Bobby Zarem

ELAINE’S WILL GO ON – Elaine’s was not just a restaurant on the Upper East Side. Rather it was a whirling dervish of media and political intrigue all mixed together. It was a scene. One corner had Jack Nicholson hobnobbing with PR-guru Bobby Zarem and Art Garfunkel. Another had novelist Gay Talese trading tails with Richard Johnson and in another you'd find The Cutting Room’s Steve Walter with Micky Dolenz. I well remember when Dolenz hosted the launch party for his children’s book Gakky Two-Feet there. The guests included everyone from radio’s Jim Kerr and Carole Miller, to Mike McCann and Lee Jeske from Premiere Radio, celebrity biographer Mark Bego ; mystery writer Carol Higgins Clark; the late great photographer Chuck Pulin and, of course, Dolenz’s stalwart PR-man David Salidor; and, it all worked perfectly. Elaine’s was the epicenter of the entertainment industry and a terrific spot to unwind with your fellow soldiers. I well remember a dinner there with Dolenz and Steve Walter when none other than Chris Noth popped over with a fistful of stories. Great, great night ... but, that’s the way it always was. Says Dolenz, "I was lucky to have known Elaine and share in the magic there.” PR-man Salidor added, “I remember after Fantasticks-creator Lore Noto was honored at Gracie Mansion, we came here to unwind from the event. We actually encountered more press-people here than at the event. From James Brady to Richard Johnson; they were all here. I think Giuliani and Ed Koch too.” General Manager Diane Becker says the emporium will continue ... as it should. Elaine’s is ingrained in the history of New York; it’s a die hard-landmark!


Christine Baranski

TV FRINGE -- It’s been another heartbreak season for the big three TV networks; Conan out; Jay in; Lopez pushed back …. It’s a MOV (movie-of-the-week) in itself! On my end the best new TV shows have been the re-imagining of Hawaii Five-O (Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan are amazingly good) and The Defenders with James Belushi and Jerry O’Connell. Both of these shows, in addition to terrific writing, have the most plausible character development; which is a nice thrown back to the early days of TV. Five-O in fact will drop in an Easter egg from the original with Jack Lord. O’Loughlin in particular is outstanding; we've watched him and admired him from his first TV days on The Shield. My old friend Michael Attanasio (Miami Vice) is a producer on the show which reeks of terrific acting; great writing; and, brilliant direction. One show, well into its third season has leaped to the top of the pack, Fox’s Fringe. Yes, it’s sci-fi, but done so well; almost every episode this season has blown me away. All the actors, director and writers are firing on every cylinder. The ratings haven't been stellar, but the shows have been some of the best written and acted I have ever seen. Also, Julianaa Margulies in The Good Wife is spot-on perfect. Great writing, acting, direction ... I always wish there were another 30-minutes left after the show ends. Josh Charles, Alan Cumming, and Christine Baranski are wonderful too. And, speaking of TV, it was just announced that none other than Steven Soderbergh will be directing the re-make of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with no less than George Clooney as Napoleon Solo. That was my favorite show of the 60’s … so, this sounds delicious! According to Entertainment Weekly today; NCIS is the #1 most watched show, and, One Tree Hill the last; tough business, this TV.


RONNI CHASEN – I've been somewhat reluctant, personally and professionally, to discuss this horrid act. I knew Chasen for many, many years, and always admired her driven personality and brilliants instincts. I didn't know her well, but never, ever heard a bad word about her. In this business you're only as good as your clients and contacts and Ronni’s were top notch. I still can't quite believe that what happened was simply road rage ... but, as the evidence mounts, it seems this is the simple answer. She had no threats as far as I knew ... or, could tell. This fellow last week, who offed himself when confronted by police, apparently was not involved in this episode ... but, feared that his other acts would be found out in short order. I think the simple truth is that the world we live in is dangerous and life is short and this was just an act of random violence. Enjoy every moment!

Photos By: Walter McBride/Sara De Boer/Retna