Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fair and mild

Bronze equestrian statue of Cuban patriot and author José Martí at entrance to Central Park at 59th Street and 6th Avenue. 3:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, January 26, 2012. Fair and mild in New York yesterday.

The Wednesday’s Michael’s lunch was predictably jam-packed. Just inside the door Michael Douglas was lunching with Ari Emanuel, the Hollywood mega-agent, founder of the Endeavor Agency, whose brother is the Mayor of Chicago. Next to them Star Jones was lunching with a distinguished looking gentleman. In the bay at Table One Bonnie Fuller was hosting her monthly confab which included Gerry Byrne, Enka Slezak, Mallory Andrews, Tommy Hilfiger, Amanda Foreman, Ben Sherwood, Ramona Singer, Lisette Sand-Freedman, Carlos Lamadrid. Next door, PR honcho, Richard Rubenstein. Next to them William Lauder, Cindi Lieve and Bill Wackermann; and next to them Michael Mailer.

Moving around the room. Joe Armstrong with Kerry Kennedy; Leonard Lauder with Tory Burch; Da Boyz, della Femina, Imber, Bergman and Greenfield; Joan Gelman with Robert Zimmerman; Peter Duchin with Mark Shand, the brother of Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Moving right along: Sara Nelson; Donny Deutsch; Joanna Coles with Peggy Siegal; Linda Wachner; Peter Brown; Matt Blank with Stephen Espinoza; Mort Hamburg; Jacqui Lividini; Fredi Friedman with Vera Blinken (they were classmates at Vassar together); Joannie Danielides with Donna Hanover, Tovah Feldshuh, Paula Zahn, Linda Stasi and Sue Liebman; Paul Brooke and his sister Jill whose play is about to go into casting; Pete Peterson;  Diane Coffey; David Sanford of the WSJ; Richard Bressler, Steven Greenberg; Steven Stolman with Jack Bochonok; Jack Kliger; Susan Riordan; Michael Smith; Leah Spiro; Stephen Swid with Freddie Gershon; Michael Yudin; Neil Lasher; Jay Remer with Nancy Schurr; Molly Madden; Pax Quigley; Mary Gilbert; Thakur Sharma; and dozens more just like ‘em (sorta).
Catching Up: Last Wednesday down in Palm Beach, Ralph Lauren hosted a book signing at the Worth Avenue store for Ellen Graham and her great new book “Talking Pictures.”’
Gigi and Harry Benson with Ellen and Ian Graham. Mai Harrison and Ellen Graham.
Leonard Lauren and Ellen Graham.
Melanie Steitz and Kim Froude. Melinda Hassen and Anita Micheals.
Tom Quick with Kate and Hashem Khosrovani.
Candy Hamm, Ambassador Edward Elson, and Susie Elson.
Chris and Vicki Kellogg. Dudley and Peggy Moore.
John Andreu, Michelle Pamgallo, and C.D. Pamgallo.
Tom Quick with Kate and Hashem Khosrovani.
Also catching up: Out in Hollywood, in advance of the Oscar nominations that were announced this week, Jean Shafiroff and The Weinstein Company hosted a luncheon at Cecconi’s in honor of Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh and the Weinstein Company film “My Week With Marilyn.”

Michelle Williams.
Williams has been nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the film which co-stars Branagh who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, documents the brief period filmmaker Colin Clark spent with Monroe during the film of the Prince and the Showgirl in which she starred with Sir Laurence Olivier.

At the time of the filming of Prince Marilyn Monroe was the most famous female star in Hollywood, considered the ultimate female American sex symbol and comedienne, whose private life was already famously tragic. Men felt sorry for – as well as lusted after her. During that time she had two marriages – first to Yankees star Joe DiMaggio and then to playwright Arthur Miller.

Monroe went to London to shoot the picture (that this film is about) and her work habits and famous tardiness annoyed Olivier almost to the point of rage. Furthermore he was disappointed with the scenes she appeared in with him, feeling that she gave nothing to her performance.

Other actors on the set felt similarly toward her. Then when they saw the rushes, they got the surprise of their lives: she not only lit up the screen but owned every inch of it whenever she appeared.
Marilyn Monroe in one of her most famous scenes (later borrowed by Madonna) singing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" from Gentleman Prefer Blondes.
Although she is practically unknown to all the generations who’ve come after her, there is no one in the business today who exudes the enormous charisma and emotionality that Monroe brought to the screen. She parodied the role of the dumb blonde, the vamp, but with a comic timing and delivery that seemed so real that you believed she was like that. It was pure genius.

Attending the lunch: The stars and nominees, Williams and Branagh, Colleen Camp, Frances Fisher, Harry Hamlin, Dyan Cannon, James Keach, Jane Seymour, Martin Landau, Richard Johnson, Missy Hargraves, Michael Nouri, producer Jamie Patricof, Frank Cascio, author of “My Friend Michael,” Louise Griffiths, Natasha Sunshine, Sean Young, Susan Blakely, Shana Wall, Paul Farberman and Sura Radcliffe.
James Keach and Harry Hamlin. Martin Landau and Frances Fisher.
Jean Shafiroff and Michelle Williams.
Shana Wall and Frank Cascio. Michael Nouri.
Jean Shafiroff, Kenneth Branagh, and Jane Seymour.
Louise Griffiths. Sean Young and Natasha Sunshine.

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