Wednesday, November 20, 2013

LIZ SMITH: “SHE WAS a flashy babe!”

George Clooney's Stardom ... Carol Channing's Return ... Kim Kardashian's Face ... Barbra Streisand's, Uh — Gazongas? (And Her Voice Is Great, Too.)
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
by Liz Smith

“SHE WAS a flashy babe!”

That’s what actress Ellen Barkin, once a neighbor of Alice Crimmins, said of the flame-haired mother of two, convicted of murdering her children back in 1960s. (We wrote about the infamous case, which was revived in TV dramatization last week.)

Tuesday Weld in "A Question of Guilt" (1978).
I received this interesting tidbit from reader Leo Marinello, who included an article in which Ms. Barkin expressed interest in portraying Mrs. Crimmins. Mr. Marinello reminds me that there was a TV movie about the case, starring the fabulous Tuesday Weld, but never a feature film.

Referring to Barkin’s remark about Alice, Mr. Marinello concluded: “While I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that even in 2013 women are negatively judged because of what they wear and how they behave; it is not only men who are doing the judging. Maybe this will change someday but I have my doubts.”

Well, I have no doubt I have some really smart readers with long memories.
CAROL CHANNING’s people say that the announcement in the New York Times about Carol’s one-night-only stint in Manhattan was “premature and inaccurate.” The paperwork hasn’t been completed, though Miss Channing is expected to sign on the dotted line momentarily.

Also, although Carol’s January 20th appearance at Town Hall may coincide with the 50th anniversary of “Hello Dolly,” that is not the purpose of the event. But, if “Dolly” composer Jerry Herman is amenable, Carol would happily do something “Dolly-related.”
So there. My goodness. I actually wrote about a real live genuine living legend. I can’t promise there’ll be no more items about Justin Bieber or the Kardashians, but telling about the phenomenon Carol Channing was like taking a brisk, cleansing shower.

P.S. Speaking of Kim Kardashian (I told you I couldn’t promise!) I saw photos of her the other day and for the life of me, if I hadn’t known I was reading a story about Kim, I never would have known it was her. She’s blonde now, which does make an unflattering difference. (Not even Elizabeth Taylor looked good as a blonde.)

But Kim’s face seems strangely and drastically altered in some way. The whole “Kardashian thing” is not my cup of celebrity, but I did always think Kim was quite a beauty, and very polite, too. Odd — and this transformation seemed to have happened so swiftly, too.
I know — it's hard to notice, but look up. Kim has blonde hair now. Liz in 1985 — back to brunette after a blonde phase.
THE MAJORITY of the attention Esquire magazine’s cover story on George Clooney has generated centers on few semi-caustic remarks the star made about Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio. But there is much more to Tom Junod’s profile of Clooney.

I was particularly taken with two sections of the piece. One was a physical description of Clooney that concluded: “Everything is to scale with him. Many people have long eyelashes; he has lashes as long on the bottom as on the top. His eyes look like they’ve been caught by Venus flytraps.”

And Junod sums up, more accurately than I have ever read before, the essence of Clooney the star: "... a famous person for whom fame functions as a kind of conscience. He knows what audiences want from him, in movie theaters; what gawkers want from him, on the red carpet; what reporters want from him, in interviews — and by and large he tries to give it to them. Even his lightheartedness derives from a sense of obligation; his casual approach to fame turns out to be one of the things he’s most serious about. Being famous is not just what he knows how to do better than anyone else; it’s arguably what he knows how to do better than anything else.”

Two more things. Clooney hates Twitter. If I didn’t love him already, I’d love him just for that. And, writer Junod sniffed out that Clooney smells of soap.
George Clooney might not be on Twitter, but there are Twitter fan club pages on his behalf for all those that wish he were.
WOW, TAKE a look at those gazongas!” That’s what somebody in my office exclaimed when Barbra Streisand’s new CD, “Barbra: “Back To Brooklyn” arrived. And indeed there is Miss Streisand on the cover, looking quite fresh, wearing a low-cut red gown, assets on display. And why not? (Film fans will recall her erupting sexily out of her costumes in such films as “On a Clear day You Can See Forever” and “The Owl and the Pussycat.”)

This CD is a live recording of Streisand’s triumphant concerts in Brooklyn last October. (Barbra was in magnificent form — and I mean her voice! — the night I saw her. And the audience was in a frenzy of adoration.) This recording includes nine songs that Barbra had never sung in concert before the Brooklyn stint. And, most touchingly, there is her duet on “How Deep is the Ocean” with son Jason Gould. Jason inherited more than a bit of his mom’s legendary pipes. I wonder that he hasn’t done more with this talent?

“Back to Brooklyn” is set for CD/DVD release next Monday. On November 29th PBS will show it at 9 p.m.

Contact Liz Smith here.

Click here
for NYSD contents.