Helen Gurley Brown is beating me to the punch. But when doesn't this legendary dynamo beat everybody to the punch? In February, St. Martin's Press will publish HGB's autobiography, "I'm Wild Again: Snippets From My Life and a Few Brazen Thoughts." (My own remembrance of things and people, past and present, arrives later in 2000.) If you think you've read the story of the little girl from Little Rock, Ark., you have, in bits and pieces. Helen has written numerous books, all touching on her fabulous life in some way. But St. Martin's says "I'm Wild Again" will be HGB's most personal and revealing trek down memory lane yet.
As Helen plays a big part in my memoir from Hyperion, I'll be fascinated to see what ground she covers, and if she mentions that brown-haired Southern gal who didn't go out with the bath water when HGB took over Cosmopolitan and changed its life.
Michael Jackson's career -- injured by scandal and his insistence on looking the way he looks -- may never recover its heat in the United States. But the pop icon is still in there trying. A comeback is not an impossibility. Jackson was in New York City recently, finishing up a new album. After a long day, he stopped by his favorite Manhattan eatery, Bill Hong's.
Though flanked by security men, Michael was his usual timid, gracious, diffident self. Before he even sat down, he turned to a waiter and asked, "Where's Jane?" He referred to Jane Parker, the hostess and wife of owner Bill Parker, who recently had serious surgery. When Jane appeared, Jackson, who resists physical contact when he can, bear-hugged the woman, kissed her and said: "I'm so happy to see you. I prayed for you every day."
This little tale is indicative of why friends such as Quincy Jones and Elizabeth Taylor love Michael Jackson as they do and refuse to hear a word against him.
Casting note: Janet Jackson, so bodacious at the recent MTV Awards, will star opposite Eddie Murphy in Universal-Imagine Entertainment's sequel to Murphy's big hit "The Nutty Professor," which will be called "Nutty Professor 2: Klumps." Filming beings Oct. 5 in L.A.
The late, divine Kay Thompson, chanteuse, wit, author of the "Eloise" books, will be the subject of a documentary about her -- and Eloise's -- fabulous life. The producers have lined up an eclectic group to reminisce about Kay. These include writer Marie Brenner; Lypsinka, the drag performer, and writer-photographer Bill Goulding, who had a fascinating decade-long telephone-only relationship with Kay.