't and don't remember so it couldn't have been notable," she says. But Stuart ultimately concludes: "I do not need a man. I am devoted to masturbation. I think it's probably one of the most pleasurable experiences in life."

Out of the Picture

California lawmakers are expected to pass limits on the use of images of deceased celebrities without their heirs' permission. The so-called Astaire bill--introduced at the request of Fred Astaire's widow, Robyn Astaire--would allow heirs to block commercial but not artistic use. As Variety explains, it's all right for Forrest Gump to talk to John F. Kennedy, but Fred Astaire can't teach dance. (Robyn Astaire objected to footage of her husband being used in a dance instruction video.)

Also in the Golden State: The Gipper may get his own license plate. The new Ronald Reagan tag would cost $50, with proceeds earmarked for educational programs at the former president's library in Simi Valley. All that's needed is for Gov. Gray Davis to sign the bill.

McCain's Birthday Windfall

Here's a fund-raising approach: Senator and presidential contender John McCain (R-Ariz.) turns 63 on Sunday, and his wife, Cindy, has sent out a bulk e-mail asking his supporters to surprise him on the big day. She wants to give her husband a "specially-designed birthday card that carries your personal best wishes as well as those of so many of his most ardent friends." And oh, she adds, could you also send in $63--a dollar for each year? It would be a "special way to thank John for all he's done for our state and nation," she writes.

End Notes

The vacationing President Clinton and daughter Chelsea went horseback riding yesterday on Martha's Vineyard. Then the prez played golf with some old college friends. No word on Hillary Rodham Clinton's leisure activities, but spokesman Joe Lockhart said "she was feeling a little bit better" after coming down with a cold . . . William Shatner of "Star Trek" fame has established a fund to honor his late wife, Nerine, who drowned in their swimming pool earlier this month. Shatner said he wants to help women who, like his wife, have battled alcoholism. But some people are criticizing Shatner for talking about his wife's problems with the National Enquirer. The tab supposedly paid him $100,000, which he'll use to set up the fund . . . Sean "Puffy" Combs and Jennifer Lopez are nauseatingly coy in his magazine, Notorious, about their much-reported love affair. Combs interviews the cover girl himself, asking Lopez whether there's a "special person" in her life. She says yes, but won't name names. Later, Combs asks, "Do you like me?" She says, "Yeah, I like you. Do you like me?" To which Combs says, "Yeah." Puh-leeze.

Lloyd Grove is on vacation. The Reliable Source will resume when he returns.