Liz Smith: Jackie Bisset Remembers Dennis Hopper

Photo Credit: Robin Platzer, Twin Images

And more from our Gossip Girl: Will Lindsay Lohan Come Back as a ‘Fashionista’? … Former Page-Sixer seizes Hollywood … Star-gazing at NYC’s Primola

“HE WAS such a fascinating character, a gentlemanly person to work with, a sensitive personality. I hope we find some angel who’ll find the money to get the film finished. With the recession, everyone is suffering, I know. But … this was his very last movie!”

That is the divine Jacqueline Bisset, talking about the late Dennis Hopper. Jackie is hoping their film, “The Last Film Festival,” directed by Linda Yellen, will eventually see the light of the day. The movie, a comedy, also stars Chris Kattan, JoBeth Williams, and Leelee Sobieski, and was screened recently in New York to an extremely positive response. It just needs some finishing touches.

Hopper was such an iconic figure in film, it is hard to believe some generous movie-loving mogul won’t chip in a few bucks. (Oh, come on, Harvey Weinstein. You know “The King’s Speech” is going to pick up a few Oscars. Finish “The Last Film Festival” and release Dennis Hopper’s swan song.)

Miss Bisset will next appear in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie “An Old Fashioned Christmas.” (The film she did for Hallmark last year, “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving,” was so successful, she was lured to come back for a sequel.)

As for director/producer Yellen, perhaps someday she will write her memoir, not just about the varied people she has known and worked with – from Elizabeth Taylor to Vanessa Redgrave – but her own very personal relationship with Arthur Miller. I will say only this – it would be a revisionist take on the “noble” playwright.


OUR GIRL Lindsay Lohan (you knew she’d pop up here eventually!) is continuing her court-ordered sober-living stint after a stay Betty Ford. She’s looking good when she goes out to shop and apparently dealing with her numerous issues. Alas, the one habit she can’t seem to break is smoking. Please stop, honey. So unhealthy, and – remember, you are a movie actress – so bad for the skin.

As to movies, Lindsay is out of “Inferno,” the Linda Lovelace biopic. Whether she was dropped or dropped out, it’s a good thing, although, for sure, she needs the money at this point.

But Miss Lohan does have an angel on her shoulder, in the form of producer Christine Peters. Peters is betting on Lindsay – literally. We hear that the producer of such hits as “How To Lose a Guy In Ten Days” is willing to put up her own money to guarantee Lindsay showing up on the set of a movie titled “Fashionista.” This is a project Christine has been trying to get off the ground for a few years. It is based on the novel of the same name. She has always envisioned Lohan as the leading lady. So, with this kind of open confidence expressed by one of Hollywood’s most successful (and well-liked) producers, the industry might take another look at “Fashionista” and Miss Lindsay Lohan.

The only fly in the ointment for this story is the rumored involvement of Lindsay’s father, the infamous Michael Lohan. Supposedly, he would act as a co-producer. Sigh! Look, I know that Lindsay and her dad are reportedly attempting to mend fences (he’s cooking her favorite pasta dishes and bringing them to her), but with his inability to stay away from the press and his own problems, I wonder if involvement with her career is wise? Can’t he just be a father to her?

If it’s true, Lindsay’s mother, Dina Lohan, must surely be out of her mind. It is Dina who has always been “there” for her daughter as she rose from child star to burgeoning teen dream to the troubled young woman of today.

In any case, Christine Peters hopes to begin filming on “Fashionista” in the spring.


RICHARD JOHNSON, once the famous face and sometimes poisoned pen of  The New York Post’s sizzling Page Six, moved out to Hollywood a couple of months ago to dive into the thriving world of Internet publishing – still working for his old boss, Rupert Murdoch.

But Richard doesn’t sit at home in front of his computer in his jimmies. Just as he did in Manhattan, Johnson makes the L.A. rounds. His favorite place to see and to be seen is the fabled, notorious Château Marmont, just off Sunset Boulevard.

The other day, ensconced in his regal eagles’ nest with several pals, somebody nudged Richard and said, “Look, that’s Jenna Jameson coming over here!” (Miss Jameson has made her fame in pornography.) Johnson said, “Oh, that’s not her. She’s too tiny.” Surprise, the little lady was indeed Jenna. Richard, always a gent, jumped to his feet and said – as if addressing Dame Judi Dench – “Miss Jameson, I’m your greatest admirer.”

We are sure the charming Richard got the story he wanted.


NEW YORK’S Primola restaurant is still packing ’em in, and it is one of the city top spots to see a star. This was the lineup just this week: Former DA turned bestselling author Linda Fairstein, telling friends she’s working on her 13th thriller … music man Steve Tyrell (he’s currently at the Café Carlyle) … Frankie Valli, the “Jersey Boy” himself … real estate gazillionaires William and Phyllis Mack (they’ll winter in Palm Beach, don’tcha know, with another real estate tycoon, Mickey Palin) … the great actress Gena Rowlands, her hubby, producer Robert Forrest, and former starlet/now-serious documentarian Rita Gam (Miss Rowlands is soon off to Oklahoma to make a movie, and didja know Miss Gam was one of Grace Kelly‘s bridesmaids?) … and the one and only Al Pacino – who has garnered raves for his “Merchant of Venice” on Broadway – dining with his longtime friend and mentor, producer/director Marty Bregman of “Serpico” and “Scarface” fame. (The best deals are made over a good veal scallopini!)

7 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Lila says:

    I agree that Lohan should keep Michael in the “just a father” box and away from her career.  As for Dina, she is just as ridiculous as Michael, and has been just as damaging to Lindsay.  If her public statements are any indicator, it is she who inculcated Lindsay with the “not my fault, everyone is so unfair” ethic.  So she is the one who has “always been there” for Lindsay.  We see how that turned out, and well… maybe it’s best to leave her out in the dark entirely for a while, until Lindsay has the confidence to let both of her parents into her life on her own terms.
    It’s just sad to think that those two leeches have younger children as well.

  2. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    I suspect the Chateau Marmont was more fabled and certainly more notorious when the only people who could “see and be seen” were the residents as even the guests for a weekend here and there were once considered. Oh, the tales the walls could tell.  Oh, the tales Baby Snooks could tell. But won’t. Only because the walls might tell tales about Baby Snooks!

    Honestly, it was far more charming when it was, well, a dump.  Nobody wanted to stay there. Which was, really, what made it so fabulous as well as fabled. And notorious.

  3. avatar Jerry Dale says:

    Liz, the movie Gena Rowlands is off to film is “Yellow,” written and directed by her son, Nick Cassavettes.

  4. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    Liz, it’s disappointing that you give Dina Lohan — perhaps one of the worst mothers ever — a giant pass for her role in the destruction of Lindsay Lohan. From the time Lindsay was barely a teenager, her stunted adolescent mother was there partying alongside her undersage daughter in nightclubs aorund the world. Yes, Michael Lohan is scum in dad jeans, but that mother makes Mama Rose look like Mother Theresa.

  5. avatar Vicki Sarris says:

    Liz,  Thank you for sharing Jacquelyn Bissett’s comments regarding working with Dennis Hopper.  It is nice to read these positive and kind remarks.  Fingers crossed for movie funding.  It would be a hit for sure.

  6. avatar Liz Smith says:

    Dear Jay…I guess you’ve never read my column before.  I have not been kind to Mrs. Lohan.   I felt putting “there” in quotes was enough for those who do read me.  

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Not everyone may have caught the “there” or fully understood. Hollywood moms. And now dads.