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Posts Tagged ‘Robin Leach’

A Robin Williams Selfie Minted at SNL

A year and a half before that great Norm Maccdonald-Robin Williams backstage encounter at Late Night with David Letterman, there was another similar crossing-of-the-paths at Saturday Night Live. Documented by a wonderful selfie that has been shared anew this week to celebrate the warm-hearted spirit of the late Williams.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Jason Silverstein caught up with the young man on the left, Jim Muraco, to get the background on this marvelous shot:

Muraco, 44, stumbled upon Williams backstage at Saturday Night Live in 1988. Back then, Muraco was an 18-year-old film buff who recently had moved to New York City and was eager to meet some of his idols.

Muraco said that he tried to sneak backstage at SNL one night in October to meet Tom Hanks. (It didn’t happen.) When he showed up again the next week, a security guard recognized him and invited him backstage.

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Robin Leach Celebrates 50 Years in Journalism

VegasDeluxeLogoThe great American adventure started for Leach on November 23, 1963. That’s when the British-born journalist and future, celebrated bon vivant arrived in Manhattan and found himself, like so many others before and since, a very long way from anything rich or famous:

I sailed into Manhattan Harbor onboard the Queen Mary and landed with no job and contacts and just $135 in my pocket. My first lodging was in a rundown hotel for $27 a week with the bathroom down the end of a corridor of beds.

It took me two days to get a job and, after selling shoes at a New York City department store, landed back in journalism at the Daily News of New York.

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An Editor’s Note That Screams Rich and Famous Synchronicity

Sometimes, media announcements juxtapose in the most hilarious ways.


Exhibit A is yesterday’s news about Nick Cannon being the somewhat unlikely host of a new Style Network version of Robin Leach‘s syndicated chestnut Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Exhibit B is the following Las Vegas Sun column topper, posted around the same time Thursday:

Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach winds down his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy and heads to the east coast for a brief visit before returning to the rigors of Vegas DeLuxe, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom…

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Robin Leach Complains About Tiger Woods

Way down the list of Tiger Woods’ concerns this weekend in Las Vegas, right next to say waiting a little too long for the valet to bring around his shiny new car, is the idea that a local celebrity journalist is grousing about the lack of interview access. Nevertheless, ahead of the golfer’s series of big weekend charity events in Sin City, that is Robin Leach’s beef:

No questions, thus no answers to any subject. Nothing about his current game. Nothing about old loves and new ones. Nothing about anything. A tough assignment for us who are used to big stars sitting down for one-on-one conversations.

Photographers will get the slightly better run of things during this weekend’s 15th annual Tiger Jam, allowed access at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and later Saturday night for the Kid Rock-Uncle Kracker concert. Tonight, as part of a whole series of poker tournaments culminating May 24, Woods has a $10,000 buy-in event.

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Harold Robbins’ Cheeky World View Comes Alive in Wife Grace’s Tell-All Memoir

Much like a Harold Robbins novel, the first few pages of Cinderella and the Carpetbagger, Grace Robbins’ recollection of what it was like to be the wife of the mega-best-selling author, reach out and grab you by the shirt collar.

Robbins explains that back in the day, she and Harold threw two kinds of parties. The first were in the grand old Hollywood tradition, packed with A-listers and well-covered by the press. The other were secretly convened bachanals, often abetted by the bartending of Scotty Bowers and a large crystal bowl full of cocaine. It is one of these parties that anchors Robbins’ prologue and helps launch her fantastically entertaining throwback memoir:

“Here” was the master bedroom of our ten thousand square-foot mansion in the famous hills overlooking Beverly Hills – a bedroom so enormous most apartments would easily fit within its space…

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Robin Leach Gets Star-Struck

It doesn’t seem possible after 50+ years as a print and TV journalist, many of them with front-line celebrity franchises like the old syndicated guilty pleasure Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, that Robin Leach could still be star-struck. But as his most recent Las Vegas Sun item indicates, that scenario can indeed delightfully still occur.

The occasion was a private dinner at Bellagio’s Tuscany Kitchen, the first in a series dubbed “Epicurean Epicenter 2013.” The food was concocted by super-chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who flew in from New York) while the wine poured from the vineyard of an Oscar winner. Writes Leach:

Francis Ford Coppola is far more than a celebrity winemaker; his passion and understanding are beyond measure. It was an honor, a privilege and a rare treat to sit with him for our exclusive interview.

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TLC Reality Show Has Vegas Worried

Following up an item from last month, Vegas man-about-town Robin Leach checks back in to a major topic of Sin City conversation. Locals are increasingly fearful that the upcoming TLC reality series Vegas High Rollers will bathe the Strip in an exaggerated negative light. To which FishbowlLA replies, what else is new?

That’s the M.O. of reality TV. To orchestrate and amp up the confrontations, no matter how real, followed by many sweaty hours in the editing room. It’s a well-worn cliffhanger-pinwheel process seemingly re-confirmed by one of Leach’s sources:

“The truth is that it was a different project that they signed on to, and it has gone in a direction they hoped would never happen. They are totally frustrated. The producers who also shoot Real Housewives episodes promised this would be different – about powerful women who have made it on their own. They know Vegas is a small community where everybody knows everybody involved, not like Real Housewives in much bigger cities.”

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Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous

Remember the old Robin Leach Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous punchline “champagne wishes and caviar dreams?” We certainly do, and it came to mind while reading one of the choice anecdotes in Daniel Miller and Matthew Belloni’s Hollywood Reporter magazine cover story about flamboyant (and now embattled) megaupload.com founder Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz).

The reporters were unable to secure an interview with Dotcom. But they did correspond via email with Maximillion Cooper (that’s not a typo; that’s how he spells his first name), founder of the cross-continental car rally Gumball 3000. Cooper says he galavanted for a decade around the globe with Dotcom, and remembers one St. Tropez incident in particular:

Cooper recalls a memorable 2001 trip to the south of France on the 264-foot Golden Odyssey, which features a mosaic-tiled swimming pool, gym and coral-reef aquarium that spans two decks. For lunch, Cooper, Schmitz and a “huge entourage” that included what Cooper describes as “Aryan” bodyguards all took speedboats to the shore for lobster and champagne.

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Ed Rollins’ Wife on His Departure from Bachmann’s Campaign

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Put away those summer whites — but keep that rain gear handy!  Now that Labor Day is history, the town car set has returned from their summer sojourns and is gearing up for the power lunch season. The Wednesday crowd at Michael’s isn’t back to full tilt just yet, but there were enough suits and swells in the dining room to signal that play time is over.

I was joined today by PR maven extraordinaire Catherine Saxton who is gearing up for a very busy fall season. She’s juggling a number of exciting events including Eric Trump‘s charity golf tournament benefiting St.Jude’s Children’s Hospital coming up next week in Westchester (Amanda Seyfried and Brooklyn Decker are both schedule to attend) and a multi-day culinary competition kicking off September 22 and 23 in Times Square. For the latter, 72 Chinese chefs will battle it out to have their cuisine served at the “Emperor’s Banquet” on Sunday, September 25 at Pier 60.

After lunch, Catherine introduced me to Shari Rollins, wife of veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins who yesterday announced he was stepping down as Michele Bachmann‘s presidential campaign chief due to health reasons. When I asked Shari to weigh in on her 68-year-old husband’s headline-making decision, she told me: “Politics is tough — it’s a young man’s game. Ed is young in spirit, but not in body. Those 14-hour days were grueling. He’s a great husband and a great father, and I’m happy he’s taking care of himself. He’s doing great and thinks the world of Michelle.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Warner Music Group’s Lyor Cohen (Tory Burch‘s main squeeze), presiding over a table full of business types

2. Fashionista Mickey Ateyeh, sporting a glorious tan she got while on holiday in the south of France, with Meredith Finney

3. Steve Mosko

4. Wowowow’s Liz Smith (Loved the baby blue leather jacket!) and Joni Evans with, so we’re told, a Dr. Schindler.

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Here’s Hoping Jerry Lewis Donates Big to His Own Telethon

Heading into Labor Day weekend, there continues to be much written about the absence of Jerry Lewis from the MDA telethon. In an op ed today in the Las Vegas Sun for example, Robin Leach suggests that the lack of a Lewis mention in the last two MDA press releases is “not only downright rude and disgraceful, but also a tragedy.”

Hmmm, that may be overstating it a bit. But we get Leach’s overall point, as echoed by many others. What the heck happened between the MDA and its former celebrity champion to trigger such an ugly, public divorce?

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