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Posts Tagged ‘Marlo Thomas’

Jennifer Aniston Serves ‘Cake’ to Gayle King, Arianna Huffington and Marlo Thomas

LunchAtMichaelsIt was one for the books today at Michael’s. While the SRO crowd of mavens, moguls and machers was celebrating at full tilt, the joint got an extra jolt of adrenaline when word spread that Jennifer Aniston would be hosting an intimate lunch for twenty as she continues her unofficial Oscar campaign for her role in her latest film, Cake. In case you haven’t heard, Jen goes without makeup (gasp!) and does the whole ‘I can look like a real person’ thing as she portrays a widow and chronic pain sufferer in the film. Today, though, she was in full movie-star mode as she arrived with a bodyguard in tow who stood watch over her table in the corner of  The Garden Room to keep away the curious. This intrepid reporter tried to get a few words with the former Friends star, but when I introduced myself to her handler Stephen Huvane and asked him if I could ask her a few questions about the film, I got a big smile and a ”I don’t think so.”

Diane Clehane and Nancy Lee

Diane Clehane and Nancy Lee

Too bad, because I also wanted to tell Jen I think her fiance Justin Theroux was unjustly snubbed by the Globes and SAG Awards for his outstanding work in The Leftovers. Oh well. Among those who were invited to the gathering: Gayle King, who stopped by our table to say hello, Marlo Thomas, Arianna Huffington and one of her daughters. I caught up with Deborah Roberts, who was also on the guest list who told me, “The whole thing was very low key. I kept waiting for someone to make a speech about the film, but there was none of that. Just a nice lunch with some great people.” We’re told Jennifer was gracious to the staff on the way out, but no one dared ask for a selfie or a quick chat. If you want to see some shots of all the big doings,  photographer Kevin Mazur was there to document this momentous occasion, which is sure to show up on the usual sites soon.

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Alan, Arlene Alda Continue to Thrive

LoveLettersWhen Marlo Thomas recently read to Alan Alda the viewer question, ‘How have you been able to lead a long and successful marriage?,’ he answered only half-jokingly: “The trick is to move out of Hollywood.”

This Sunday, Alda and Candice Bergen will take over the Broadway production of Love Letters at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, accepting the baton from Brian Dennehy and Carol Burnett. They are scheduled to perform through December 5. It’s the first time the two actors have worked together.

Meanwhile, next spring, Alda’s wife Arlene will release her latest book Just Kids from the Bronx, an oral history gathering the recollections of dozens of celebrities and leaders who grew up there. The advance reviews are solid and include this funny quote from Boston native Barbara Walters:

“Made me wish I had been born in the Bronx.”

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Elle Delivers Dull 50 Shades Cover

The teased article photos for Elle‘s March issue Dakota Johnson cover interview look a little off. Rather than screaming, as they should, “sexy!”, they give off more of a “weird!” vibe.

The cover shot, with faint echos of That Girl Marlo Thomas, is fine. Boring, but fine. However, the other pictures previewed seem poorly lit and wrongly wardrobe-styled. In one of the photos, there is even a background glimpse of a lion statue. This king of the jungle, dare we say it, looks appropriately bored.

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Nicholson, Dern Compare Cannes Ovations

Shutterstock_BruceDernIf Bruce Dern wins an Oscar next March, he might have to include in his acceptance speech a callback to this great exchange. As in, ‘Not bad for a kid from Winnetka…’

The details come to us courtesy Vulture contributor Mary Kaye Schilling. For Nebraska, she spoke to the actor recently in Pasadena:

After Nebraska screened at the [2013 Cannes Film] festival, “We had an enormous ovation for three minutes,” says Dern. As he was preparing to leave the theater, he noticed his face up on the screen. “And then the people started really clapping,” he says. “[Director] Alexander [Payne] said to me, ‘Where are you going? The other ovation was for all of us, but make no mistake, this one is for you.’

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The Huffington Post Adds New Sections for Women, Parents, Black Voices

Today the AOL Huffington Post Media Group launched HuffPost Women. Come Wednesday, two more sections will be launched: HuffPost Black Voices and HuffPost Parents.

Arianna describes the latest launch thusly:

HuffPost Women is a site for women looking to redefine success and what it means to live a healthy, happy, well-rounded life. It will highlight an approach to living that centers on the happiness that comes from feeling good by doing good; that draws attention to the importance of “unplugging and recharging”; that cheers on the continued shattering of glass ceilings; and that embraces a fearless attitude about work, love, money, beauty, relationships, and friendships — with the understanding that fearlessness is not the absence of fear, it’s the mastery of fear.

Sounds pretty self-helpy, more Lifetime Television than Ms. Magazine. But it’s a bit too early to make a solid critique of the section’s editorial identity.

HuffPost Women is edited by Margaret Wheeler Johnson, and actress Marlo Thomas is editor-at-large

Kathie Lee Gifford, Marlo Thomas And The Best Seller Brigade

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— DIANE CLEHANE

The joint was jumping when I arrived for my weekly lunch at Michael’s today. Between the bestselling authors, media mavens, and the social swans of the Upper East Side, there was a real buzz in the room — or was it just all that pesky pollen from the azaleas on every table?

I was joined today by jewelry designer and all around renaissance woman Carol Brodie. I’ve known Carol since her days at Harry Winston when she managed to get every A-lister you could possibly name to show up at the Academy Awards dripping in the iconic house’s diamonds. In 2009, Carol launched her own fine jewelry collection, Rarities, on HSN and has become the shopping network’s number one resource for fine gems. With prices ranging from $59.90 up to $10,000 for one of a kind pieces, that’s a lot of bling! It’s amazing to learn just how much people pony up sitting at home watching in their pajamas. She’s also launching a collection of watches next month.

Carol has become something of an overnight success in the digital world, since her mantra is ”click and order” over “bricks and mortar.” As a completely digital brand, she has garnered plenty of attention for her social media prowess and recently spoke at the Fashion 140 conference at Lincoln Center along with fellow Twitter fanatics Robert Verdi and Elle’s Joe Zee. Besides the “priceless” exposure she gets on HSN (her next appearance is scheduled for May 20, when the network celebrates ‘Brazilian Day’), Carol stays in constant contact with her customers through Facebook and tweets up to the minute on virtually everything she is doing, wearing and selling. (She, of course, tweeted our lunch.)

“Social media is the ‘Main Street’ of my brand,” she told me. “I want to talk directly to my customers, and they want to talk directly to me.” Carol is also planning to do a lot more talking with an upcoming book and television show in development (“a cross between Antique Roadshow and Pawn Brokers“) that she’s working on with a former Oprah producer. She kind of makes you feel guilty about all those hours spent watching Bravo instead of designing your website, doesn’t she?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Sam Haskell, author (Promises I Made My Mother) and former head of William Morris’ worldwide television division, with his wife and daughter — both named Mary. The group was  joined by Kathie Lee Gifford, who I grabbed for a brief chat. When I asked how her Mother’s Day was, she said, “It will be better tonight — Cody is coming home from college!”

2. Former HarperCollins head Jane Friedman, now CEO and co-founder of Open Road with uber ad man Richard Kirshenbaum and Jeffrey Sharp, president and co-founder of Open Road.

3. Diane Sokolov

4. Charlie Schuler

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David Zinczenko, Keith Kelly and The Media Mavens

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Sorry, but you can’t expect dish about an Oscar winner every week. (We’re still reeling from our brush with Cate Blanchett in the dining room last Wednesday!) We’re chalking it up to school vacations, but the scene was relatively quiet at Michael’s today where the regulars had to be contented dishing with their dates rather than people watching.

Because we aim to please, I’ll fill you in on who has been spotted in the dining room since we filed our last column. On Friday, I was thrilled to be seated near Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, Marlo Thomas, Liz Smith (looking better than ever!) and Cynthia McFadden. I don’t know if the feeling was mutual since I had my six year-old with me. Yesterday, my pal and accessory maven Mickey Ateyeh popped in with designer Carlos Falchi and actress Brenda Vaccaro. Here’s hoping there’s more to report next week!

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Media Advisory Group’s chairman Jack Myers with Dave Jackson and Orlando Reece of Grab Networks.

2. Men’s Health honcho David Zinczenko and The New York Post’s media guru Keith Kelly. Before Keith arrived, I caught up with David at the bar. David  is among the Elaine’s loyalists who are completely aghast at Michael Wolff’s vicious depiction of  the late Elaine Kaufman in the March issue of British GQ. According to an item on Page Six today, Wolff likens the beloved restaurateur to a ”low class madam” and describes the food at her iconic celebrity haunt as “inedible.” Very nice.

3. Producer Jean Doumanian and a pal we didn’t get to meet.

4.  The Metropolitan Museum’s John O’Keefe (loved the bow tie!) who passed the time waiting for his lunch date, Tim Mulligan, by sipping chardonnay and skimming the latest issue of Star.

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Power Of An Alert PR Rep

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An exceptionally enterprising PR-type, Meredith Goldblatt, suggested we could capitalize on a certain NY Times story and run a piece about Variety’s “Power of Youth,” a benefit held Saturday at Universal Studios on behalf of St. Jude.

So, yeah, we’ll take the bait.

The benefit brought together the likes of Variety’s VP & Associate Publisher Brian Gott, actress Miley Cyrus, Variety’s President & Publisher Charlie Koones and actress Vanessa Hudgens (all pictured here in this shot by Jordan Strauss of WireImage.com

According to Goldblatt’s release:

The inaugural event is part of Variety’s new initiative to reach out to Hollywood’s next generation of entertainers, in the hopes of encouraging young people to become involved with humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

And what a youngster-filled event it was: One of the highlights was a celebrity tricycle race.

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Partying With The King

King and his wife flank the Trumps

The short hallway between the “Pool Room” and bar acted as a sort of cosmic, generational media portal last night at the Four Seasons, where a pair of cocktail parties — one celebrating Larry King‘s 50 years in broadcasting (a.k.a the “old people room”), the other celebrating the New York Observer‘s redesigned paper and Web site (a.k.a the “kids room”) — were in full, boozy, media-centric swing.

In the “Old People Room”: King and his television and famous New York pals, like Joan Rivers, Donald and Melania Trump, the View‘s Barbara Walters (at one point Trump and Walters were just feet from each other, but didn’t appear to acknowledge each other) and Joy Behar, Campbell Brown, Mario Cuomo, Lou Dobbs, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Tina Brown, Jeff Greenfield, Ron Howard, Time Inc. managing editor Jim Kelly, Keith Kelly, Ray Kelly, Oprah B.F.F. Gayle King, Calvin Klein, Time Warner chief Dick Parsons, Sandra Bernhard, Jerry Stiller, Arliss actor Robert Wuhl, Mort Zuckerman, American Morning‘s newly-installed Kiran Chetry, Glenn Beck, Montel Williams, James Carville, Tom Wolfe, Andy Rooney and artist Peter Max, whose colorful rendering of King served as the room’s centerpiece.

In the “Kids Room”: 23-year-old Observer owner Jared Kushner held court with twentysomething bloggers and their youthful bosses, like Gawker’s Choire Sicha, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici and Maer Roshan, Page Six‘s Corynne Steindler, Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg, Domino‘s Deborah Needleman, WWD‘s Irin Carmon, and HuffPo’s Julia Allison, Katharine Thomson and Rachel Sklar. Fittingly, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, chose the Observer party over King’s.

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Lunch at Michael’s: Post-Hasselhoff, All Business

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We’re guessing many of our favorite media celebrity regulars have headed south with their families for spring break or to rev up from the endless winter doldrums that have left us feeling a bit grumpy. Today, the tables were packed with a cross section of Prada and Gucci suits, and the mood was definitely all business. Luckily, we got our boldface name fix Tuesday when lunchtime chronicler Diane Clehane broke bread with fashion maven Jaqui Lividini and the bustling dining room brimming with the usually eclectic mix of celebs. We spotted Marlo Thomas, Danny DeVito, Ron Perelman and Tommy Mottola in the mix. Some of the staffers were still buzzing about last week’s visit from David Hasselhoff, who most recently headlined a Las Vegas production of The Producers. Seems “The Hoff” made quite an impression. Says one fan of the tireless showman: “He looks great! If he’s had surgery you can’t tell — and believe me I’ve seen some scary ones in here. The guy is amazing!”

Here’s a rundown of today’s menu:

1. “Men Who Lunch”: BusinessWeek‘s Jon Fine (husband to our own mediabistro.com founder and CEO Laurel Touby), Radar editor Maer Roshan ABC News communications VP Jeff Schneider, Peter Himler, Arnold Huberman, Sirius Satellite Radio pr czar Patrick Reilly, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici and Magazine Publishers of America’s Howard Polskin.

2. Casual chic: a tweedy Luke Janklow. The uber-agent was lunching with an unidentified jeans-clad beauty.

3. Univision’s Maryann Bannikarim and three guests.

4. Producer Jonathan Hart (Chicago) and four well-dressed gents.

5. Michael Fuchs and a bespectacled fellow who passed the time waiting for him by reading Variety.

6. Glamour editrix Cindi Leive and guests.

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