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Broadway Cares lets you take a little Liza home for Christmas

Liz Smith

"It's much easier to show compassion to animals. They are never wicked." -- Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie

I'm still raving about the new movie "Gone Girl," but I find lots of people think I'm crazy, so I will offer you some negative reaction. I won't print this person's name because they might not want to be stoned by those partial, as I am, to author Gillian Flynn:

"I love ya -- but your comments on 'Gone Girl' are totally whacko! Can we say the emperor has no clothes? About 15 minutes in I had already figured it out. The movie was way too long. I couldn't empathize or sympathize with any of the characters. What a ridiculous plot. The sound editor should be barred from working on any other movie. Reminds me of 'The English Patient' etc., etc."

Well, you see I don't know everything. I, Liz, still loved the movie.

EGAD! I SEE I forgot an idol for young moviegoers when I wrote my rave about "Gone Girl." I neglected to mention the film's gorgeous model turned actress Emily Ratajkowski of GQ, Cosmopolitan, Ocean Drive magazine fame, plus a sizzling appearance nude on Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video. She is hot and she's here. You'll be seeing a lot more of her, though after "Blurred Lines" what is there to see? Kidding.

Scott Gorenstein tells me I was incorrect. Liza Minnelli does not own the old Vincente Minnelli house! OK. She is a Living Landmark and she owns a lot of hearts.

Liza is working with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and they are selling a Liza Christmas ornament designed by artist Glen Hanson for the Christopher Radko Company. This depicts Liza in her Tony award-winning role in "The Act." People are buying the ornament from the Netherlands, England and Australia and it is helping the Broadway Cares cause. You can order this by calling 212-840 0770, ext. 238, or by going to

Bruce Bethany writes us that we shouldn't miss seeing Christopher Walken dance and you can view this wonderful excerpt from 1981's overlooked "Pennies from Heaven," where the very serious actor sings a Cole Porter song "Let’s Misbehave." Check out a very young Bernadette Peters.

I know he was a classically trained dancer before dancing gave way to more serious acting roles. He will be seen next playing Captain Hook in NBC's upcoming live broadcast of "Peter Pan." Bob Greenblatt, chief executive of NBC Entertainment, says, "He might really just be a song and dance man at heart. ... This might be the first tap dancing Captain Hook you've ever seen."

Christopher Walken is great and one of the nicest, most modest guys I've ever met.

THE ONE AND ONLY Chita Rivera is doing her thing now at Birdland and you have only Friday and Saturday to catch this dancing, singing acting sensation.

Birdland offers "Chita's Back" tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. and on the weekend at 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Admission $50. If you sit at the bar, it's $40. Call 212-581-3080.

One reader wrote us that nobody knows or cares who Loretta Young was, the great Oscar-winning star born January 1913 and died August 2000.

But lots of others think differently. Here's a sample of what they sent in:

Russ Elliott says this: "I had the pleasure to be Loretta's escort for a few weeks. We saw Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev dance and went to El Morocco after. We saw there Myrna Loy, Lauren Bacall and Jason Robards and Doris Duke wearing big emerald earrings. When Loretta emerged from the upstairs elevator, I was waiting and she did her show biz twirl for me as on her famous TV show. Later, I found out she had two major operations, a breast surgery and colostomy. She never mentioned such a thing, this elegant creature. They don't make them like Loretta anymore."

Jim Mitchell, onetime El Morocco press agent, worked with Loretta on a "Schick Warm and Creamy" promotion, and notes that she lived a while with her good friends Maggie and Jean Louis, the designer. When Maggie died, Loretta went on living with her designer friend but insisted on marrying him because otherwise, it didn't look proper. Jimmy recalls Loretta lecturing him and me about eating hot dogs off the street from New York vendors.

Skip Bonnard remembers Loretta on an '86 World Cruise of the Queen Elizabeth II: "Loretta emerged in a cloud of chiffon after a movie screening. She took off her outer garment to reveal a two-piece beige pantsuit. She asked the audience, 'Isn't this what you expected?' She laughed and conducted an hour Q-and-A. She had the most gorgeous smile. A real movie star!"

David Cuthbert congratulates TCM for running some of Loretta's pre-Hollywood code films, "the best of which is the rather campily titled 'Midnight Mary,' which casts her as a gun moll saved from the electric chair by a last-minute appeal by society beau Franchot Tone."

AND NEWS FLASH -- Loretta's family and friends are working on a project that should bring Loretta back to world attention and they promise when this happens they will give the story to me first. I can hardly wait?!

(E-mail Liz Smith at


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