And more from our Gossip Girl: congratulations to Angelina Jolie … Barbra Streisand … Valerie Bertinelli … David Foster … Reese Witherspoon … Lindsay Lohan … and Miss Zsa Zsa Gabor
“THE FUTURE depends on what we do in the present.” That simple bit of good advice came from the great political and ideological icon of India, Mahatma Gandhi.
It’s a good way to look at life and an excellent mindset for the new year. At least, Lindsay Lohan thinks so. The troubled actress, released yesterday after a three-month stint in rehab — a stay that was not without some Lohan-esque drama — posted the Gandhi quote on her website, along with the perennial “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.” (Midday yesterday, reports surfaced that Lindsay had voluntarily extended her stay at Betty Ford. Later stories corrected that. Apparently, she’s out, for better or worse.)
As I always do — much to the displeasure of those who are “tired” of Miss Lohan’s endless journey to maturity — I hope this talented young woman gets her act together.
I also send good thoughts to the apparently indestructible Zsa Zsa Gabor. Zsa, now 93 and in bad health for years, must undergo the partial amputation of her leg. Miss Gabor was one of the first, and certainly one of the most genuinely glamorous of those who were “famous for being famous.” She had small roles in several great films — “Moulin Rouge” and “Lili”— but her talents were best suited to such camp fare as “The Queen of Outer Space.” She married and divorced colorfully, and for decades was a fixture on the day and nighttime talk show circuit, where she could be counted on to look fabulous and say outrageous things. She was lots of wicked fun. (Her sister Eva, was sweeter, and had a more successful acting career.)
A swift recovery to you, dahling.
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NEW YEAR’S congratulations!
TO: Barbra Streisand, who has racked up another great big hit with “Little Fockers.” Her role isn’t very big, and the movie is just a tired continuation of the Robert DeNiro/Ben Stiller feuding that began with “Meet The Parents.” But Barbra, paired with Dustin Hoffman, is mighty amusing. If these more-or-less minor movies are indeed the way Barbra wishes to end her film career, so be it. At least she can take pride in the box-office, if not the “art” of the matter.
TO: Angelina Jolie. Despite withering reviews, her misguided caper movie “The Tourist” has grossed an impressive $120 million. But — just as I predicted — most of these millions have come from the European and Asian markets, where Jolie can do no wrong. The movie cost about $100 million to make. (Don’t ask me where the money went; Jolie’s outfits weren’t that fabulous!) The studio is confident they will recoup the cost, with at least a $75 million profit.
TO: Valerie Bertinelli, who married her boyfriend of six years, Tom Vitale, over the holiday. I interviewed Valerie about a year ago, when she was promoting her autobiography. She asked — very sweetly — if Tom could sit in on the interview? Of course I said yes, and was glad I did, because the chemistry between them was so delightful. She is a darling girl. (I know she’s about 50 now, but she will have that air of girlishness if she lives to be 100!) I was not surprised to hear that co-stars from her current series, “Hot In Cleveland” and some from “One Day at a Time” — the sitcom that made her famous — were in attendance, along with her first hubby, rocker Eddie Van Halen. Valerie was still married to Eddie the first time I interviewed her, but trouble was brewing; I could tell that beneath her lively manner, all was not delightful in her life. But that was then. She’s totally delighted now.
TO: Music man David Foster, engaged to Yolanda Hadid, a former Ford model. David, a multi-Grammy winner and Oscar nominee, who writes, produces and performs, insisted he was no longer the marrying kind when I sat with him two years ago. He has been married three times, has five daughters and laughed at the thought of tying the knot again. David was charming and sexy, but seemed utterly disillusioned with marriage — though there was no trashing of wives or women. Quite the opposite. And because he didn’t criticize his past wives, and because he seemed quite sensitive, I had a feeling he’d do it again, despite his hearty chuckling that he’d tried enough.
TO: Reese Witherspoon, also newly engaged, to Jim Toth, a Hollywood agent. Miss Witherspoon is an impressive woman; strong, level-headed, anything but frivolous. She struck me as one of the most composed, intelligent and self-contained actresses I ever met, when we spoke just before her movie “Vanity Fair” opened. She exhibited all the better qualities of William Thackeray’s anti-heroine, Becky Sharp. (Reese has made it a point not to play victimized women. Her Oscar-winning performance in “Walk the Line” as the no-nonsense June Carter Cash was indicative of the woman Reese is in real life.)
I saw Reese once again, on the night her marriage to Ryan Phillippe ended. It was at a party after the premiere of Ryan’s movie, “Flags of Our Fathers.” We did not speak. She seemed tense. Ryan did not, but, as the party wound down, they argued on the balcony. Days later, they split, after seven years and two children. They had married young. Her career rose, his hit a plateau. It was an old story, in every way.
Given her serious nature, Reese must be damn sure about Mr. Toth. Best to you, Reese. You are one of Hollywood’s few true female role models for young women.
Happy New Year to all the above-mentioned, and to all of you, too!