Parting ways with the Post
NOT EVERYBODY is so happy with the “Slumdog Millionaire” Oscar-win. Take director Edward Zwick who had his own movie “Defiance” last year. He says “Slumdog” marks a sea change for the movie biz. The big budget blockbusters are always going to be around, but, as for the more modest and more intelligent films put out by the smaller independents, I’m not so sure. I just hope I am still going to be around after the dust settles, to make movies.” Hmm. I was watching “Singing in the Rain” the other night, taking a nostalgia trip. It’s about what happened when talkies supplanted the silents. History will repeat itself.
HEATH LEDGER’s posthumous Oscar for “The Dark Knight” struck a personal chord with actor Timothy Bottoms. “Heath had a passion about whales. My son, Buckeye, was involved in a whale conservation documentary that Heath was producing when he died. His father now has all the footage.” Ledger was in talks to play the outspoken anti-whaling captain Paul Watson in a coming feature.
THE GREAT television star Carol Burnett was in NYC this week filming for a coming “Law and Order.” When I asked if she would be playing one of the perennial “celebrity” judges on this beloved series, she laughed: “No, I have a serious role. I am a bad guy. Listen, I’m a great villain!” You can see the beloved Carol Burnett doing her worst in this outing, which will play on St. Patrick’s Day.
“PEOPLE DON’T actually read newspapers. They get into them every morning, like a hot bath,” wrote Marshall McLuhan. I am going to miss being in the “hot bath” of the New York Post. This column marks my last for the Post, where I’ve been writing for 14 years. I am sorry to go. But I’ve lived long enough to know the closing of one door means the opening of another. I will still be writing a five-days-a-week column for my syndicated TMS newspapers, also twice a week here, in Daily Variety, and especially for the WowOwow website where next month we expect 1 million unique hits (visitors) and it’s growing. My daily column also appears on the Drudge Report. I am now a contributing writer for Parade magazine and you can see my cover story on Liza Minnelli there Sunday. And I’ll still be a showbiz commentator for Fox News weekly on “Lips & Ears.” Tomorrow marks the first time in 33 years that the Liz Smith column will not appear in a New York city newspaper. But it’s exhilarating to be fired at age 86. So, thanks for all your support and enthusiasm over the years and much love to each of you.