And more from our Liz: Soap fans in a lather … Zsa Zsa a mama?
“WHAT KILLS the skunk is the publicity it gives itself,” said Abraham Lincoln.
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THIS N’ THAT:
…The grotesque “news” that Zsa Zsa Gabor “wants to be a mother again” at age 94. (She has one grown daughter, the estranged Francesca Hilton.) The star’s husband, the so-called “Prince,” says he will sire a child via artificial insemination, with a surrogate. Zsa Zsa recently suffered the amputation of one of her legs, along with a myriad of other health issues.
I doubt very much that Miss Gabor is aware of the Prince’s plans, or much of anything these days. If she knew her husband had, some weeks back, photographed her in the hospital, sans makeup and wig, unconscious — and then sold the pics — I doubt he’d survive another second. Zsa Zsa was never the world’s sweetest person, but nobody deserves this.
….Good luck to Catherine Zeta-Jones and her battle with bipolar disease. Apparently, the gorgeous Oscar-winner has long suffered from depression; her moods were such that she could “bring a room down.” She admitted herself for treatment last week. I adore both Mrs. and Mr. Douglas (he seems to have overcome his own bout with cancer, during which time Zeta-Jones was by his side 24/7.) Yes, they are rich and famous, but their problems are as real as that couple down the street.
….Soap fans are still reeling over the news that two of the most iconic day-time soaps, “All My Children and One Life to Live,” have been cancelled. Almost impossible to believe that those three great ladies — Susan Lucci, the eternally sexy vixen of “All My Children” and Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser, arch enemies on “One Life To Live,” are going to ride off into the sunset. Especially to be replaced by … reality programming!
“One Life to Live” was a particularly groundbreaking show, in terms of ethnic casting, blue-collar characters, homosexuality, and sexuality in general. (Although Lucci’s Erica Kane does have a lesbian daughter, Bianca.) Lucci has a great sense of humor and loves to spoof her image, most recently on “Hot In Cleveland.” And of course her long battle to snare an Emmy became legendary. She finally won after something like 18 nominations.
Fans of “OLTL” still remember actress Judith Light’s years on the show, and her incredible courtroom confession of prostitution. Light’s witness box agonies went on for days and won her an Emmy. (The acting quality on all the soaps is of generally superior quality.) Judith went on the star in the far more light-hearted “Who’s the Boss?” Now she is often see as a tough judge on “Law & Order: SVU.”
I once ran into the lovely Erica Slezak, aka Vicki Lord, here in New York. (She is the daughter of the great character actor Walter Slezak) I asked her, “One day on a soap opera seems to last forever, even though all the holidays are celebrated. How long is a soap opera year anyway?” Slezak laughed and said, “Oh, God — you know we once tried to figure that out. I think comes down to about 50 days out of 365!”
Maybe the SoapNet Channel, which runs repeats of the weekly soaps, can pick up “AMC” and “OLTL” and fans will still know what’s happening in Pine Valley and Llanview. (Maybe to wrap up “OLTL” they’ll have refined Vicki revert to her trampy alternate personality, Niki Smith —forever!)
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DID’ja know that Ethel Kennedy, widow of Bobby Kennedy, has sold her famous McLean, Virginia house – the one where she raised a lot of kids during and after the JFK years and the one where everybody got pushed into the swimming pool. She has rented a house now in Palm Beach not far from the famous Kennedy mansion on North Ocean Boulevard. (This house is now owned by the philanthropists Marianne and John Castle, who commute between the Gold Coast and New York City.)
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HADN’T BEEN to Brooklyn in quite a spell, but the other day the trees were all blooming pink and white over in Brooklyn Heights, where I found myself lunching at the River Café with my longtime friend, John O’Keefe of the Metropolitan Museum, and the new editor of The New York Daily News. Kevin Convey pointed back across the East River to where the Mort Zuckerman tabloid will make its new home down near Wall Street.
We had the grandest lunch and the chef, Brad Steelman, is simply sensational. This is one of prettiest places to eat in New York City, right on the East River. Owner Buzzy O’Keefe, who is now a legend, joined us. It was a civilized Irish Mafia kind of lunch. Try the pear salad with fois gras, or the octopus stewed for over five hours, or the lemon soufflé. Everything here is perfect.
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AT PRIMOLA THERE was former Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith, who lives in the Second Avenue neighborhood. You can bet nobody was asking her about “The Kennedys” miniseries … Also on hand, fashion’s famed Jimmy Galanos with former Bill Blass exec, Harold Davis … And Lainie Kazan was dining with Al Pacino’s favorite producer, Marty Bregman.
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At SETTE MEZZO, Joan Ganz Cooney was accepting tributes from people who admired her husband Pete Peterson’s interview in the Times last Sunday. Mr. Peterson has been the Cassandra of what will happen if America goes on with unrestrained entitlement spending. So I asked Mrs. Peterson why the Times story downplayed her involvement with “Sesame Street”and the Children’s TV Network, which she co-created with the late Jim Henson. She just shrugged. As Joan remains one of the rare individual women ever to be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it seems like the Times didn’t exactly do enough homework.