Tom Arnold

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Tom Arnold has an interesting perspective on the current impasse between the Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood producers. That's because his experience with unions goes beyond just SAG.

"I used to work at Hormel. That's a REAL union," he said. "If you saw the movie 'American Dream' that Barbara Kopple made, that was about my meatpacking plant and what really happens."

Arnold's suggestion is that SAG members should just let the union leaders do the negotiating.

"Just let these guys work it all out," he said. "They're going to work it all out. Nobody wants a strike.

"I wish that the actors would just shut up."

JEANNE COOPER is still on a high after winning her first Emmy back in May. "I don't think she's going to come down, ever," said her son, actor Corbin Bernsen.

But after 35 years on "The Young and the Restless," nine daytime and two prime time Emmy nominations, Cooper, 79, is taking it all in stride.

"She's one of these people — it means something, but it doesn't, really," Bernsen said. "She does it all for the thrill, for you guys, for the fans. That's how she is."

Which is not to say that she wasn't excited about winning an Emmy.

"She was actually truly, truly shocked, and it was a great night," Bernsen said.

OPRAH WINFREY REUNITED the cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" this past season, and it sort of looked as if something might be going on between Cloris Leachman, 82, and Edward Asner, 78.

"Well, of course, she has a thing for me. She's a woman," Asner joked.

"Cloris is a unique individual. ... No matter where she appears, she will not be stopped by hide-bound rules of procedure. You ought to see the stuff that was cut out of that show. So, she decided to go out there and have some fun."

It was nothing new for Leachman. Asner recalled taping station promos with his co-star back when "MTM" premiered in 1970.

"As soon as we got out there, Cloris said, 'Oh, we don't want to look at those cards. Let's improvise.' And I improvised with her and we had a ball. ... That's Cloris," he said.

The two have been flirting with each other for decades.

"Well, Cloris and I have played footsie for a long time. ... And, until she goes crazy, I trot along with her. But then I pull back at the last moment," Asner said. "But we've always had a thing for each other. We exhibit great lust for each other. But we never culminated, I guess is the word.

"That's because we know that we're going to be on family shows, and we don't want to ruin our reputation."

IN THE UPCOMING Hallmark Channel movie "Expecting a Miracle," Cheech Marin plays a priest. And it's not as big a stretch as it might seem.

"I was almost a priest. I almost went to the seminary when I was coming out of grade school to go into high school," Marin said. "And then I started going to parties where they had girls."

This is actually the second time Marin has played a priest — he also played one in the upcoming movie "The Perfect Game."

Heck, he played a pope, albeit on an episode of "The Mind of Mencia."

"It's kind of a bonus role because you get a hundred hours of court-mandated community service knocked off," Marin joked.

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