The Insider

updated 07/13/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/1992 01:00AM

CAMPING OUT

Attention, good citizens of Camden, Maine. Mel Gibson plans to be in your neck of the woods later this summer. He'll be directing his first feature film, The Man Without a Face, the story of a relationship between a mysterious recluse and a fatherless boy in a small town.

Gibson's looking for a place to crash, but before generosity overtakes you and you make up the spare bedroom, please be advised that Gibson will be toting along his wife, Robyn, and their six children, to say nothing of the help.

Gibson's people have enlisted the aid of a local Realtor to help him find a house. Sleepy Camden and vicinity boasts such celebrity residents as Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Bea Arthur and Dr. Benjanmin Spock, but it was another Camdenite, singer Don McLean, of "American Pie" fame, who say's he got a call from the Realtor asking if he'd consider renting Gibson his 20-room house and the 200 acres on which it stands. McLean says the actor was prepared to fork over $25,000 a month for a two-month rental. But McLean turned it down because. he says. "I don't need the money."

CINEMA SPLITS

Actors and their directors have intense relationships that can either sizzle or fizzle when the production wraps. Two such pairings, our sources say, have done both. Actress Virginia Madsen became involved with her director, Danny Huston, the son of the late John Huston, during the making of the 1988 drama Mr. North. The couple married in 1989 but split recently, according to a source, and are now living separately in Los Angeles. We hear Madsen has already begun dating model Nick Constantino, oft seen in those ads for Estée Lauder's Spell Bound scent.

Married slightly less time, Lynn Whitfield, star of the 1991 cable movie The Josephine Baker Story, and the man who directed her in that project, Brian Gibson, have also decided to separate, confirms her publicist. Whitfield and Gibson were married one week after their movie wrapped and now have a 10-month-old daughter, Grace.

SUZANNE PLESHETTE PLAYS BASS

How deep is Suzanne Pleshette's voice? So deep that when the actress answers her phone, she warns: "If a man answers, don't hang up. It's only me."

Pleshette tells us she developed this approach after her normal hello caused some callers to hang up. "My voice," she says, "is deeper than most men's."

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