Friday, June 29, 2012

LIZ SMITH: Tom and Katie NO MORE ...

Tom and Katie NO MORE! Women Who Make America — They Are Everywhere! Also — Whoopi Goldberg — She's "Got Somethin' To Tell You" about Moms Mabley. And Rihanna — Will She Be Disney's New, Animated, Box-Office Winner?
by Liz Smith
Friday, June 29, 2012

old couch must being feeling pretty used! Oh, you remember, the couch Tom Cruise jumped up and down on, exclaiming his rapturous love for Katie Holmes. Many people felt Tom not only jumped the couch, but jumped the shark at that moment. I forgave him. It was silly, but he's such a high energy guy. He was just feeling the moment.

Well, that moment has passed. Tom and Katie are divorcing after five years and one child, the sometimes ridiculously haute couture Suri. I wonder if Tom will announce, after he did when his marriage to Nicole Kidman foundered, "She knows the reason." (Actually, she didn't.) 

This is Tom's third failed marriage. His first was to actress Mimi Rogers, who supposedly introduced him to Scientology. Then came Nicole, whose career seemed stifled until Tom released her from the bonds of matrimony. (Some thought he knew her star "moment" was coming and he didn't like it!)

In any case, on the heels of Rock of Ages which is hilarious, but not to moviegoers, Tom has taken a big one-two punch. Oh, oh — the gossip grist this mill will grind. I don't want to celebrate unhappiness. And I like Tom, but — come on. This is hot stuff.  

I suppose I should have read the tea leaves more carefully when Katie was not present at Tom's honor at the Friar's gala a couple of weeks ago. But he looked so handsome, slim and happy. All he said was that his lovely wife was "away working." I'll say, working on a settlement! And but of course it came on a Friday. That's when they all announce big stories. Divorces. Rehab. Physical abuse. Like they think it'll be over by Monday. But actually, Tom's divorce bombshell from Nicole came on a Monday. I guess he was braver back then.

This is all especially hilarious because my assistant of many years, Denis Ferrara, used to warn me gravely — "Don't call me from lunch, don't call me at home, don't call me over the weekend unless Tom and Nicole divorce."

In recent years he changed that to "Tom and Katie" but he never seemed as serious about them. Well, were any of us?

My best to both Tom and Katie. But they are successful adults and life goes on. Suri's life is just starting. Let's everybody be adult about the child, yes?
“I AM ashamed that women are so simple!” says Katherina to Petruchio in the end of Taming of The Shrew by William Shakespeare.

She goes on to say, “... to offer war where they should kneel for peace.” (I think Shakespeare knew Kate was merely feigning surrender and planning to do as she pleased.)

But this quote, of its time, is anathema to liberated women the world over. The Women’s Movement is newly invigorated by threats from Tea Party-ers, States Righters, abortion deniers and, liberated women in general. Led by their still stalwart and dare I say it — glamorous Gloria Steinem — American women are ready for the wars of equality again.

Steinem noted at an important luncheon this week, that back when women first started appearing on TV news shows — even on the early Today Show — the chimpanzee was a male.

She said, for instance, that only a few years ago all art was reserved for “European guys” and women only dealt with “crafts.” Times have changed. But not enough!
HERE'S JUST a sampling of the Who’s who that turned up to promote the coming 2013 film Makers: Women Who Make America. This is being backed by PBS and AOL and made by the creative Dyllan McGee.

My pal the writer/promoter/fashion plate/mover-shaker, one Peggy Siegal, took me to this event at the charming Casa Lever, owned by one Abby Rosen, just off Park Avenue. The food was super but the “names” were off the wall.

Just a few: the aforesaid Ms. Steinem ... Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna Huffington, Tina Brown, Katie Couric, Magee Hickey, Deborah Roberts, Veronica Pittman, Faith Ringold, Carolyn Roehm, Blaine Trump. Campbell Brown, Gayle King, Star Jones, Jill Fairchild, Amanda Foreman, Gigi Stone, Joanne Lipman, Geraldine Fabrikant, Jennifer Maguire, Joanna Cowles, and on and on.
Arianna Huffington. Diane von Furstenberg. Jill Fairchild.
Tina Brown. Blaine Trump. Campbell Brown.
Gayle King. Barbara Walters and Katie Couric. Gigi Stone.
And, the leader of them all — Barbara Walters — said a few choice words about our friend, Nora Ephron and then we saw some stunning film of Nora talking for the ages. Gloria remarked that most of us felt Nora was in the room with us.

I had just seen the women of The View talking about Nora, led by Barbara, earlier that morning. This tribute to Nora whose obituary led the Times front page that very day was only one of so many. I had cried throughout Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC rave the night before. He spoke of Nora’s talent, gift of friendship and understanding and the memories she has left with us. He was excellent.

This lunch was a well-timed unintentional tribute to the magic of Nora Ephron. Or it became that.
NONE OTHER than Whoopi Goldberg has joined a select small group of performers who have won the Grammy, the Oscar, the Golden Globe, both the daytime and nighttime Emmy and the Tony. (I hate to keep bragging on Whoopi but we also made her a New York Landmarks Conservancy “Living Landmark” not too many years ago.)

Moms Mabley.  
Whoopi Goldberg.
Now Whoopi wants to celebrate another famous but largely unrewarded black woman, the late Moms Mabley. Moms was a pioneer in the comedy world and the documentary I Got Somethin’ To Tell You will prove it, once Whoopi gets it made. She has already done quite a bit of filming on it.

It is hard to make any documentary but Whoopi is determined and she needs us to help her. We have to get busy and contribute by July 26 to get matching funds or something legal-and-legit like that. Just take my word for it that this is on the up and up and Moms deserves to be seen. Whoopi needs $65,000 donated quickly. If she doesn’t reach the goal of that amount sent by that date — then the effort will be cancelled.

You can help Whoopi make Moms Mabley a fact by going to Then go to Whoopi under that and you can donate online. Pledge one of the following: $10 for cover art ... $15 for thanks in the credits ... $25 for glass ornament ... $30 thank you personalized Whoopi letter ... $35 Moms tee shirt ... $50 Broadway box set signed by Whoopi ... $75 signed copies of Sister Act ... $500 Thank you WG video ... $750 ... brief phone call from Whoopi ... $1000 copy of the documentary ... $10,000 dinner with Whoopi ...

I am going to try to get myself one of those Moms Mabley’s tee shirts.
OH, I KNOW some of you think the singer, Rihanna, is just a hot mess who gets beat up by her boyfriend, or incites her ex and perhaps curent boyfriend, to battle over her while destroying a NYC nightclub in the process. (Rihanna wasn’t even there for this fracas!)

Believe me, the sexy young warbler has other talents. She just signed to provide one of the lead Voices in Dreamworks’ coming animated film Happy Smekday!

Jim Parsons, the big star of TV’s The Big Bang Theory will be the other major voice. This is all about an alien who connects with an earth girl after an apocalyptic event destroys most of the world and it’s Rihanna’s voice-acting debut.

What a good career move! Animated movies have a habit of topping the box office.

When last heard from, Rihanna was shocking her London concert audiences in fishnet short-shorts. She screamed out at her fans: “Got any freaks in the house?!”

Oh, yes, Disney is going to love working with Rihanna.

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