“We had faces then!” cried Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard,” clearly reflecting a simpler, more innocent time. Today’s famed female entertainment figures, along with their fetching visages, are just as likely to have rap sheets.
But if showbiz is part of the problem, why not make showbiz part of the solution? Herewith we count down 10 of today’s most hazardous headline makers, assigning each a legendary handler/guardian/duenna from stage, screen or tube who’ll be good at protecting these dangerous dames from the public – and themselves.
10. MICHELLE RODRIGUEZ: HAWAIIAN PUNCH-DRUNK
Designated caregiver: Shane Wolfe from “The Pacifier.”
All the soiled diapers Wolfe retrieved on his last mission will have prepared him for the feisty “Lost” star’s baggage and dirty laundry, including charges of assault, speeding, hit & run and DUI, jail time, a stint in rehab and self-reported dependency on allergy-relieving steroids. He’ll maintain a firm hand while teaching his Navy SEAL skills, so she can engage in real community service.
9. COURTNEY LOVE: HOLE LOTTA TROUBLE
Designated caregiver: Mary Poppins
Oh, it’s a jolly holiday in rehab when the indefatigable nanny, practically perfect in every way, flies in and wields her magical brand of tough love on Tough Love. Who wouldn’t want to be a fly on the wall when Mary reminds the Widder Cobain that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. … Good gracious, that’s not sugar!” Potential downside if Courtney takes the phrase “spit spot” literally.
8. LAURA ALBERT: ROUGH TRADE PAPERBACK
Designated caregiver: Mrs. Doubtfire
An actor wrapping himself in nanny drag has got to be a kindred soul to the perpetrator of “J.T. Leroy,” the allegedly confused and abused ex-drug addict and male hustler in whose name Albert churned out novels and articles about the sexual netherworld. The English Doubtfire will converse amiably with the Cockney Emily, aka “Speedie,” another fake persona Albert took on, and any boasting about Leroy’s most famous book, “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things,” will be squelched when Doubtfire opens her blouse to exclaim, “Not above THESE!”
7. LI’L KIM: DO THE RHYME, DO THE TIME
Designated caregiver: Jiminy Cricket from “Pinocchio”
This li’l perjurer needs a li’l conscience on her shoulder, especially one skilled at deterring his charge from nose-lengthening falsehoods. He can use his Disney connection to call upon Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother to spring Kim from any future incarceration, and the Sherman brothers can produce a hip-hop remix of “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.”
6. NICOLE RICHIE: SALARY IN THE HIGH STICK FIGURES
Designated caregiver: Fran Fine from “The Nanny”
Who better to force feed some cheesecake into Paris Hilton’s famously emaciated “Simple Life” co-star? Nicole will be in need of some street-smart advice now that she’s pregnant by rocker Joel Madden and facing four days behind bars on a DUI charge. One or two visits by That Woman With That Voice will surely prompt the warden to issue an early release.
5. NAOMI CAMPBELL: MAD ABOUT EVERYTHING
Designated caregiver: Tony Micelli from “Who’s the Boss?”
It’s so nice to have a man around the house, especially one caring and down to earth enough to overlook bitch slaps, screaming fits, smashed dinnerware and midair bejeweled BlackBerrys. He’s not likely to steal the volatile diva’s jeans, and of course it’s an advantage that he’s an ex-prizefighter. Bang! Zoom! To the moon!
4. MIRTHALA SALINAS: REPORTING FOR BOOTY
Designated caregiver: Florida Evans from “Maude.”
The suspended Telemundo journalist, recently revealed to be the paramour of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and several other top politicos, needs a little “anchor management,” and the no-nonsense maid with an ethical streak a mile wide is just the truth-teller to explain why one doesn’t date the man one is covering (and vice versa). As a bonus, Florida’s life outside of work qualifies her to warn about the consequences of too many “Good Times.”
3. BRITNEY SPEARS: I GOT PANTY OF NOTHIN’
Designated caregiver: Maria von Trapp from “The Sound of Music”
The ex-Mrs. Federline will readily bond with the ex-postulant over their shared love of singing, not to mention feuding mom Lynne’s eerie resemblance to the chilly Baroness Schroeder (Eleanor Parker). The singer can borrow Maria’s old wimple and do away with all those wigs and extensions till her hair grows back. Maria will remove the distributor cap should Britney decide to drive with her baby sans car seat, and when the need arises can whip up a quick pair of underpants out of the bedroom curtains.
2. PARIS HILTON: IN GOD WE TRUST FUND
Designated caregiver: Jo Frost, “Supernanny”
We assign the most unforgiving gun of all to one of the most notorious misbehavers du jour, and depend on it, Jo’s patented recipe of “technique” combined with “consistency” will make Paris wish she were back in the slammer. There’ll be no more DUI incidents once the heiress is plopped onto the Naughty Stool, and any more sex-tape hijinks with the likes of Rick Salomon will be met by a firm “I’m not going to stand for that!” When Frost needs a day off — and she will — who better to cover for her than “Gone With the Wind’s” beloved Mammy (Hattie McDaniel)? The tough-love House Servant will no-doubt be ready to point out when Paris’ skimpy clothing “t’ain’t fittin’ ” and remind her “If you don’t care what folks think about this family, I does!” Potential danger: Paris decides she wants to resume her wicked ways and replies, “I’ll think about that tomorrow at Tara Reid’s house.”
1. LINDSAY LOHAN: PARTYING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW
Designated caregiver: Mrs. G from “The Facts of Life.”
After professions of remorse and six weeks of rehab, it looked as if this talented but troubled thesp’s Freaky Fridays had come to an end … but then came Tempestuous Tuesday. The July 24 arrest for alleged DUI and coke possession makes us wish there were some kind of Justice League of America for errant celebs, a team of superhero caregivers on 24-hour call. Still, we’re counting on Mrs. G here. Our lass needs someone who won’t hesitate to barge into a strip club, pull her off the pole or out of a bacchanal and grab the keys as they return to the clinic. (And don’t you want to listen in when the lady who called Joan Collins “a bitch” dresses down the manufacturer of that sobriety bracelet?) Best of all, Mrs. G. will ply the now-legal thesp with cups of hot cocoa as they watch “The Parent Trap,” reminding LiLo of the movie magic she once had and — we can only hope! — will have again.