Monday, November 13, 2017

"Dame Of Dish" Liz Smith Passes Away At Age 94

Liz Smith, who became a modern-day Hedda Hopper of celebrity gossip in the 1980s and eventually came out as bisexual, has passed away at the age of 94.

From the New York Times:

Liz Smith, the longtime queen of New York’s tabloid gossip columns, who for more than three decades chronicled little triumphs and trespasses in the soap-opera lives of the rich, the famous and the merely beautiful, died on Sunday at her home in Manhattan. She was 94.

Her friend and literary agent, Joni Evans, confirmed her death.

From hardscrabble nights writing snippets for a Hearst newspaper in the 1950s to golden afternoons at Le Cirque with Sinatra or Hepburn and tête-à-tête dinners with Madonna to gather material for columns that ran six days a week, Ms. Smith captivated millions with her tattletale chitchat and, over time, ascended to fame and wealth that rivaled those of the celebrities she covered.

One of Smith's biggest scoops was Donald Trump's divorce from first wife, Ivana, in 1990.

Smith's income often exceeded over $1 million a year.

LGBT activist and author Michelangelo Signorile, who tussled with Smith in the 90s when she helped wealthy/famous closet cases like Malcolm Forbes stay closeted, posted a classy farewell to Ms. Smith on Facebook:

The legendary celebrity & gossip columnist Liz Smith has died at the age of 94. For those who go way back with me you know I wrote angry columns giving her hell in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s for closeting so many, defending homophobes & for being closeted herself during the most terrible years of the AIDS plague. But she was tough, eventually rose to it, came out as bisexual, did good things. Glad to have seen all that and see her leading a full life and still writing, working, practically up to her death. RIP Liz.

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