Liz Smith: A Glorious Auction — the Ed Limato Estate


And more from our Gossip Girl: Remembering Liz, Mike, Eddie, Debbie … and Lindsay! … Zeppelins again? … The best damn musicals ever? … A Bieber fan complains

“KISS me Kate. Here we go again. It is impossible to overestimate quite how much the British like themselves — and impossible to underestimate quite how much the rest of the world dislikes the British … I can attest that both viewpoints are 100% correct, except that is, when it comes to English royal weddings.”

So says that man of the world, Taki, who prays this royal wedding won’t end in tragedy.

* * *

It’s lots of fun to pick up the newly revitalized Hollywood Reporter and see all the fine color photos of the late agent Ed Limato’s house in Coldwater Canyon. It’s up for sale and auction. There are all of Ed’s shoes and sunglasses, carefully filed, and colored linen jackets which he always used to visit Elton John, and there are the two huge stone lions given to the famous agent by Sylvester Stallone.

Looking at these photos brought back Ed Limato in all his glory. Then I saw the picture of the living room of his house with the very fireplace where I was standing one Oscar year when a beautiful young fresh Lindsay Lohan launched herself across the room, embraced me, and I was able to introduce her instantly to Barbara Walters.

But my favorite part of The Hollywood Reporter is its last page, with all the accoutrements of the Elizabeth Taylor, Mike Todd, Debbie Reynolds, and Eddie Fisher era. Think of it: the four of them were about to launch La Scandale wherein Mike dies in a plane crash, Elizabeth loses her mind and takes up with Eddie Fisher and Debbie becomes the baby-in-arms deserted wife with safety pins dangling from her blouse. (The baby was today’s comic Carrie Fisher.)

A funny line from a gossip column is presented. “Elizabeth Taylor ordered six hats, delivered as follows: to Mrs. Mike Todd, c/o Eddie Fisher, Tropicana, Las Vegas.”

* * *

This very Wednesday, Jan. 19th, writer Patricia Highsmith would have been 90 years old, had she lived. Now another excellent writer, Patty Bosworth (the delineator SP of both Marlon Brando and   Montgomery Clift, for instance) is hosting a party to celebrate the Picador Publisher’s paperback version of a book by Joan Schenkar titled The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith. It happens at 454 W. 46th Street Apt 1A North. None other than the great actress Kathleen Chalfant will give a short presentation.

I actually met Patricia Highsmith when I was a bright young thing first come to New York from Texas. But she wasn’t about to be patronized or flattered by some ignorant kid. She had already written Strangers On A Train by then, and she knew how important she was.

* * *

Please don’t miss New York magazine’s symposium on what are Broadway’s greatest musicals wherein souls like Frank Rich, Nora Ephron, Jesse Green, Jonathan Tunick, George C. Wolfe opine. The winners seem to be “Gypsy,” “West Side Story” and “Guys and Dolls.” I’ll go along with that!

* * *

By 2030, the world will be flying in zeppelins once again, despite the horrifying fate of the Hindenberg falling in flames over in New Jersey back in 1936.

Lighter-than-air vehicles are nothing new but that disaster, caused by using flammable hydrogen rather than helium, pretty much did the zeppelin idea in.

Still, lots of new plans are in the works from Boeing, the British SkyHook as well as Lockheed. These new airships could carry 500 tons of cargo or 5000 passengers at once – and, zero pollution. The time has come!

* * *

When the conservative New York Post publishes an editorial against the 30-round repeating magazine for the Glock-19, well – surely a few of the even far-right Republicans and their cowardly Democratic colleagues may dare to twit the National Rifle Association and try to get these people-killing-magazines off the street.

But the most fearsome words in Washington remain – “the National Rifle Association.” Lack of true gun control is one of this nation’s greatest failures.

* * *

AS I EXPECTED, trying to explain myself further on Sarah Palin in last Friday’s column resulted in another avalanche of e-mails, most of which can be boiled down — to paraphrase the old “Saturday Night Live” insult thrown at Jane Curtin — “Liz, you ignorant slut!” (Among other things, I discover they say I am jealous of Mrs. Palin because she is young and beautiful and I am not.) I did receive a few intelligent e-mails of support.

* * *

BUT IT’s not just Palin fans who are irritated with Liz!  I received a long and passionate note from a Justin Bieber fan, who feels I slandered the teen dream. I was commenting on his Vanity Fair cover story, and freely admitted I’d never seen him perform; I opined he’d probably go the way of most teen idols — but I hoped with more money!

But “Shelby from Colorado” thinks I was mean and unfair — that if I went to a Justin concert, I’d be converted. Shelby says “I don’t hate you.” I just need a dose of “Bieber Fever” to come to my senses.

This teenage girl wrote me a more reasoned letter than most of my adult critics.

9 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Joan Larsen says:

    Liz, you mentioned Zeppelins — out of the blue actually.  But you hit one of my favorite subjects — that I watch closely.  These days I believe they are called airships — actually lighter-than-air ships, filled with helium.  After getting “hooked” so many years ago by the Goodyear blimp, my dream was to go up.  And so — with a little persuading — I was able to.  There were 5 blimps.  I had only been up in one — and now my new dream was to go up in each of the others – one being the Italia, headquartered as you might guess in Italy.  When I make up my mind — and I loved hot air balloons that I began with — I knew I would get on all the blimps.  And I did — and sitting in the co-pilot’s seat was fantastic.  I have stories — never told.

    But in Germany they are building airships again — one is at Moffatt Field below San Francisco and for the first time, I had to pay to go up in it.  But even Boeing is experimenting with lighter-than-airships — but frankly, they are wonderful environmentally but I don’t believe we are going to ever see them sailing our skies in droves.  There are faster ways to get produce around — and people to.  But I never stop looking for my next chance to go up when they do a test — and some of us “addicts” are privy to all the latest in information on what may lie ahead.  As for me, I can hardly wait to go up again.  .  . truly love to fly!  Joan

    • avatar Mary says:

      Joan, I love to fly and anything to do with flying.  I was a skydiver for about 30 years and belonged to a large group and loved every second of it.  Unfortunately I had to give it up a few years ago due to a shoulder and arm injury, skydiving is rough on the shoulders and back over time 

      About 50 miles north of me is Canton, Oh.  I used to drive every day to work in Canton and became aware of the Goodyear blimp’s significance because I had to work in a particular area of Canton.  Goodyear owned a residential area where there were several ( still there) small cottage type houses.  The houses are so much different than the surrounding area houses that they realy stick out.  I think there are about 40 or so of them in  about a 2 block location.  This is built in a semi circle design like a half circular drive and all of the houses are made of stone with some being as small as one bedroom , most being 2 bedroom and a few slightly bigger.  The curiosity of the small area was so intense to me that I sought to find out what this unusul cluster of houses was all about.  Well like I said Goodyear owned this at one time and the houses housed personnel who flew the blimps.  They were actually part of the government at that time and were “on call” to make flights if we were threatened to be attacked by communist countries! During WWll apparantly they would often get called to send the fleets up on standby and would fly over the area to keep watch.  After the war was over they became more of a corporate theme and people were allowed to fly on them as well as many events were filmed from them .  I would love to go up in one, the waiting list is very very long here and if you get called your trip easily will be cancelled due to weather.  My name is on the list so who knows?

  2. avatar Paul Smith says:

    Still no mention of carbaret’s loss of Margaret Whiting.  And I thought you were such a cabaret lolling alley cat.  Had she never warbled a melody, her grab for personal happiness by marrying gay icon Jack Wrangler, before cougar fashion, before mainstream gay families deserves some nod in passing, no ?

  3. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    …Elizabeth loses her mind and takes up with Eddie Fisher…

    I will say nothing… 

  4. avatar Mary says:

    Liz, give up on the Palin thingy, it is a futile cause.  We love you and from reading the responses here you are understood and supported.  Justin Beebop is another story of which I am clueless about, I was into Paul of the Beatles in my time.

  5. avatar Rho says:

    You mention Montgomery Clift, I was the President of his fan club in NYC — long time ago.

  6. avatar Lizzie R. says:

    Justin Bieber on the cover of Vanity Fair? Has Graydon Carter lost his mind, or was this a smart move on his part? I suppose since entertainers are now gracing the covers of VF it’s to be expected. Since I’ve never seen him other than a photo, never heard him sing ,I still found myself reading the sappy article like I used to read Modern Screen back in the dark past of my girlhood. THen I wondered why I read it, as haven’t the least interest in this adolescent. Maybe curiousity does pay off in the end. Now I’ll be watching to see if when he grows up and his voice changes will he still be popular as he now is? Gotcha!!