Liz Smith, Gossip Columnist Who Dished On The Boldfaced Name Set, Dies At 94

ZonaHollywood.com - CATEGORY Breaking news: TITLE

Liz Smith started her gossip career in the early 1950s writing about Shelley Winters for a pulp movie magazine and ended it nearly seven decades later tweeting about actor Ryan Gosling. In between, she dished with and about pretty much every author, entertainer, business mogul and political eminence in the news.

A blue-eyed blonde from Texas with a disarmingly self-effacing manner, Ms. Smith inserted herself into the New York-Los Angeles orbit of celebrities, chronicling the mundane and significant events of their lives.

At her peak in the 1980s and 1990s, Ms. Smith’s eponymous and syndicated column was published in more than 70 newspapers. She publicly feuded with Donald Trump and Frank Sinatra, dropped acid with actress Holland Taylor, went ballooning in France with Malcolm Forbes and collected experiences as avidly as Elizabeth Taylor (one of her frequent subjects) collected jewelry.

In her column and in her 2000 memoir, “Natural Blonde,” she dashed off anecdotes in breathless fashion.

About the evening she spent with writer Truman Capote, she wrote in her book, “In came Truman carrying a large fishbowl full of white powder. He sat it down in front of us and announced, ‘This is the world’s purest, best cocaine. You have never had anything like this before.’ Then, as suddenly as he’d offered it, Truman snatched it up and marched away with it, saying, ‘No, it’s too good for the likes of you.’ ”

New York columnist Liz Smith, left, and actress Florence Henderson in 2001. (STEPHEN CHERNIN/AP)

Another time, she added, “Madonna did me the ultimate favor. From Budapest, she gave my column the exclusive on her pregnancy. I was sputtering in shock when Madonna’s rep, Liz Rosenberg, called. ‘But, she’s just starting Evita,’ I said. ‘How can this be true?’ Madonna herself picked up the phone. ‘Liz, I’m pregnant,’ she barked. I started writing.”

Ms. Smith, 94, died Nov. 12 in New York. Her literary agent, Joni Evans, confirmed the death to the Associated Press but did not disclose a cause.

Ms. Smith was the natural heir to Hollywood gossip columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, whose viperish tidbits sowed fear and loathing among movie stars and studio heads. But Ms. Smith was different in one key aspect: She played nice.

A typical column mixed opinion with accounts of celebrity sightings, such as this one from April 2012: “The most dramatic entrance at this event came from the great opera star Jessye Norman, who arrived swathed in an enormous cloud of wild black hair, a glittering something or other and massive dangling earrings. No doubt about it, she’s a star! ‘What are you up to now?’ asked one fan. ‘What am I NOT up to, darling!’ said Jessye, and then she was swept into the arms of another opera diva, the popular and serene Renée Fleming.”

To maintain and expand her access to the gilded, Ms. Smith kept up an exhaustive, multiple-nights-a-week round of cocktail parties, book readings, dinners and lunches well into her 80s.

In 2000, she told the Houston Chronicle that she couldn’t recall the last time she had cooked a meal and joked that “she should convert her kitchen into a closet because it is never used.”

Always on the hunt for a fresh scoop, she once described herself as “an information magpie, a writer-collector” who can’t let go “of a scrap of information, an interesting observation, or just a lone little fact in search of publication.”

1 of 85 Full Screen Autoplay Close David Cassidy, 1970s teen idol who starred on ‘The Partridge Family,’ dies at 67 ' data-credit="Lois Raimondo/The Washington Post" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/11/22/Obituaries/Images/Merlin_523098.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2312" data-ratio="1.566" data-title=" David Cassidy" data-uuid="0d53dd6c-cd44-11e7-9d3a-bcbe2af58c3a"> Della Reese, singer and actress who starred on television’s “Touched by an Angel,” dies at age 86, family says ' data-credit="Paul Warner/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/11/20/Interactivity/Images/AP_01072002587.JPG?env=A" data-max-width="1508" data-ratio="1.32" data-title=" Della Reese" data-uuid="77ec895c-ce21-11e7-a87b-47f14b73162a"> Charles Manson, cult leader and murder-rampage mastermind who terrified nation, dies at 83 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/11/20/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Charles_Manson_72069-4bb3e.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3075" data-ratio="1.398" data-title="Charles Manson" data-uuid="9bd83d18-ce06-11e7-81bc-c55a220c8cbe"> Read the obituary: Mel Tillis, stuttering country star whose music spoke pristinely, dies at 85 " data-credit="Frazer Harrison/Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/11/19/Others/Images/2017-11-19/GettyImages-113298241.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3184" data-ratio="1.502" data-title=" Mel Tillis" data-uuid="27ef3da2-cd48-11e7-a87b-47f14b73162a"> Read the obituary: AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young dead at 64 ' data-credit="Fin Costello/Redferns" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/11/18/Obituaries/Images/133126937.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3478" data-ratio="0.668" data-title="Malcolm Young" data-uuid="f3518214-cc91-11e7-b0cf-7689a9f2d84e"> Read the obituary: Fats Domino, boogie-woogie pianist who helped launch rock-and-roll ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/10/25/Interactivity/Images/crop_freeObit_Fats_Domino_82938-c1a0b.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2360" data-ratio="1.279" data-title=" Fats Domino" data-uuid="813b0bea-b996-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22"> Robert Guillaume, star of hit sitcom ‘Benson,’ dies at 89 ' data-credit="Chris Martinez/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/10/25/Obituaries/Images/APTOPIX_Obit_Robert_Guillaume_77103-383fe-0982.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2045" data-ratio="1.388" data-title=" Robert Guillaume" data-uuid="fc7a037c-b984-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb"> Read the obituary: Gord Downie, poet laureate of Canadian rock music, dies at 53 ' data-credit="Chris Young/Canadian Press/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/10/23/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Music_Gord_Downie_45050-01dd0-0974.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="6297" data-ratio="1.5" data-title=" Gord Downie" data-uuid="f0487cc2-b7ff-11e7-be94-fabb0f1e9ffb"> Read the obituary: Tom Petty, Hall of Fame singer who became rock mainstay in 1970s, dies at 66 ' data-credit="Mark Humphrey/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/10/03/Obituaries/Images/APTOPIX_Obit_Tom_Petty_95594-dafed.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3030" data-ratio="1.356" data-title=" Tom Petty" data-uuid="6a172bf6-a839-11e7-b3aa-c0e2e1d41e38"> Read the obituary: Monty Hall, host and co-creator of TV’s long-running ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ dies at 96 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/10/01/Obituaries/Images/AP_090702038218.JPG?env=A" data-max-width="2205" data-ratio="0.735" data-title=" Monty Hall" data-uuid="001c91ec-a6d0-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02"> Read the obituary: Hugh Hefner, visionary editor who founded Playboy magazine dies at 91 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/28/Interactivity/Images/AP_860625066.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2998" data-ratio="1.474" data-title=" Hugh Hefner" data-uuid="0741c3cc-a403-11e7-b14f-f41773cd5a14"> Read the obituary: Jake LaMotta, ‘Raging Bull’ of boxing, dies at 95 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/20/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Jake_LaMotta_Boxing_54081-31eea.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.27" data-title=" Jake LaMotta" data-uuid="dba5956a-9e1a-11e7-9083-fbfddf6804c2"> Read the obituary: Lillian Ross, New Yorker journalist who helped create the nonfiction novel, dies at 99 ' data-credit="Joe Tabacca/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/20/Obituaries/Images/AP_970610019511486588981.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1290" data-ratio="0.649" data-title=" Lillian Ross" data-uuid="0044f5ea-9e35-11e7-9c8d-cf053ff30921"> Read the obituary: Bobby Heenan, quick-witted promoter of the bad boys of wrestling, dies at 72 ' data-credit="WWE" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/19/Obituaries/Images/Bobby_Heenan.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3661" data-ratio="1.017" data-title=" Bobby Heenan" data-uuid="674cffc0-9d78-11e7-b2a7-bc70b6f98089"> Read the obituary: Harry Dean Stanton, actor who excelled at playing losers and eccentrics, dies at 91 ' data-credit="Mark Mainz/Getty Images for AFI" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/20/Local/Images/GettyImages-72405042.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.391" data-title=" Harry Dean Stanton" data-uuid="581f7a3e-9b0f-11e7-af6a-6555caaeb8dc"> Read the obituary: Edith Windsor, who led fight for federal benefits for same-sex couples, dies at 88 ' data-credit="Jonathan Ernst/Reuters" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/13/Editorial-Opinion/Images/2017-09-12T212409Z_814574294_RC15C99459B0_RTRMADP_3_PEOPLE-EDITHWINDSOR.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3493" data-ratio="1.499" data-title=" Edith Windsor" data-uuid="5a4fc4d0-98a8-11e7-b569-3360011663b4"> Read the obituary: >Troy Gentry, of chart-topping country group Montgomery Gentry, dies in crash Appreciation: >Just like a country song: Troy Gentry and Don Williams, titans of the genre, die separately ' data-credit="Frederick Breedon IV/Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/10/Obituaries/Images/166775019.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.596" data-title=" Troy Gentry" data-uuid="8c415b40-9635-11e7-87fc-c3f7ee4035c9"> Read the obituary: >Pierre Berge, magnate and Yves Saint Laurent’s partner, dies ' data-credit="Philippe Wojazer/Reuters" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/10/Obituaries/Images/2017-09-08T083640Z_1824930122_RC14BDC9CCE0_RTRMADP_3_FRANCE-PEOPLE-BERGE.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3500" data-ratio="1.41" data-title=" Pierre Berge" data-uuid="6120942c-9634-11e7-87fc-c3f7ee4035c9"> Read the obituary: >Gene Michael, architect of N.Y. Yankees championship teams in 1990s, dies at 79 ' data-credit="Kathy Willens/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/07/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Gene_Michael_Baseball_68893-4e139.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1911" data-ratio="1.288" data-title=" Gene Michael" data-uuid="8d0edc08-93ee-11e7-aace-04b862b2b3f3"> Read the obituary: >Kate Millett, ‘high priestess’ of second-wave feminism, dies at 82 ' data-credit="Ron Frehm/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/07/Obituaries/Images/Kate_Millett_Obit_38036-da9c1.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2887" data-ratio="1.334" data-title=" Kate Millett" data-uuid="4320bd56-93d4-11e7-aace-04b862b2b3f3"> Read the obituary: >Murray Lerner, Oscar-winning documentarian who captured rock history, dies at 90 ' data-credit="Family photo" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/06/Obituaries/Images/Murray_Lerner.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4032" data-ratio="1.333" data-title=" Murray Lerner" data-uuid="91e6c5e2-925e-11e7-8482-8dc9a7af29f9"> Read the obituary:> Walter Becker, Steely Dan co-founder, dies at 67 Appreciation: >Walter Becker was the cynical one hiding behind the guitar ' data-credit="Dave Martin/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/09/03/Obituaries/Images/Jazz_Fest_Finale_26391-b8e9b.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3072" data-ratio="1.5" data-title=" Walter Becker" data-uuid="fb759cd8-90c7-11e7-8754-d478688d23b4"> Read the obituary: >Jay Thomas, TV actor on ‘Cheers,’ ‘Murphy Brown’ and ‘Ray Donovan,’ dies at 69 ' data-credit="Nick Ut/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/25/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Jay_Thomas_87479-84353.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3580" data-ratio="1.262" data-title=" Jay Thomas" data-uuid="11e9668e-89ac-11e7-a50f-e0d4e6ec070a"> Read the obituary: Jerry Lewis, comedy king and master of slapstick, dies at 91. ' data-credit="Associated Press" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/20/Interactivity/Images/crop_90oha16.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2425" data-ratio="1.502" data-title=" Jerry Lewis" data-uuid="a45a396e-85d1-11e7-96a7-d178cf3524eb"> Read the obituary: Dick Gregory, cutting-edge satirist and uncompromising activist, dies at 84. ' data-credit="Linda Davidson/The Washington Post" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/20/Obituaries/Images/c1358714352.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.365" data-title=" Dick Gregory" data-uuid="da38a44c-85bf-11e7-a50f-e0d4e6ec070a"> Read the obituary: Glen Campbell, clean-cut country star and crossover hitmaker, dies at 81. Photos: Remembering superstar entertainer Glen Campbell' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/08/Obituaries/Images/AP_0710050140231457456281.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4137" data-ratio="1.42" data-title=" Glen Campbell" data-uuid="1f46a49e-7c79-11e7-a669-b400c5c7e1cc"> Read the obituary: Barbara Cook, luminous singer of Broadway stage, dies at 89 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/08/Interactivity/Images/crop_90AP620111038-1.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1780" data-ratio="1.502" data-title=" Barbara Cook" data-uuid="07570e6e-7c51-11e7-b2b1-aeba62854dfa"> Read the obituary: Ara Parseghian, who won two national football titles at Notre Dame, dies at 94 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/02/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Parseghian_05864-b6ccb.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3006" data-ratio="1.268" data-title=" Ara Parseghian" data-uuid="56ed574e-7788-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304"> Read the obituary: Sam Shepard, Pulitzer-winning playwright, is dead at 73 ' data-credit="Charles Sykes/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/31/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Sam_Shepard_28725-e306f.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4248" data-ratio="1.5" data-title=" Sam Shepard" data-uuid="60aaa9a2-7608-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25"> Read the obituary: Jeanne Moreau, spellbinding movie star, dies at 89 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/31/Interactivity/Images/crop_90France_Obit_Moreau_66022-439d2-0988.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1950" data-ratio="1.5" data-title=" Jeanne Moreau" data-uuid="9e7047d2-75dc-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014"> Photos: Jim Vance, longtime Washington, D.C. news anchor (1942-2017) Read the obituary: Jim Vance dies at 75' data-credit="Robin Fader/WRC-TV/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/22/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Washington_TV_Anchor_73695-1934b.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="828" data-ratio="1.792" data-title="Jim Vance" data-uuid="b7d8cbce-6f0e-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5"> Read the obituary: Martin Landau, Oscar-winning actor who played heroes and villains, dies at 89 ' data-credit="Blake Sell/Reuters" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/17/Obituaries/Images/2017-07-17T003618Z_609378627_RC1B5AFCE8D0_RTRMADP_3_PEOPLE-MARTINLANDAU.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2048" data-ratio="1.398" data-title=" Martin Landau" data-uuid="41240d74-6ae8-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc"> Read the obituary: Bob Wolff, Hall of Fame sportscaster of astonishing longevity, dies at 96. ' data-credit="NBC/Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/17/Obituaries/Images/GettyImages-1410272051464117301.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.015" data-title="Bob Wolff" data-uuid="72056f7e-6a7e-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc"> Read the obituary: George Romero, ‘Night of the Living Dead’ director, dies at 77. ' data-credit="Amy Sancetta/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/16/Production/Daily/Local/Images/Merlin_11294226.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.259" data-title="George Romero  " data-uuid="d7aa0bce-6a73-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5"> Read the obituary: Christopher Wong Won, a founding member of 2 Live Crew, dies at 53 ' data-credit="Kris Connor/Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/15/Obituaries/Images/GettyImages-493821142.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.446" data-title=" Christopher Wong Won" data-uuid="8d6b85b0-6997-11e7-94ab-5b1f0ff459df"> Read the obituary: Hootie Johnson, who resisted admitting women to Augusta National, dies at 86 ' data-credit="Elise Amendola/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/14/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Johnson_Golf_39382-8c3ba.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2000" data-ratio="1.466" data-title="Hootie Johnson" data-uuid="968df61c-68d6-11e7-9928-22d00a47778f"> Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize laureate imprisoned in China, dies at 61 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/13/Obituaries/Images/China_Liu_Xiaobo_Obit_07323-87f2c-1072.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.451" data-title=" Liu Xiaobo" data-uuid="fa1120c8-67e2-11e7-8eb5-cbccc2e7bfbf"> Read the obituary: Helmut Kohl, German statesman who united his country after Cold War, dies at 87 ' data-credit="Mark-Olivier Multhaup/AFP/Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/06/16/Obituaries/Images/AFP_PM2FS-1065.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="5651" data-ratio="1.352" data-title="Helmut Kohl" data-uuid="6d39e69a-52ab-11e7-be25-3a519335381c"> Read the obituary: Former D.C. Council member Jim Graham has died' data-credit="Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2014/12/17/Local/Images/JN2_2277b1418854937.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4272" data-ratio="1.393" data-title=" Jim Graham" data-uuid="366b8522-863b-11e4-abcf-5a3d7b3b20b8"> Photos: Actor Adam West, TV’s original Batman (1928–2017) Read the obituary: Adam West, the actor forever known as TV’s Batman, dies at 88' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/06/11/Style/Images/AP_9987466089581497109981.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1537" data-ratio="0.768" data-title="Adam West" data-uuid="e4449552-4df4-11e7-987c-42ab5745db2e"> Read the obituary: Adnan Khashoggi, Saudi arms merchant and world-class playboy, dies ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/06/06/Interactivity/Images/AP_900404049.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2984" data-ratio="1.507" data-title=" Adnan Khashoggi" data-uuid="3f378798-4ae0-11e7-a186-60c031eab644"> See more photos: Manuel Antonio Noriega, former Panama strongman (1934-2017) ' data-credit="John Hopper/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/05/30/Obituaries/Images/AP_88032102051488927482.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.543" data-title=" Manuel Antonio Noriega" data-uuid="8befde30-0389-11e7-9d14-9724d48f5666"> Read the obituary: Gregg Allman, Southern rock heavyweight of Allman Brothers fame, dies at 69 ' data-credit="Jerome McClendon/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/05/27/Style/Images/AP_0911170154451495915681.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4631" data-ratio="1.315" data-title="Gregg Allman" data-uuid="31ae80ec-4318-11e7-b29f-f40ffced2ddb"> Read the obituary: Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. senator Jim Bunning dies at 85 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/05/27/Obituaries/Images/AP_110714054266.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2992" data-ratio="1.531" data-title=" Jim Bunning" data-uuid="fb550212-430f-11e7-b29f-f40ffced2ddb"> Read the obituary: Zbigniew Brzezinski, foreign policy intellectual who served as Carter’s national security adviser, dies ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/05/27/Others/Images/2017-05-22/AP_7705090350.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.46" data-title="Zbigniew Brzezinski" data-uuid="1cbc3d66-3f47-11e7-b29f-f40ffced2ddb"> Read the obituary: Roger Moore, suave actor who held James Bond role the longest, dies at 89
' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/05/23/Interactivity/Images/crop_90Bond_at_50_26083-3e23d.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2070" data-ratio="1.5" data-title=" Roger Moore" data-uuid="8e4c0d9e-3fbf-11e7-b29f-f40ffced2ddb"> Read the obituary: Roger Ailes, architect of conservative juggernaut Fox News, is dead at 77 ' data-credit="Fred Prouser/Reuters" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/05/18/Obituaries/Images/2017-05-18T133432Z_1_LYNXNPED4H12O-ORVTV_RTROPTP_3_TELEVISION-US-FOX-AILES-OBITUARY.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="800" data-ratio="1.377" data-title=" Roger Ailes" data-uuid="22f79852-3bd1-11e7-a058-ddbb23c75d82"> Read the obituary: Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, a founding father of grunge, dead at 52
' data-credit="Nam Y. Huh/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/05/18/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Chris_Cornell_18360-1116e.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4989" data-ratio="1.397" data-title=" Chris Cornell" data-uuid="0b9eb8d2-3bba-11e7-a058-ddbb23c75d82"> Read the obituary: Jonathan Demme, who directed ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ ‘Philadelphia,’ dies at 73 ' data-credit="Carolyn Kaster/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/05/15/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Jonathan_Demme_17314-6f40c-0908.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1436" data-ratio="1.271" data-title="Jonathan Demme " data-uuid="4da497b4-397c-11e7-a058-ddbb23c75d82"> Read the obituary: Erin Moran, actress from ‘Happy Days’ TV show, dies at 56 ' data-credit="Wally Fong/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/04/23/Interactivity/Images/crop_90Obit_Erin_Moran_13051-2ca15.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1960" data-ratio="1.502" data-title=" Erin Moran" data-uuid="abb66d64-2842-11e7-9081-f5405f56d3e4"> Aaron Hernandez, former Patriots star, hangs himself in prison ' data-credit="C.J. Gunther/Reuters" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/04/19/Obituaries/Images/2017-04-19T105820Z_1607886146_RC11336545E0_RTRMADP_3_NFL-HERNANDEZ-DEATH.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3500" data-ratio="1.347" data-title=" Aaron Hernandez" data-uuid="ae9d02e6-24ef-11e7-b503-9d616bd5a305"> Sheila Abdus-Salaam, first female Muslim judge in the U.S., found dead in Hudson River ' data-credit="Mike Groll/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/04/13/Obituaries/Images/Judge_Found_Dead_84567-aa0ee.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4062" data-ratio="1.365" data-title=" Sheila Abdus-Salaam" data-uuid="5ee6dfc2-2037-11e7-a0a7-8b2a45e3dc84"> Read the obituary: Don Rickles, lightning-fast launcher of comic insults, dies at 90
>
Photos: Legendary comic Don Rickles' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/04/06/Style/Images/AP_77100505301464113651.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3001" data-ratio="1.054" data-title="Don Rickles" data-uuid="c31862a6-1af4-11e7-bcc2-7d1a0973e7b2"> Read the obituary: Roger Wilkins, civil rights champion in government and journalism, dies at 85 ' data-credit="Associated Press" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/27/Obituaries/Images/wilkins001-1062.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3407" data-ratio="1.272" data-title=" Roger W. Wilkins" data-uuid="a36fe030-1321-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3"> Chuck Barris, host of ‘The Gong Show’ who wildly claimed to be a CIA assassin, dead at 87 ' data-credit="Bebeto Matthews/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/22/Obituaries/Images/Merlin_550992.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2000" data-ratio="1.434" data-title=" Chuck Barris" data-uuid="bc96606e-0efa-11e7-9b0d-d27c98455440"> Read the obituary: David Rockefeller Sr., steward of family fortune and Chase Manhattan Bank, dies at 101 ' data-credit="Bill Alen/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/20/Obituaries/Images/AP_61081701571458073933.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.508" data-title="David Rockefeller Sr." data-uuid="ea4729d4-0d84-11e7-9b0d-d27c98455440"> Read the obituary: Columnist Jimmy Breslin, bard of the New York streets, dies at 88' data-credit="Nancy Kaye/for The Washington Post" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/19/Obituaries/Images/BRESLIN0251452630901-10251489936681.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1265" data-ratio="1.231" data-title="Jimmy Breslin" data-uuid="400a014e-0cb7-11e7-aa57-2ca1b05c41b8"> Photos: The career of rock-and-roll legend Chuck Berry (1926-2017) Read the obituary: Chuck Berry, wild man of rock who helped define its rebellious spirit, dies at 90' data-credit="James A. Finley/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/18/Production/Daily/A-Section/Images/Obit_Chuck_Berry_39246-10f48.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2908" data-ratio="1.463" data-title="Chuck Berry" data-uuid="32d25646-0c2d-11e7-a15f-a58d4a988474"> Read the obituary: Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal dies weeks after writing a heartbreaking dating profile for her husband ' data-credit="Kevin Nance/Chicago Tribune via AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/13/Obituaries/Images/Obit-Amy_Krouse_Rosenthal_23530-b8336.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="5934" data-ratio="1.294" data-title="Amy Krouse Rosenthal" data-uuid="f0669830-0812-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1"> Read the obituary: Joni Sledge, singer with disco-era group Sister Sledge, dies at 60 ' data-credit="Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall of Fame" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/13/Obituaries/Images/GettyImages-5391435241489423561.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.503" data-title=" Joni Sledge" data-uuid="8e5d6eee-080c-11e7-bd19-fd3afa0f7e2a"> Read the obituary: Robert Osborne, Turner Classic Movies host and film historian, dies at 84

' data-credit="Neilson Barnard/Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/06/Obituaries/Images/GettyImages-847157841488829381.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.499" data-title="Robert Osborne" data-uuid="22a2e04c-02a5-11e7-9d14-9724d48f5666"> Read the obituary: Raymond Kopa, French soccer great, dies at 85 ' data-credit="EFE/European Pressphoto Agency" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/06/Obituaries/Images/05827161-0930.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="5315" data-ratio="1.511" data-title="Raymond Kopa" data-uuid="3f065398-0207-11e7-ad5b-d22680e18d10"> Read the obituary: René Préval, Haitian president during 2010 earthquake, dies at 74 ' data-credit="Haraz N. Ghanbari/Associated Press" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/03/Production/Daily/Local/Images/Haiti_Obit_Preval_53073-e96e4.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3888" data-ratio="1.5" data-title=" Rene Preval" data-uuid="cbe1f144-006a-11e7-8ebe-6e0dbe4f2bca"> Read the obituary: Fred Fiske, Washington radio personality for six decades, dies at 96
' data-credit="Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/03/02/Obituaries/Images/FISKE0471453842121-0911.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1526" data-ratio="0.805" data-title=" Fred Fiske" data-uuid="a8adcf3c-ff7e-11e6-8f41-ea6ed597e4ca"> Read the obituary: Family representative: ‘Titanic’ actor Bill Paxton has died ' data-credit="Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/02/26/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Bill_Paxton_86974-ed982.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4116" data-ratio="1.413" data-title="Bill Paxton" data-uuid="823a8ae8-fc45-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f"> Read the obituary: Joseph Wapner, judge on ‘The People’s Court,’ dies at 97 " data-credit="Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/02/26/Obituaries/Images/WAPNER0271459175770-0915.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1319" data-ratio="0.75" data-title=" Joseph Wapner" data-uuid="ba5fa0d0-fc58-11e6-8ebe-6e0dbe4f2bca"> Photos: Remembering Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade (1947–2017) Read the obituary: Norma McCorvey dies at 69' data-credit="J. Scott Applewhite/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/02/15/Others/Images/2017-02-15/AP_8352996538161487192882.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2860" data-ratio="1.403" data-title="Norma McCorvey" data-uuid="e043f128-f3c2-11e6-9fb1-2d8f3fc9c0ed"> Read his obituary: Al Jarreau, seven-time Grammy-winning singer, dies at 76 ' data-credit="Reed Saxon/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/02/10/Interactivity/Images/AP_8202250117.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2909" data-ratio="1.422" data-title=" Al Jarreau" data-uuid="50ba3a4a-ef39-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5"> Irwin Corey, comic who styled himself the World’s Foremost Authority, dies at 102 ' data-credit="Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/02/07/Obituaries/Images/COREY0321453227841.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1373" data-ratio="0.719" data-title=" Irwin Corey" data-uuid="696862dc-ed37-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5"> Read her obit: Emmanuelle Riva, oldest lead actress to be nominated for Academy Award, dies at 89. ' data-credit="Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/01/29/Obituaries/Images/169137198.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3456" data-ratio="1.5" data-title=" Emmanuelle Riva" data-uuid="30d394b2-e63b-11e6-b82f-687d6e6a3e7c"> See photos of her life. Read the obituary: Mary Tyler Moore, TV star who became a symbol of women’s liberation, dies at 80 ' data-credit="AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2013/07/08/Outlook/Images/AP7008290251.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3000" data-ratio="1.032" data-title=" Mary Tyler Moore" data-uuid="fdbc2ade-e81a-11e2-a301-ea5a8116d211"> Read his obit: Butch Trucks, founding member of Allman Brothers, dies at 69 ' data-credit="Rick Scuteri/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/01/27/Interactivity/Images/crop_90AP_1104150158891485385861.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2995" data-ratio="1.501" data-title=" Butch Trucks" data-uuid="e87475c2-e425-11e6-a419-eefe8eff0835"> Read his obit: ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ star Miguel Ferrer dies at 61 ' data-credit="Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/01/19/Obituaries/Images/Obit_Miguel_Ferrer_41364.jpg-7940a.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2727" data-ratio="1.363" data-title=" Miguel Ferrer" data-uuid="39912c14-dea1-11e6-918c-99ede3c8cafa"> Read his obit: Gene Cernan, last astronaut to walk on the moon, dies at 82 ' data-credit="NASA/Reuters" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/01/16/Production/WashingtonPost/Images/2017-01-16T204156Z_600654544_RC12FC926290_RTRMADP_3_PEOPLE-CERNAN-0137.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3070" data-ratio="1.502" data-title="Gene Cernan" data-uuid="815a0076-dc2f-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c"> Read his obit: Dick Gautier, actor in ‘Bye Bye Birdie,’ ‘Get Smart,’ dies at 85 ' data-credit="ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/01/16/Local/Images/GettyImages-93746854.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1212" data-ratio="0.843" data-title="Dick Gautier " data-uuid="9d656c20-dc33-11e6-8902-610fe486791c"> Read his obit: William Peter Blatty, author of ‘The Exorcist,’ dies at 89 ' data-credit="Warner Bros." data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2013/10/29/Style/Images/Exorcisthistorical_011383086705.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="2224" data-ratio="0.816" data-title=" William Peter Blatty" data-uuid="c63b36b6-40eb-11e3-b028-de922d7a3f47"> Read his obit: Roman Herzog, former president of Germany, dies at 82 ' data-credit="Daniel Naupold/AFP/Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/01/12/Obituaries/Images/AFP_JS07T.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="4814" data-ratio="1.541" data-title=" Roman Herzog" data-uuid="cea39850-d8ed-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e"> Read her obit: Clare Hollingworth, reporter who broke news about start of World War II, dies at 105 See more photos ' data-credit="Photo from “Of Fortunes & War: Clare Hollingworth, first of the female war correspondents”" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/01/10/Obituaries/Images/33CHPressCar1484068081.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="634" data-ratio="0.936" data-title="Clare Hollingworth " data-uuid="5c828854-d757-11e6-a0e6-d502d6751bc8"> Read his obit: Zygmunt Bauman, sociologist who wrote identity in the modern world, dies at 91 ' data-credit="Eloy Alonso/Reuters" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/01/09/Obituaries/Images/2017-01-09T191822Z_1284389814_RC1BB6E8B550_RTRMADP_3_PEOPLE-BAUMAN.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="3500" data-ratio="1.553" data-title=" Zygmunt Bauman" data-uuid="a763f9f2-d6b7-11e6-b8b2-cb5164beba6b"> Read his obit: Iran’s former president, set to play key role in selecting next supreme leader, dies ' data-credit="Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images" data-image="https://www.washingtonpost.com/rw/WashingtonPost/Content/Blogs/Images/201305/168549073.jpg?env=A" data-max-width="1000" data-ratio="1.46" data-title=" Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani" data-uuid="758b0ca2-c16e-11e2-9aa6-fc21ae807a8a"> Skip Ad × Notable deaths so far this year View Photos Remembering those who have died in 2017. Caption Remembering those who have died in 2017.  David Cassidy David Cassidy, former lead singer and child star of “The Partridge Family,” performs at the Warner Theatre in Washington in 2002. Read the obituary: David Cassidy, 1970s teen idol who starred on ‘The Partridge Family,’ dies at 67 Lois Raimondo/The Washington Post Buy Photo Wait 1 second to continue.

Mary Elizabeth Smith was born in Fort Worth on Feb. 2, 1923. Her father was a cotton broker and a gambler; her mother was a homemaker.

Growing up among rich kids, she said she never pretended to have more than she did because she thought she would gain respect by admitting to her reduced circumstances.

“I was always a horrible little social climber in my way,” she told the New York Times in 1998.

When she was about 6 or 7, her babysitter started taking her to movies — ones inappropriate for her age — which sparked a lifelong enchantment with film stars.

After graduating in 1949 with a journalism degree from the University of Texas, she promptly bought a one-way train ticket to New York, landing at Modern Screen, a movie fanzine, and later took a job as a ghostwriter for Igor Cassini’s “Cholly Knickerbocker” gossip column.

She then held various positions in journalism and entertainment: as assistant to “Candid Camera” creator Allen Funt and future “60 Minutes” journalist Mike Wallace; and as entertainment editor for Sports Illustrated and Cosmopolitan.

The New York Daily News offered Ms. Smith a column in 1976 after its arts critic, Rex Reed, pressed for her to be hired.

Two years later, during a newspaper strike, she was ordered to appear on the NBC affiliate’s 5 p.m. newscast and dole out pieces of her column. Ms. Smith’s folksy drawl and down-home style were a hit. She stayed at NBC for 11 years — while still writing her column — before moving to New York’s Fox affiliate, where she stayed for seven years.

Perhaps the biggest scoop of Ms. Smith’s career came in 1990, when she broke the story in the Daily News of Donald and Ivana Trump’s divorce. She had been on trips with the couple — who intrigued her, she said, because they hadn’t descended from old money or Social Register families — and it was Ivana who asked her to come to the Plaza Hotel, which Donald Trump then owned.

“When I got there, she threw herself in my arms and told me that Donald didn’t want her anymore. I said, ‘Get yourself a PR person who’s respectable and defend yourself against him,’ ” she told NPR in a 2009 interview. Trump was so enraged, she said, that he threatened to buy the Daily News just to fire her. The story made tabloid front pages for 12 days straight.

Years later, she reflected, “That was the biggest story I ever covered that didn’t amount to a hill of beans. It was just two rich people arguing about money.”

Her popularity enabled Ms. Smith to take her column to New York Newsday for a six-figure salary, making her one of the highest-paid columnists in the nation. Not everyone loved her, though: Publicist Bobby Zarem said in a Times article in 2017, “I know people who wouldn’t care if Liz Smith killed somebody, as long as she mentioned their names in her column.”

In 1995, when New York Newsday announced that it was closing, the New York Post came courting. She worked out a deal with New York Newsday’s parent publication, Long Island-based Newsday, to continue writing her column for Newsday — and also write for the Post, as well as the Staten Island Advance — making her the only columnist to appear simultaneously in three separate venues in a single metropolitan area.

In 2009, a few days after Ms. Smith turned 86, the Post declined to renew the contract for her column, citing the newspaper’s financial difficulties. Ms. Smith announced she would concentrate on the Internet. She wrote for the website wowOwow.com, which she helped start, and later for newyorksocialdiary.com.

She also became a contributing editor at Parade magazine and gained a round of publicity with her memoir, in which she revealed she was bisexual. She wrote that she had her first affair with a woman while in college — a brief relationship that caused a long rupture with her strict Baptist family.

Her marriages to George Edward Beeman and Fred Lister were short-lived and ended in divorce. She had no children. A list of survivors could not be immediately confirmed.

One of Ms. Smith’s last syndicated columns, in 2013, was typical of her trade, sprinkled with references to Taylor, long deceased, and a newly restored version of her 1963 film “Cleopatra.”

She quoted “Elizabeth’s super-devoted assistant of many years, Tim Mendelson,” who emailed from Cannes that “ ‘people in the audience were screaming and applauding all the way through. It was wild.’ He added: ‘She took so much of that movie with her for the rest of her mortal life. ’ ’’

But by 2017 — the year that Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president and ushered in an administration of unprecedented public backstabbing and palace intrigue — Ms. Smith sounded rueful as she assessed her position in the media landscape.

“I don’t think my name could sell anything now,” she told the Times. “Most people have forgotten about so-called powerful people like me; we served our time.”

Read more

Washington Post obituaries

Robert De Cormier, singer and arranger who bridged classical and folk, dies at 95

Nancy Friday, best-selling chronicler of women’s erotic fantasies, dies at 84

Iona Opie, scholarly explorer of the lore and customs of childhood, dies at 94

ZonaHollywood.com, Site News current daily serving News today and the latest news about politics until News lifestyle and sport.

Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/liz-smith-gossip-columnist-who-dished-on-the-boldfaced-name-set-dies-at-94/2017/11/12/dc78ca28-c801-11e7-8321-481fd63f174d_story.html

Liz Smith, gossip columnist who dished on the boldfaced-name set, dies at 94
Liz Smith dies; gossip columnist played nice but feuded with Trump
Liz Smith, Queen of Gossip, Dies at 94
Liz Smith, syndicated gossip columnist, dies at 94
Famed New York Gossip Columnist Liz Smith Dead at 94
Liz Smith, gossip columnist who dished on the boldfaced-name set, dies at 94
Liz Smith, syndicated celebrity gossip columnist, dies at 94
[LIMITED STOCK!] Related eBay Products