Sunday, October 9, 2011

Well, this was sent to me by my dear friend, Cherry Jones. You people will know Cherry from her years on the television show 24 Hours -- she played the President opposite bad-boy Kiefer Sutherland. I first met Cherry when she was on Broadway in a play called "The Heiress." I was in New York at the time exploring the possibility of a broadway engagement playing Aunt Eller in a re-mount of "Oklahoma!" That sort of fizzled because while Aunt Eller is a sort of plain prairie homebody, I'm a very glamorous former First Lady/Queen of America. I would have loved to have done Broadway, but you know -- type casting.

Anyway, the Miles Davis article. I remember that night well. I really didn't know much about Miles, as Ronnie and I weren't big jazz fans. We liked to keep up with the times, so we were more into the wonderful new stadium concert rock music of the 1980's. It had been forever since I had even listened to my favorite Dizzy Gillespie albums, so it made total sense that I didn't recognize Miles and asked him what he had done.

When he said to me, "Well, I've changed the course of music five or six times. What have you done except fuck the president?" I of course did what any First Lady would do -- I smiled and pretended he had said, "I'm flattered to be here," and I said, "Of course you are!"

Miles looked very confused and was at a loss for rejoinder, and so I took the opportunity to move on to say hello to the very lovely Shirley Jones (pictured above).

I learned this non-sequitur defense from Judith Martin, Miss Manners of the Washington Post. It certainly worked on Miles who, after writing me a lovely 3 page apology on his personal stationary, was later invited to play his jazz trumpet at a private party for Ron Jr's very next birthday.

I like to win!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Poor Catherine Zeta!

Well, I only read People Magazine when I'm visiting my dear friend Kathy Griffin -- usually, I try to read Backstage or Variety so I can keep up with the showbiz news. Or, I'll plow through the Economist so that when one of my political friends calls me to get an endorsement or advice on dresses, I can be up on the issues.

But with Kathy, it's People and US Weekly and all the other trashy tabloid star magazines. She has such a wicked sense of humor -- luckily, we have an agreement that I won't ever be in her act, and in return, I won't have my Secret Service agents kill her! (ha ha, of course they won't do that -- they're such nice boys! But, what Kathy doesn't know. . .)

Anyhow, we're over at Kathy's house, and she's reading US Weekly, and I'm paging through People, and my goodness if I don't see that poor Catherine Zeta Jones has checked herself into a lunatic asylum, or whatever they're calling them these days.

Well, it was inevitable. You don't take a dirty little Welsh peasant and turn her into a movie star without there being some sort of consequences. I think we proved that with Vivian Leigh!

I'm rooting for Catherine. I had a cocktail party for her and Michael when they got married -- just a small affair, although I remember that Shannon Doherty and Bob Dole got into an argument about NAFTA, and I had to send them out to the garage with Larry King, who is wonderful at getting people to apologize to one another.

Anyhow, even then Catherine Zeta seemed wounded, but up for anything. Catherine, if you're reading this, remember -- being famous is better than being crazy, so get well and get back to work on the studio lot!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

RIP Liz Taylor

I just had to post about the death of my dearest friend, Liz Taylor. We grew apart in later years, mostly because she was getting so fat. It's hard for fat women to be friends with attractive women like me. I remember watching Liz at the wrap party for "Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf," downing one velvety ham sandwich after another, drinking a milkshake out of Rock Hudson's shoe, and pretending like the world would love her forever. That was 1966, the year that Ronnie was elected Governor of California. I remember looking at Liz and thinking, "This may be the peak of your showbiz career, Liz, but it's just the beginning of mine!"

Ronnie and Liz stopped talking because of the whole AIDS business. I like to think that despite that, Liz and I stayed friends to the end. Every year, on her birthday, I had a gallon of Haagen Daz shipped to her in dry ice. Because I loved her, I would always include a note: "Eat just a little bit at a time, Liz! There's LOTS of servings in here!! NO NEED TO EAT THE WHOLE GALLON ALL At ONCE!!!"

I like the picture I have here. It reminds me that even as Liz was getting fat, people still didn't mind being around her and showing her a good time.