IT’S COMING in April but it’s already making waves. I do mean John Gruen’s coming memoir “Callas Kissed Me … Lenny too!” (And he means the late Leonard Bernstein.) He seems to have known everybody from Barney Rosset of Grove Press to Dylan Thomas to e.e. cummings to all the artists, Kline, Rothko, Pollock and de Kooning. Gruen was a bit of a dilettante living on his wife’s earnings when he became a fledgling music critic for the New York Herald Tribune. When that paper folded, he “starred” as a columnist-critic in Clay Felker’s New York magazine before he and Clay fell out. The first 35 pages cover Gruen and his parents fleeing the Nazis from Paris to Italy to America. Simply dynamite.
WHEN MY memoir, “Natural Blonde” was published some years back, my longtime pal Mike Wallace decided to give me the “60 Minutes” treatment. Producer, Jay Kernis masterminded the interview. Now I see Jay is leaving his job as senior veep for National Public Radio and going to join CNN on Feb. 4 as managing editor overseeing content development.
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BRAD PITT has just completed a two-day shoot in Hollywood for a commercial to be seen only in the Japanese market. David Fincher, who directed Brad in “Seven” and the upcoming “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” did the honors for these few minutes of Pitt pitching. Much secrecy surrounded the shoot, which is probably Brad modeling Edwin Jeans — he has been the face and tush for that brand overseas for a decade … Jennifer Aniston, who knew Brad Pitt when his blonde locks were not highlighted by a halo, has begun shooting her latest movie, “Traveling,” in Vancouver. When one crew member mentioned his teen-age daughter had a birthday, Aniston called the girl on the phone, sang “Happy Birthday” and invited her to the set for the day. Sweet.
RECENTLY I watched the great Fred Astaire classic “The Band Wagon” and then I happened on the black and white “Ziegfeld Girl.” So I got a load of two of my favorites from Hollywood’s golden age — Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin. These two celebrate a 60th wedding anniversary this year. Cyd will be ringside when Tony, a remarkable age 95, returns to Feinsteins at the Regency tonight.