Thursday, January 31, 2013


Caleb Moore
Dinner with Helen

Now I have your attention.
I hate that that nice young man, Caleb Moore (25) died from his Extreme Sports accident. It was his choice to join, but what a tragedy......

I'm waiting for the folks in Washington to ignore Gabrielle Giffords' moving testimony. Please go to Senator Dianne Feinstein's website again to sign her petition and forward it to your friends. She really needs the numbers......

Helen Reddy has moved back to the States permanently after living in Australia for many years. I'm so happy to have my friend back. She's doing gigs in Palm Springs, New York, and the south-east seaboard so far. You can look for an LA club date soon.....

Yefim Bronfman

Simon Trpceski

Helen Reddy
Loved classical pianist legend Yefim Bronfman in recital at Disney Hall last night. He and Simon Trpceski are the only two pianists today whose fingers softly drip on the keys like clouds. Lang Lang almost made it on my good list, but he's become a parody. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Andre Watts, and so many other are what I call "bangers."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It was the first time that I've cruised on Celebrity Cruise Line, and I really liked it--beautiful ship; excellent service. Each year Turner Classic Movies takes over an entire ship so their viewers can have what is like a "film festival at sea." Movies are shown in the big theatre, and the star of the movie does an interview with Robert Osborne or Ben Mankiewicz to introduce it. Additionally there are lectures in between the movies, and movie trivia games hosted by "Jeopardy's" Alex Trebek. The fans go out of their minds with joy. Joan Crawford's grandson Casey LeLonde showed her home movies; Al Hirschfeld archivist David Leopold had a rare exhibit of Hirschfeld's work and lectured, and Bruce Goldstein of the NY Film Forum presented a program. Other guests were Arlene Dahl, Sally Anne Howes, Mickey Rooney, Rich Little, and the 98-year-old actor adorable Norman Lloyd. I gave two lectures--Legendary Leading Ladies and Legendary Leading Men. Thank you to the TCM fans who literally stood to listen when there were no more seats, and thank you to everyone at TCM, especially Darcy Hettrich, and everyone at Sixthman, the event production company. Masters all.

The ship left from Miami, so I had one night to "do" South Beach, and I had a ball with my friend, Susan Buckner, "Patti Simcox" in "Grease" with John and Olivia. We went to Prime One Twelve restaurant. Think The Palm at the beach. It was so warm, we could sit outside among the day-glo buildings and watch the scene. Now I understand why "Kourtney and Kim" went to Miami.......

LET'S TALK ABOUT MY BELOVED DEBBIE REYNOLDS. Here are a couple of Gene Kelly stories she told to the audiences:

"I was 17 or 18 doing 'Singin' in the Rain.' I had no experience at all, and I rehearsed with Gene for six months before we shot. In the song scene 'You Were Meant for Me' where I'm standing on top of the ladder and Gene is singing and dancing around it, we were rehearsing again just before the take. I always chew gum until the last minute so I can keep my mouth moist. Suddenly, the director said 'Rolling!' and the gum was still in my mouth. I panicked and wadded it up and stuck it under a rung in the ladder. The cameras are rolling, Gene's dancing, and he does his big turn under the ladder and his hair touches the rung. As he turns away, his hair stayed under the ladder and he went that-a-way. 'CUT!!!' shouted the director, Stanley Donen. Gene was furious," said Debbie. "Neither one of them wanted me for the movie, but Louis B. Mayer insisted. I learned so much from them."

"Then," she continued, "the last scene of the movie is a kiss between Gene and me. I was 17 and it was the early 50s. I had NO experience in that area at all and I was very nervous. Gene and Stanley thought it was best to not kiss during the rehearsal and just do it for the take. Well, the cameras are rolling and Gene comes in for the kiss. Suddenly I feel this wet, disgusting thing in my mouth. There is so much slobber that I start to choke and cough. 'CUT!!!!' screams Stanley. I am so nauseous they have to bring me a bucket and I throw up. I thought tongue was just for sandwiches........"

In Grand Cayman you do three things--beach, shop and eat. What surprised me was the empire of Jimmy Buffet, who has Margaritaville restaurants in both Grand Cayman and Cozumel right near the dock. What a fortune he's making. The one in Grand Cayman even has a pool with a slide on an outdoor patio where patrons strip down to their suits and swim between courses. $$$$$

Ben Mankiewicz

Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman

Celebrity Constellation

Susan Buckner

Sometimes the docks at Cozumel look the the 405 freeway. See BD on the right

Money Beach Bar Cozumel

After surviving snorkling

Mickey Rooney and Alex Trebek

Rich Little and Alex

Margaritaville pool

Happiness in Margaritaville

Massage at Money Bar Beach Club

Coming into port in Miami at 5 am.

Prime One Twelve in South Beach in Brown's Hotel

Robert Osborne

Debbie in the lobby of the ship
It was a fantastic adventure and I thank everyone for everything.

Monday, January 28, 2013


I hear that Ann is a very nice person. In my opinion she never should have been given the job as co-host of TODAY because she is boring on the air. NBC did the right thing by telling her she had to go, but they are certainly doing the wrong thing now by holding her up and keeping her from accepting other offers (like CNN). Jeff Zucker may want her at CNN, and should be able to get her. Doesn't mean I'll watch.......but let her have her freedom.


ARE YOU AS SICK AS I AM ABOUT HOW HE KEEPS GETTING AWAY WITH hiding the records of his knowledge of sexual predators in the Church and how he just transferred them away? Just read today's LA Times for yet another story.
He is frequently sits in the expensive orchestra seats at Disney Hall with another "collared" fellow, just smiling and enjoying the finest of life. I kind of sit across from him and you can imagine what I'd like to do........

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I HAVE NO VISUALS FOR YOU. I'm on the ship's computer. When I return I'll have photos and stories.
I'm enjoying the Celebrity Cruise Line. I've never been on them before, and I'm very impressed with their good taste. All I can say is it's surreal on board. You walk by the piano bar and Mickey Rooney is playing (live). You go to Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in Grand Cayman and see Alex Trebeck. Out of body experiences. More to come.

No reasonable segue-----Good arms in the red dress, Michelle.

Saturday, January 19, 2013




Yes, Debbie and I are off to lecture on the Turner Classic Movies cruise to the Caribbean. Hopefully I can blog from the ship. I know the stories will be pretty hilarious. Debbie lectures after two of her movies are screened. I lecture on Legendary Leading Ladies, and then on another day it's Legendary Leading Men.  Bon Voyage............
(and, yes, there are guards at my house)

Friday, January 18, 2013


 I recently did a filmed interview for a documentary on my dear friend Bobby Darin. At the shoot I was introduced to a make-up artist named Faith. She did the best make-up on me that I've ever seen. In addition, I found out that she is a superb esthetician who comes to your house. She got very tired of working in top hotel spas and salons and decided to do her own practice where she can use products and techniques that are really safe. She came to my house and did a facial and a skin care consultation and I am so happy that I've finally found someone who is expert and doesn't scare me! She is a full-service salon all in one person. I recommend her highly.

 email at or call 323.363.4670


Dorothy Lucey, Christine Devine, Wendy Burch, Ana Garcia
Wendy Burch and Alexandra Dwek

Friends with Causes was established by Alexandra Dwek and Sue Cameron in November, 2012 as a charitable giving network of friends in Los Angeles, California. Throughout the year, pot luck dinner parties are given at a private home in place of paying for a restaurant dinner. The monies that would have been given to restaurants are instead presented to the designated local charity of the night. The founder of that charity joins the group for dinner to create a personal experience for the members. Friends with Causes gives to deliberately low-profile, personal, American charities—the unsung heroes who do the work behind-the-scenes, making a difference in people’s everyday lives.

Our first two dinners were a huge success. Respect and Understanding, a small charity in Pasadena founded by Darlene Duncan and her son, Brian, brings live music into senior living facilities. Our second dinner was for The Good News Foundation, founded by Wendy Burch. Local Los Angeles news anchors and reporters identify deserving small charities as they cover Los Angeles, and then they give them money and goods. 

It is really a thrilling and inspirational experience for us in Friends with Causes to help all the local heroes you never hear about.