"She's really terribly nice and awfully down to earth. But she also always gets exactly what she wants."
So remarks a friend of Camilla Parker Bowles, who should finally be married to Prince Charles on Saturday. Camilla will then be princess consort, queen for a day or Charlie's old lady soon enough.
As to her earthy side, I hear that in her home, Camilla allows an old hen to roam free. So free, that before company arrives Camilla has to double-check to make sure this family member hasn't laid any eggs on chairs or sofas. On a few occasions, Camilla slipped up and guests found themselves with rather eggy bottoms. But what the hell, everybody just fell about laughing.
That's what Charles loves about her -- she's always making with the yolks.
The National Enquirer, which more or less started the tabloid trend for sensation, is getting a big, red-hot re-vamp. Celebs and VIPs better head for the hills! It won't be getting "nicer." If you want a gossip's-eye view of this tabloid phenomenon, tune in to Tina Brown's "Topic A" Sunday night on CNBC. Times man David Carr, youthful blogger Jessica Coen of Gawker.com, Lowdown's Lloyd Grove and yours truly discuss the Enquirer and Tina herself chimes in for good measure. This edition of "Topic A" is being called "The Royal Wedding Show" because Tina will have covered the nuptials the day before in London. (Just as she did in 1981, when Charles took Diana as his bride.)
Spotted: Jennifer Lopez and her Marc Anthony in the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel. She wore a loose, yellow tunic top and ordered Eggs Benedict and cranberry French toast. A girl after my own heart -- she eats like a human being! Hubby Marc had the steak salad and French fries. (Hmmm ... a guy after my own heart.) Because there is no such thing as privacy, Jennifer was overheard murmuring that she felt chilly. Marc gallantly took off his red-hooded jacket and placed it around her fragile shoulders. Sweet.
Brava to Jane Fonda's admission on "60 Minutes" that she was a "terrible mother." She might be harder on herself than she deserves to be, but I can think of few other major stars that have ever publicly gone down that painful road. Good parenting and monolithic stardom (and feverish political beliefs) rarely go hand in hand.
Wendy Stark is re-doing and plans to live in the famous Beverly Hills house owned for years by her parents, Fran and Ray Stark. For years he was a titan at Columbia Pictures and she was the daughter of the great Ziegfeld star Fanny Brice. Ray made his fortune putting the story of his gifted mother-in-law on the screen as "Funny Girl."
In magazines, like showbiz, you gotta have a gimmick. And so far, American Express seems to have a pretty good one going with its new publication for Centurion cardholders. The Black Card, as it is known around town, is the 5-year-old, invitation-only credit card that American Express offers for an annual fee of $2,500, and many people can't seem to live without it.
Following the success of sister magazine Departures, which goes to the half-million Platinum cardholders anteing up a mere $395 a year, the new black card mag has no name, no logo, no cover lines and nary a mention of Ashton, Britney or Paris. What the black card and its own magazine do have is that important element, "buzz." At least in England there is a regular tempest in an English teapot brewing over the exclusive photos of Althorp, the family home of Princess Diana. There is an accompanying story in which her brother, Charles Spencer, says for the right price and to the right people; he'll rent out this 35-bedroom piece of history. He even gives a private e-mail address for more details.
What's so outrageous about that? It seems the Brits don't want anyone sleeping in Diana's bed, even if they are Black Card members! So there.
Once there was a terrifying costume designer named Irene Sharaff. Her talent was so great that the Theater Development Fund created a lifetime achievement award in her name.
Recently, the folks from TDF called the six-time Tony winner Florence Klotz to tell her she'd won it! Flossie laughed. "It's about time. I started working for Sharaff on 'The King and I'... 'A Tree Grows In Brooklyn'... 'Of Thee I Sing'... 'Do Re Mi' and 'Flower Drum Song.' " Miss Klotz went on to become her own theater legend via "Follies"... "A Little Night Music"... "Pacific Overtures"... "Grind"... "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "Show Boat."
At the Hudson Theater today, Broadway producer Hal Prince for whom she designed those award-winning musicals will hand the award to her.
Tribune Media Services