HOLLYWOOD — While it was Marlo Thomas who got the big names to contribute to her new book benefiting St. Jude Hospital, it was Barry Diller and Jennifer Aniston who invited the famous to Diller’s home on May 1 for a celebratory book party.
Diller said he thought the premise for “The Right Words at the Right Time” — asking prominent figures what advice got them through a crucial turning point in their lives — was “typical of Marlo’s industry. You get a large number of difficult people and you order them to do something nice and good.”
Thomas said her editor had suggested sending letters, but she made the book happen through phone calls. “I get letters like that all the time,” she said. “I throw them in the trash.”
The author said the only contributor she failed to nail was the Dalai Lama — and only because he doesn’t take phone calls. “What a great gimmick,” said Thomas. “That’s what I want to be in my next life: someone who doesn’t take phone calls.”
Among those who took the call for the party were David Geffen, Norman Brokaw, Michael Eisner, Ron Meyer, Brad Pitt, Thora Birch, Ray Romano, Lawrence Bender, Marisa Tomei, Garry Shandling, Jami Gertz, Sid Ganis, Bruce Vilanch, Carrie Fisher and Daniel Ellsberg.