CAMERON DIAZ lost her cellphone last week in a taxi. Suddenly, young actor Jim Daly, traveling from his smash hit “Altar Boyz” at New World Stages, found it. But Jim didn’t know who it belonged to. Then it rang and he agreed to meet the owner and return it. Jim was so shocked to be face to face with Diaz that he forgot to invite her and boyfriend Justin Timberlake, to come see him in his show. So, dear Cameron — show up and be Mr. Daly’s guest.
ON PAGE 37 of Wendy Leigh’s biography of Princess Grace, titled “True Grace” — this sentence rises up: “The writer Robert Slatzer remembered his brief relationship with Grace: “The night we first dated in Hollywood we went back to her apartment. Grace immediately went into the bathroom, then came out stark naked.'” Uh-oh. Slatzer, now in his grave, was the guy who claimed without a scintilla of evidence that he was briefly wed to Marilyn Monroe and was her confidant in all matters, including her affairs with the Kennedys. So — what’s a reader to do? Stop right there because the author has invoked a suspect source, or plunge ahead, ready to be amused, but alert. By page 47, the not-yet-famous Grace Kelly has already bedded the Shah of Iran and Prince Aly Khan. By page 64, the beautiful actress is having an affair with her “Mogambo” co-star Clark Gable. By page 73, in the wake of half a dozen others, including the married actor Ray Milland, we hear Grace exclaiming: “Hedda Hopper called me a nymphomaniac.” (Today, I guess we’d call her Paris Hilton.) … Then on page 96 we read that she sexed it up with Marlon Brando after winning her Oscar for “The Country Girl” in 1955. That night she also received a drunken call from loser Judy Garland, cursing her. And so it goes, through a romance with Oleg Cassini and the odd, disappointing marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. We get all of Rainier’s immediate marital infidelities and more of Grace’s. (There is a mighty effort to link Grace with the charmer David Niven. His son, Jamie, and others doubt it.)
WENT BACK to see my amazing pal Christine Baranski in her Paul Rudnick play “Regrets Only.” She gets better and better in her role as the kind of socialite who loves money, clothes, jewelry and high life. See “Regrets Only” for the hilarious performances of a mostly superfine cast, especially Baranski — a Polish girl who has made good bigtime. … Also a “must” – the dazzling British star Sian Phillips who once beguiled us as the evil Livia in TV’s “I, Claudius.” She performs here as a kind of demented Mama Gabor. She is priceless. When I chatted her up after, I couldn’t help but ask if she’d seen her ex, Peter O’Toole in his indie movie “Venus.” Phillips was gracious, said she couldn’t wait to see it, had heard the shoestring production was fabulous. However, since their divorce, Sian has never again spoken a word to Peter O’Toole. …Writer Tina Flaherty and hubby Bill hung up lots of Christmas décor and kicked off the Irish Repertory Theatre group party by bringing out the Irish Ambassador Tim O’Connor, the writer Frank McCourt and the actor Gabriel Byrne. Broadway stars sang tunes from “Finian’s Rainbow” and the 150 guests sang along while champagne corks popped.
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com)