FishbowlDC TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Shirley Maclaine’

Two Old Pros Come Together for Saturday Evening Post Q&A

When you’ve been in the entertainment journalism game as long as Jeanne Wolf, there is no longer any doubt about a preferred professional approach. As the veteran reporter’s personal website About page makes clear, she’s in it to have fun.

That breezy M.O. imbues Wolfe’s Q&A with Anjelica Huston for the March/April issue of The Saturday Evening Post. The interviewer and Smash star are each in their own way grand dames of Hollywood, freely and comfortably chatting be the topic Jack Nicholson or the actress’ in-progress autobiography:

Q: You’re writing a memoir. How is that going?
AH: I’m kind of in the midst of it, and it’s daunting, but on the other hand, it feels quite cathartic. Since I’m in the process, it’s a bit hard to talk about. I remember quite a lot, I have to say. Sometimes I wish I remembered a bit less.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101

Freelancing 101Learn how to manage a top-notch freelancing career! Starting December 1, you'll hear from our expert speakers on the best practices for launching a freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. Register now!

Taking a Lunch Break

1003_mockup.gifSorry, folks. Our fair Diane Clehane is off for the day, but Lunch will be back next week. (Hmm, wonder who got her usual perch at Michael’s?) In the meantime, check out some of her recent celebrity spottings and interviews:

Naomi Campbell and Her Supermodel Castmates Dish About Their New ‘Face’

Shirley MacLaine Stops by a Birthday Party for Liz Smith

Lisa Vanderpump Dishes on Beverly Hills Housewives, Wendy Williams Holds Court

Shirley MacLaine Stops by a Birthday Party for Liz Smith

1003_mockup.gifI knew it was going to be quite the scene at Michael’s today when a little birdie told me that there was going to be a lunch for Liz Smith celebrating the grand dame of gossip’s upcoming birthday at Table One. Suffice to say I wasn’t disappointed. None other than Shirley MacLaine stopped by to say hello to Liz (more on why later), and I got to chat with the legendary actress about her guest-starring stint on Downton Abbey. While the entire restaurant swiveled in our general direction, I jumped up from my seat to ask about her experience on PBS’ smash hit and she couldn’t have been more gracious.

“I loved doing the show,” she told me. “Everyone was so welcoming and great about everything. I was amazed that no matter what the weather — because it rained a lot when we were shooting — they all went on as if the sun was shining. They were wonderfully professional.” Her character, Martha Levinson, appeared in only two episodes but left quite an impact on viewers — particularly when Martha sparred with Violet, the Dowager Countess played by the legendary Maggie Smith. “That was one of my favorite days on the set,” Ms. MacLaine told me of the scene where she and Ms. Smith sat for hours in a church pew waiting for the ill-fated wedding of Lady Edith to begin. “We spent eight hours talking about life, and we never ran out of things to say.” I bet. Before she dashed out the door — she only stayed long enough to say her hellos — I asked whether she’d be returning to the series and she said, “Yes. We start shooting soon. I’m looking forward to it.” So are we.

Liz Smith with her party pals and her armadillo cake

Now, back to Liz’s lunch (described as a “southern confab”), which Hearst’s Deb Shriver put together with scribe Julia Reed and ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong. Deb was putting the finishing touches on the table, which included a bouquet of yellow roses arranged in Joe’s Texas bronzed boot and a specially designed menu (fried chicken, collard greens and corn bread) featuring a photo of Liz at a year old. Liz and Joe have a long friendship that dates back to 1968 when Joe first arrived in New York and met the fellow Texan. They forged an unbreakable bond. “I didn’t know one person when I came here and found out she was raised a block from where my mama grew up in Fort Worth. She was the only person I met who I thought didn’t talk with an accent.” The two have been great pals ever since.

Shirley MacLaine stops by Michael’s

Southern belle Deb, who has written two fabulous books on New Orleans including the gorgeous Stealing Magnolias: Tales from a New Orleans Courtyard, surprised Liz with one of the most unusual birthday cakes ever served at Michael’s or anywhere else for that matter, and had a Brooklyn baker recreate the Steel Magnolias armadillo red velvet cake. Ms. MacLaine, as you might recall, was one of the stars of the 1989 film, and she arrived with the film’s screenwriter Robert Harling to jazz up the festivities. They departed before Michael’s staff paraded through the dining room with the life-size armadillo on a platter, raising  more than a few eyebrows. Clearly thrilled by the gesture, Liz was served the head of the baked beast while the rest of the guests dug into the ‘carcass.’ Mmm… yummy.

Read more

Author Assembles Rollicking Roundtable of Entertainment Journalists

The format of Francine Brokaw’s breezy 182-page book Beyond the Red Carpet: The World of Entertainment Journalists, available next Tuesday, is exceedingly straightforward. Under various themed chapter headings, the veteran Family Magazine Group reporter and current member of the TCA asks a group of colleagues to recall Strange Interviews (Chapter 4), Twilight Zone Moments (Chapter 5) and Off the Record (Chapter 10) detours.

Her panel of junket-savvy experts includes everyone from David Sheehan (KCBS) and George Pennacchio (KABC) to Hahn Nguyen (tvguide.com) and Mike Reynolds (various). One journalist who stands out by virtue of being unafraid to name celebrity names is the New York Post’s Sean Daly. Here for example is the beginning of his entry for How Rude! (Chapter 9):

Harrison Ford is the rudest a-hole in show business. Followed possibly by Tommy Lee Jones. I have actually seen Ford call reporters out for asking what he thinks are “stupid questions”…

Read more

Bodhi Tree Bookstore Set for Nearby Reincarnation

At least that’s the prediction offered by co-owners Stan Madson and Phil Thompson in an LA Times article marking the closure of their West Hollywood Melrose Avenue sanctuary. After 41 years in business, just west of celebrated Entourage hang Urth Caffé, the New Age crossroads closed its doors at 5:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

According to the article, the number of items sold daily at the Bodhi Tree had diminished in the past two decades by roughly 90%. But the seventy-ish owners tell reporter Teresa Watanabe that they weren’t that interested in embracing new retail paradigms:

The store could have added more non-book items, such as yoga clothing. It could have set up a live-streaming capacity to expand the audience for Bodhi Tree speakers — who have included Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, world religion author Huston Smith, medium James Van Praagh and spiritual teachers Marianne Williamson, Carolyn Myss and Deepak Chopra. But, Madson said, he wasn’t quite comfortable or interested in evolving.

Read more

Playwright/Screenwriter Arthur Laurents Dies at 93

Tony Award-winning playwright Arthur Laurents died yesterday of complications from a bout of pneumonia. He was 93.

Laurents was perhaps best known for his work on the stage, most famously penning the book for West Side Story. But he had an extensive film and television career as well. He produced and wrote the screenplay for the Robert Redford/Barbra Streisand love story The Way We Were as well as the Shirley MacLaine/Anne Bancroft film Turning Point. Both film were nominated for multiple Oscars, although neither won. Laurents’ other screenwriting credits include Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rope, and Anastasia, starring Ingrid Bergman.

RIP.

Tura Satana, Star of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Dead at 72

Exploitation film icon Tura Satana passed away on the evening of Friday, February 4, at her home in Reno, Nevada. The cause was heart failure. She was 72.

Satana was best known for her role as go-go girl gang leader Varla in Russ Meyer‘s 1965 cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, an ode to female violence for which she provided her own costumes, much of her dialogue, and did all of her own stunts. Satana also appeared on television shows such as The Greatest Show On Earth and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. She had a small part as a prostitute in the film Irma La Douce with Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine, and appeared in the Ted V. Mikels films The Astro-Zombies and The Doll Squad.

Read more