Liz Smith: Oh, come On, Let’s Give Her a Chance!

“THERE IS no deodorant like success,” said Elizabeth Taylor.

I DON’T know about you but I’ve seen the movie trailer to the coming Nov. 16th “Liz & Dick” and although I know it won’t be a patch on the real-life Burtons of movie fame, I just can’t wait to catch Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor!

Since I traveled with Elizabeth and Richard back in the day and wrote about their tempestuous passionate marriage in London, Paris, Rome, New York, L.A., and Leningrad, I feel like a minor authority.

But, consider the fallout from the recent Lindsay Lohan-nixing of a Barbara Walters interview on ABC’s “20/20”? Who knew that umpteen years ago, in 2006, at a pre-Oscar party in the home of super agent Bryan Lourd, I was the person who went across a crowded room and corralled a young actress named Lindsay, saying to her, “There is someone here you need to meet?”

Lindsay came with me willingly and I took her to the fireplace where I said, “Lindsay, this is Barbara Walters!”

So it all started back then. At the time, Lindsay Lohan seemed really innocent, super sweet and delighted to meet a legend. I think today, this talented girl, aiming for a true comeback, should control her new P.R. advisors and keep to her original commitments to interviewers of stature.

But she hasn’t taken any advice from me in a long long time, so why would she start now?

P.S. Although there were cries of horror from Taylor fans when Lindsay was cast in “Liz and Dick,” I wrote that the casting made some sense — there were parallels in their lives — child star with troublesome parents becomes voluptuous teen vixen, under-educated and over-indulged. (When Lindsay was 16, I commented that she was “inherently dramatic,” just like La Liz.)

The difference was, Taylor was a protected MGM jewel, and the press was not quite as voracious back then. Ironically, it was Taylor’s later, scandalous love life that helped create the paparazzi that hounds Lindsay today! Elizabeth had many habits and romances that were carefully hidden or re-tooled by the old image-makers.

By the time Elizabeth broke away and was an independent entity, eating and drinking and loving just as she pleased, she was beyond being hurt by “bad” publicity. Scandal only enhanced her stardom. Lindsay has not been so lucky.

So it is refreshing to find I am not alone in saying, “give the girl a chance,” as Elizabeth Taylor. Writer M.G. Lord in The Hollywood Reporter did a bang-up job comparing the two, and coming to the conclusion that if Lohan can model herself on the best aspects of Taylor’s survival instincts, she too, might survive. Rather than be devoured like Marilyn, Judy, Monty, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson and others.

The writer says that “few in the Taylor camp are pleased” by the movie or its star. Taylor’s children are especially horrified. But he still sees hope for “Liz and Dick” and also Miss L. So do I, but we shall see.

In any case, Lord writes, with some perception, that “Taylor and Lohan will always be linked because their breakthrough movies, ‘National Velvet’ and ‘Mean Girls’ were shockingly feminist — the sort of movies every young woman must see to make her way confidently in the world. The heroine of each faces gender discrimination and wins.”

SPEAKING OF The Hollywood Reporter, on December 5th they hold their annual “Women In Entertainment” event. This celebrates the 100 most powerful women in entertainment. The coveted Sherry Lansing Leadership Award this year goes to the one and only Diane Keaton, who will be recognized as a “pioneer, mentor and philanthropist.” She joins the ranks of Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda and Barbara Walters.

Diane’s brilliance as an actress goes without saying.

OH, WAIT just a minute! I just happened to peruse the Shelley Ackerman “Sol Power” astrology column and no wonder the General David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell “thing” happened.

Both these star-crossed people are Scorpios! And we know sex, love, jealousy belong to that astrological sign. Here’s a bit of Shelley:

“If there was ever any doubt about the life-altering impact of a solar eclipse … both Scorpios … had big birthdays this week, just days before the Nov. 13th solar eclipse and both are under the influence of Saturn (now in Scorpio) and Mercury … Petraeus turned 60 on Nov. 7 and Broadwell 40 on Nov. 9, the day that everything exploded in the press.

“Eclipses are not always bad, nor are they to be feared. They are, however, often associated with profound changes in the lives of individuals and in the collective … Scorpio’s rulership of sex, secrets and organizations such as the CIA and FBI, hence the on-point celestial symbolism of the affair between a married woman and a married man who just happened to be head of the CIA, exposed within days of a Scorpio eclipse.”

Whatever all that means, but kind of interesting to read.

JUST A few weeks ago, everybody was saying this year’s over-all box-office was pretty bad. Hollywood was depressed. But recent critical and financial successes such as Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” and but of course, the phenomenal “Skyfall” have lifted spirits.

The next “Twilight” film is also expected to kill at the box-office (helped mightily by the “scandal” that turned Kristen Stewart into a scarlet woman — a scandal more and more people feel was just an old-fashioned PR stunt.)

And despite a stunning divorce, a libel lawsuit (against In Touch magazine) and continued bitching by fans of Lee Childs’ books, Tom Cruise’s “Jack Reacher,” which opens December 21st, is slated by insiders to be another Cruise smash. See, a happy ending for poor little Hollywood. I knew you’d be thrilled.

This column originally appeared on NYSocialDiary.com on 11/14/12

3 comments so far.

  1. avatar John Dillon says:

    Please give it a rest! More chances at redemption have been given to Lohan than a roomful of cats and their extra lives. The only talent that she seems to want to display to the world is bad social behavior, questionable driving skills and the inability to ‘hold her liquor/drugs’. If there was at one time a germ of true acting talent that seemed to be on the verge of blossoming, she has done her damndest to ignore and abandon it. The only thing she has in common with ET was beauty, well ET was a true beauty, Lohan is (at the moment) merely very pretty. ET also had talent which she was able to manipulate to greatness. She also had great class, tho she would probably prefer to be remembered as a ‘good ‘ole broad’. She also was generous to a fault. Lohan seems to be nothing but an ungrateful, narcissistic and sinfully over indulged, soon to be ’has been’.