Photo of the day: “CALL ME LIZ”: Elizabeth Taylor-Hilton-Wilding-Todd-Fisher-Burton-Burton-Warner-Fortensky. Actress, stunning beauty, one of the first AIDS activists and great dedicated humanitarian. Born February 27, 1932, died March 23, 2011. Having been known for being notoriously late, at her request, the funeral began 15 minutes after it was scheduled to begin; as her representative told the media “She even wanted to be late for her own funeral.”
Cartoon by: Bramhall/New York Daily News
Photo of the day: 4,000+ SOLDIERS LOST IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN – On Memorial Day weekend, I always take my guests to Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue and 29th Street, which since 2006 has honored the fallen soldiers of these wars. Every Sunday yellow ribbons are added to the ever growing sea of yellows ribbons on their cast iron fence surrounding the church. Look at the white name tags and see all their names, but more movingly – see all their ages: 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26. . . a tragic loss of young lives.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale served as senior minister from 1932-1984 here, preaching ‘the power of positive thinking’. Under his ministry Marble’s influence reached national levels and became known as “America’s Hometown Church.” On November 19, 1961, Lucille Ball married her second husband Gary Morton in the church. On March 16, 2002 Liza Minnelli married gay David Gest in a freak $4 million dollar wedding ceremony. In the wedding party were Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Diana Ross.
This church has seen a lot of history since being built in 1852, but today the most stark historical reminder is offered by this church with these yellow ribbons. Let’s think positively that this church won’t have to add many more names in the future, enough is enough.
DEBBIE REYNOLDS AND HANS / HANS AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS – 20 YEARS LATER: When you think of the Hollywood classic movies of all time – one of the top five films is 1952’s “Singing In The Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. When you think of Hollywood scandals it’s Eddie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds/Liz Taylor.
I first met Debbie Reynolds in 1973 as she was appearing in the Broadway musical “Irene” at the Minskoff theater. Twenty years later, in 1993, we met at her Las Vegas hotel and museum. Now twenty years later again, in 2013, we met again last night!
Debbie Reynolds is truly the Unsinkable Molly Brown! She is the symbol of a survivor. She has made her mark on every form of show business and is still going strong. The epitome of the ingenue, America’s sweetheart, singer, comedian, dancer, television mom to Grace Adler on “Will & Grace” and now….she will play Liberace’s mom in the upcoming HBO biopic of his life. Debbie turned 81 on this past April 1 and loves being born on that day since she says she always has an excuse to act crazy.
She has just released her final memoir “Unsinkable” because she wanted to leave a truthful record behind and “not all the crap that they say about you after you’re gone!” So she dished all the dirt in a witty, heart-on-your-sleeve, brutally honest, always with a wink page turning book, co-authored by the delightful Dorian Hannaway. Her pensions for always marrying the wrong man, her cruel trial at starting a hotel and Hollywood museum in Las Vegas in 1993, being $20 million dollars bankrupted due to the hotel and a con artist (possibly murderous) third husband and recently selling of course one of the most prestigious Hollywood memorabilia collections of all time including Marilyn Monroe’s white halter “Seven Year Itch” dress for $4.6 million dollars, all because she has been the pack rat preserving our film history.
She is sadly doing very limited press appearance for the book. Her only three appearances so far include
– 4/9/13 6:30 PM at the Egyptian Theater – Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.
– 4/13/13 6:00 PM at Barnes & Noble – Grove Drive. Los Angeles, CA.
– and last night at New York’s 92nd Street “Y” to an audience of enthusiastic fans. She did not disappoint. She loves to interact with her audience and is as sharp as a tact.
She is as irreverent, funny and honest as she has ever been, did her classic celebrity impersonations, spoke from the heart about her famous talented daughter Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and even sang a little tune. The sparkle in her eyes, the childlike impish enthusiasm is infectious. The cherry on the icing on the cake of the evening, in partial thanks to the co-author of her book Dorian Hannaway, Debbie signed my coveted Blackglama “What Becomes A Legend Most?” poster.
So Debbie – see you on our duo decennial schedule in 2033???