"HEDDA, I think it's time you just shut the f--k up!"
That was Elizabeth Taylor at the premiere of "The Sandpiper," back in 1965. Hedda was sitting a few seats behind Elizabeth and Richard Burton. Hopper, a rabid "red-baiter" and supporter of Sen. Joe McCarthy, was complaining loudly that formerly blacklisted Dalton Trumbo was the screenwriter of the latest Liz 'n' Dick epic.
A year later, Hopper -- still vital and witchy and beautiful -- suddenly died. La Liz did not wear black.
SPEAKING OF gossip columnists, I love the news that the great and unorthodox Tilda Swinton will portray Hedda Hopper in a 1950s-era film titled, "Hail, Caesar."
It's about a studio honcho (George Clooney) who "fixes" and covers for misbehaving stars. (Based on real-life smarties like Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling.)
Channing Tatum is also set to play a Gene Kelly-type of character. One assumes this character's personal life needs "fixing." (Those of us old enough to recall, heard plenty about various aspects of the wonderfully talented Gene's life that needed "fixing." Yeah, but we hear this about almost everyone in the business!)
These days, such people are referred to as "crisis managers." Now, with almost all celebrities posting carelessly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there's a crisis every few minutes to deal with and/or apologize for.
BRAD PITT famously and funnily killed Nazis in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds." You'd think that would have been enough. But now he is attached to another film about World War II, which also stars Shia LaBeouf. It's titled "Fury" and Pitt is a soldier in a tank on a mission behind enemy lines.
I wish he and Dame Angelina would just hurry up with the "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" sequel. (I know we're not supposed to call her "Dame." But I want to!)
THE "King-maker" is a Queen!
It was Diane Sawyer's idea to groom the charming and energetic David Muir to replace her at ABC World News. These three -- David Muir, George Stephanopoulos and Diane -- add up to a powerful threesome at ABC News.
Time cannot diminish Diane's sex appeal and intellect, plus there is the "hard work" factor she has put into her life and career. Long may she wave.
I'VE HAD many inquiries about our friend Elaine Stritch since she "retired" to her hometown of Birmingham, Michigan. Her longtime pal, Julie Keyes, is out there with the great actress now.
Since an operation for stomach cancer, doctors say she has every chance for recovery, but I haven't been able to get Elaine to come to the phone.
Word now is that she has recovered from the operation, but has problems with diabetes and not wanting to eat.
Elaine, please. Eat! Eat! Eat! Your fans might want to send a card to 280 Harmon Street, no. 172, Birmingham, Mich. 48009. We send our love to this unique and great star.
And thanks to Julie, her number one fan, for going out there to be with Elaine and her Michigan relatives.
WE TOLD you a while back about the Showtime series "Penny Dreadful" and how it has grown on us. This weekend the spooky goings on end for the season. But it has been renewed for a second season -- with two more episodes added. Unfortunately, it won't be eligible for Emmy contention (I don't know why, exactly.)