20:45, November 12 38 0 usmagazine.com

2017-11-12 20:45:03

 

Gossip Columnist Liz Smith Dead at 94

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith died on Sunday, November 12, at the age of 94.

The writer, whose column was syndicated to nearly 70 newspapers and was read by millions, died at her home in Manhattan on Sunday, The New York Times reports.

Known as “Grande Dame of Dish,” the Texas native worked as a news producer for Mike Wallace and worked on the TV series Candid Camera before starting a gossip column, simply called “Liz Smith” in the New York Daily News in 1976.

She was at one point the highest-paid print journalist in the U.S. — earning more than $1 million a year — and snagged exclusive interviews with celebrities, politicians and New York bigwigs including Ivana Trump, who dished to Smith about her split from Donald Trump in 1990.

“They made headlines for three months,” she said in an interview with the Times. “They made me famous all over the world. I didn’t deserve it. I printed what Ivana had told me.”

The following year she moved from the Daily News to Newsday and her column also ran in the New York Post from 1995 until 2009.

Many of the stars she wrote about became personal friends, and Smith shared stories of lunches, parties and vacations with her A-list pals. But she also had run-ins with celebs including Frank Sinatra and Sean Connery.

Her 2000 memoir, Natural Blonde, was a New York Times best-seller and featured stories of stars including Julia Roberts, the Kennedy clan, Tom Cruise and Katharine Hepburn.

“Gossip is news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress,” she was quoted as saying.

Smith, who married her college sweetheart George Edward Beeman in 1945 and divorced him two years later, acknowledged her bisexuality in her memoirs.

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