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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Newman’

David Letterman: Late Night’s Version of a Super-Charged Volvo Station Wagon

DavidLettermanComediansinCarsIf you never saw the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee episode featuring David Letterman, now is the time to cue it up. There will be many tributes, even more articles and a few showcase interviews before Dave finally hangs it up in 2015. But for our money, all of these artifacts will have a hard time matching the entertainment value of the Crackle series.

Part of the reason the Letterman episode is so memorable is that host Jerry Seinfeld, for one of the very few series times, drives not one of his own car-collection vehicles but rather two sets of wheels belonging to the guest. And what a car the marquee vehicle is – a Volvo 960 station wagon, stealth-souped with a race car engine for Dave by late, great pal Paul Newman.

The other principal reason this Coffee klatch is worth watching now is that it is a career retrospective, but without any of the forthcoming pomp and circumstance that will no doubt drive Letterman crazy. During the conversation with Jerry, Dave slips in a sly little Jay Leno dig (“Get a little something for yourself…”), breaks down one of his all-time great ad lib moments (“Have you ever had the hump of a camel?…”) and remembers the challenges of opening in Denver for Leslie Uggams.

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Butch Cassidy and the Sunday Auction

How much would you pay for a pistol handled in the late 1890s by the outlaw famously played on film by Paul Newman?

A rep tells FishbowlLA that the price expected to be fetched this weekend for Butch Cassidy’s Colt .45 will be between $150,000 and $250,000. The auction is being held Sunday September 30 at California Auctioneers, just off Highway 33 in Ventura.

For LA aficionados of Westerns and-or Americana, this might be the perfect weekend outing, even if the drive to Ojai is for the purposes of only eavesdropping on the bidding. By sheer coincidence, on the same day in New Hampshire, a pair of guns once fired by Bonnie and Clyde will be similarly auctioned off.

Update – 10/04/12: A rep tells FishbowlLA the revolver went for $175,000, via a bidder outside the U.S.

Vernon Jordan, Paul Shaffer and Richard Belzer Grab a Bite at Michael’s

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— DIANE CLEHANE

We missed Harvey Keitel (who, we hear, is a pretty nice guy) by a day, but the usual suspects kept things hopping in the dining room at Michael’s today. By now, we’ve grown used to seeing Richard Belzer with his dog Bebe (pronounced Bay-Bay en Francais, in case you were wondering) in tow for his 1 pm lunches every now and again. But we did perk up when Vernon Jordan came in. Talk about presence!

I had a chance to catch up with one of my favorite regulars, ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstong who, when I first started writing this column, made it his personal mission to introduce me to as many movers and shakers as possible. The native Texan with the heart of gold just can’t help himself when it comes to do-good deeds. This afternoon he was full of fire telling me about the upcoming benefit for The Hole in The Wall Gang Camp on October 21 at Lincoln Center. Joe spent seven years as a camp counselor during the summer at the original Connecticut camp — He now proudly bears the title of ‘Mr. Ambassador’ for the organization — and can’t say enough about the kids whose lives are forever changed thanks to Paul Newman. “They make you realize what is really important, ” says Joe.

So, if you want to help continue Newman’s good works and spend an evening rubbing shoulders with Alec Baldwin, Meryl Streep, Joanne Woodward and Renee Zellweger, get out those checkbooks and buy a ticket to the gala. Tell them Joe sent you …

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Self‘s Lucy Danziger and some leggy leather clad gals from L’Oreal talking ‘stress management’

2. Law & Order SVU’s Richard Belzer and David Letterman‘s band leader Paul Shaffer

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and O’s book editor Sara Nelson.

4. Leonard Lauder and a casually elegant gal who, upon greeting the cosmetic king exclaimed, “This is the high point of my week!”

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Lunch: Ben Bradlee — Fewer Newspapers May Not Be ‘Such A Bad Thing’

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was truly a head-spinning afternoon at Michael’s today. The joint was jumping with so many movers and shakers we could barely keep up with all the goings on, but we did a few laps around the dining room to catch up with the boldface names and those media mavens whose jobs are still secure to find out the latest dish.

I was thankful I got there early this afternoon because I was able to collar legendary newspaper man Ben Bradlee before he sat down with his family. I just had to ask him what he thought about the obit currently being written for the newspaper industry. The former The Washington Post editor wasn’t about to buy into all the gloom and doom. “I’m actually quite hopeful,” he told me of his survival of the fittest approach. “When I was editor of the Post, there was something like 7,500 papers and now there’s 1,200. But I don’t think it’s such a bad thing if there’s a few less papers — if they’re better. The Washington Post is losing money at the moment, but I think things will settle down. As long as the surviving papers are good, it’s not going to be a disaster.”

I had the good fortune today to lunch with Joan Gelman and Robert Zimmerman, two of my favorite people who I’ve come to know through my weekly Wednesday visits. We had a lively conversation (Sorry, but the juiciest stuff was strictly off the record). Joan is a hero of mine, having written about the perils of parenthood and working motherhood so brilliantly back in the ’80s for The New York Times‘ Hers column. I re-read many of them the other night, and they could have just as easily been written today. Joan has toiled at a plethora of television jobs, including producing stints at Good Morning America and David Letterman. Her latest show that she’s written, Triple Sensation, is scheduled to run in June in Canada on CBC, and she’s back freelance writing again. God knows she’s got plenty of material. Robert is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his Long Island-based marketing-public relations firm Zimmerman/Edelson, which counsels a diverse client base which consists of an impressive roster of energy and real estate firms, as well as educational institutions including Hofstra University. Robert also moonlights as a CNN contributor, where he lends his intelligent, well-reasoned voice in support of public advocacy on a whole host of issues. “It’s a passion of mine,” he says. His gig with CNN (he signed on in 2007) came about after he got a call from The White House following one of his television appearances back in 2005. Turns out both Al Gore and Bill Clinton thought Robert would be just the guy to carry the flag on Fox News. Since then, he’s gone on to tangle with Lou Dobbs and plenty of other contentious commentators and flacks. “I have had the unique distinction of antagonizing both parties at the same time,” says Robert. That must mean he’s doing something right …

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The indomitable Evelyn Lauder, looking lovely as ever in a chic brown tweed suit and presiding over a table of powerful gals, including our pal MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski (we forgot to tell her we’re on her side on the vibrator debate she’s currently having via the airwaves with Barbara Walters) and Lauder’s public relations maven Alexandra Trower (who looked dazzling in bright pink) all gathered to talk about Mrs. Lauder’s upcoming annual gala for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to be held on April 29 at the Waldorf. And before you run out and buy a fancy frock for the occasion, Mrs. Lauder was delighted to tell me the invitation calls for gals to “shop your closet.” “Let’s give all the money we can to the foundation,” she wisely advises. Gentleman should opt for “black tie with a touch of pink.” The evening is sure to be one for the record books. Longtime Lauder spokesperson Liz Hurley is hosting and Elton John is going to perform with — wait for it — Liza Minelli! So if you’ve been holding back on making the scene on the charity circuit, this might be just the time to crack open the checkbook if you can…

2. Here’s an interesting foursome: Sports Illustrated editor Terry McDonnell, Victoria’s Secret model Marissa Miller, an unidentified dude with a Mohawk, and a ‘suit.’

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong with The Daily Beast’s books editor Alexis Gelber. Joe told me all of New York was at the party for Quinn Bradlee‘s book held at Barry Diller‘s last night. (We were home watching Dancing with The Stars. Oh well). Joe has just returned from his annual visit to The Whole in The Wall camp for critically ill children. This will be the first summer season for the camp since its founder and guiding force, Paul Newman, passed away. “He was the real deal,” says Joe. Luckily, his work lives on. Joe reports they will be opening a camp in Israel in June for Jewish, Arab and Christian children whose parents will be required to attend meetings together while the kids go about being kids and enjoying themselves despite their medical conditions. An inspiring concept to say the least …

4. Would love to have been a fly on the wall at this table: Jonathan Wald, Charlie Walk and Donnie Deutsch.

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Cool Hand Luke Dead at 83

CoolHandLuke.jpg Legend Paul Newman has died after a battle with cancer.

Lynn Smith wrote the obit for LAT. It was a touching tribute to the actor and activist.

Our favorite line, that summed up why we loved Newman for something other than his looks:

He was thrilled, friends said, when he heard that he had made President Nixon’s enemies list.

Here’s the NYT obit.

Rest in peace.

FBLA 20 Questions: Nancy Rommelmann

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Nancy Rommelmann, formerly of Los Angeles, now of Portland, writes frequently about food, life, loss, and love. Her compassion for her subjects never cloys; her probing of their foibles never crosses the line into cruel exploitation. And thus, she kindly answered our probing, exploitative questions.

1. What’s the first thing(s) you read in the morning?
Currently: War and Peace, the new Pevear/Volokhonsky translation.
Eternally: The New York Times

2. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure website? Dlisted

3. What job do you fantasize about having? Novelist

4. Last movie you saw? Beowolf, about ten minutes ago

5. Last book you read?
Steve Almond’s Rants, Exploits and Obsessions (Not That You Asked)

6. Best show legendary biz/movie star encounter. At age fifteen, I stopped Paul Newman on Madison Avenue, knowing full well it was him behind his mirrored shades, and asked, sweetly, “Can you tell me what time it is?” At which he took a two-second pause, drank in my long, bare, mini-skirted legs, and slowly pulled off his glasses.

7. Proudest media moment? Winning AAN and LA Press Club awards back-to-back was pretty good, but really, it’s every story I’m working on where I sense the greatness and just keep chipping away.

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