Mutual friend Dr. Marc Lazare phoned to say, “Gina’s gone. We spoke a few weeks ago. Her voice sounded very frail.”
I knew gorgeous movie star Gina Lollobrigida. Dinner together in Rome where she lived atop ruins. Dinner here at Gian Marino’s where she told them, “Your prosciutto’s too salty.” Homemade spaghetti for friends.
We were both bridesmaids at Liza Minnelli’s final wedding which lasted longer than the marriage and where I kept telling Gina her overlarge wig was obscuring invitee Robert Wagner’s view.
She got France’s Legion of Honor Award. She painted. Made photos. Donated one to Barbara Sinatra’s art fundraiser. Shipped a special Christmas present from Rome to the Reagans. Was White House dinner guest for Argentina’s president.
Became a BBC journalist. Interviewed Burt Reynolds, Sammy Davis, Bo Derek. Tried to run for office. Rang dentist Lazare to fly somewhere to fix a tooth.
She never stopped — until now.
Wave of cash
Letting you know Hugh Jackman’s summertime waterfront house is up for rent — $495,000. It’s a cup of emeralds from neighbors Donna or Diddy — 345 feet of beach on Gardiner’s Bay, three bedrooms, pizza oven and media room with a thing that makes ice cream.
‘Whale’ tale gets told
Brendan Fraser about maybe grabbing an Oscar for “The Whale”:
“It’s butterflies in my stomach. The transformational makeup was a new technology. For COVID reasons we couldn’t use traditional modes, so instead it was a scan in our driveway with an iPad plus my dog at my ankles screwing up the shot.
“They built my body down to the pores and texture of skin wrinkles. Absolute transformation. Designed from the outside in and I did it from the inside out.
“That collaborative of inhabiting Charlie’s body changed me physically.
“Makeup man Adrien Morot built the fat suit. Darren Aronofsky put me in touch with the Obesity Action Coalition’s tens of thousand of members. They gave insight and honesty about who they were. Earning their trust I now have experience living with obesity.
“When it was over I felt I said goodbye to a guy I’d really gotten to know well. All of him.”
The suit weighed more than 300 pounds. A crewmember picked him up if he fell over.
Ad man Sam Ash: “A mistake in ‘The Fabelmans’”: “The family lit the menorah left to right. Those candles should be lit right to left. Watch the film through a mirror.”
Broadway’s moving. At least its theaters are. Rumor around that Jujamcyn’s St. James, Walter Kerr, August Wilson, Eugene O’Neill playing award winners “Moulin Rouge,” “Book of Mormon,” “Hadestown” being sold to the Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns the Lyric (“Harry Potter’s” there) and Hudson, which had “Death of a Salesman.”
Something like $800 million changed hands — or stages.
With all the layoffs this man said: “Good and bad news. I just got $50,000 severance pay.” Wife: “Great. What’s the bad news?” Husband: “Wait till you find out what they severed.”
Possibly only in New York, kids, only in New York.