Going from Red to Green

updated 10/31/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/31/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

HOLLYWOOD'S A-LIST IS NO LONGER the exclusive province of movie idols, sitcom stars or studio big shots. Being the former leader of the Communist world will do just fine. Just ask Mikhail Gorbachev, who spent much of last week schmoozing with some of the town's biggest names, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, Kelsey Grammer and Kermit the Frog.

The ecoconscious Gorbachev, accompanied by his wife, Raisa, flew in from Moscow to launch Global Green U.S.A., part of his International Green Cross (which he founded to seek solutions for worldwide environmental problems) and to attend the fourth annual Environmental Media Awards at CBS's Television City in Los Angeles. "It was kind of an international conspiracy to bring me here," joked Gorby—through an interpreter—in his keynote speech to an audience of about 700.

Russia's former first couple were guests of the Environmental Media Association, which sponsors the awards and honors films and TV shows that have contributed to the environmental cause. (The Simpsons and The X-Files were among the winners.) But the evening's champ was the affable Gorbachev, who happily posed with every celeb who asked. "I like this kind of man and I think we need more of them," gushed Maria Shriver, speaking of Gorbachev, not Arnold. "Look at the crowd he pulled in here tonight," marveled actor Ed Begley Jr., who arrived in an electric car. "It just proves how powerful he is."

But power, Gorbachev noted, is often misused. "We have spoiled so much in the world because we were ruling as czars on the earth instead of living as good managers," he said. "Nature existed before and can well exist without us."

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