"NO GOOD deed goes unpunished," said Clare Booth Luce. Mrs. Luce also said "The difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that the pessimist is usually better informed!"
•BOTH OF the above could certainly pertain to the not-entirely-surprising news that the cute "homeless" guy, who Miley Cyrus put front and center at last week's VMAs, is actually an aspiring model with a criminal record.
The news broke just as everybody fled for the long Labor Day weekend, but even before that, there was significant eye-rolling at Miley's altruistic effort. I put in some good words about the pop star, and naturally received several huffy "So, what do you think NOW?" missives in the wake of young Jesse Helt's past.
Is it wrong to praise somebody who is trying to do good? I don' think so. Maybe Miley was unaware? Maybe there's more to Jesse's story than his mother says? By the time you read this, we might know more. (The cops closed in.) But with so much attention on Ferguson, Mo., and the eternal issues of the Middle East, this is just another minor celeb item that means very little.
If the kid put one over on Miss Cyrus, that's too bad. In the words of Mrs. Luce, she'll be a better-informed pessimist. Perhaps that's what survival really is?
As for Mr. Helt, once he gets out of jail, or whatever, he'll be in demand. Apparently, he impressed a lot of folks at the VMAs. These are the 2000s. This is the way it is.
•SPEAKING OF Clare Boothe Luce. After devouring the fascinating "Price of Fame" book by Sylvia Jukes Morris, I thought of what an amazing movie it would make -- that second action-and-tragedy-packed part of her life. And who could play the incandescent movie-star-like Clare? How about Charlize Theron, who has all the grace attributed to Boothe, and -- when needed -- the correct hauteur. Charlize is also the right age.
•Comments from our faithful readers.
"The Hotel on Place Vendome" continues to divert people.
One error in the book had Ernest Hemingway killing himself in Key West. So Jay Weston writes, "I am preparing a feature film on the life of Ernest Hemingway called 'Ernest and Mary,' based upon his life story of that title. Before Mary's death, we went to Ketchum, Idaho to research it, and Mary showed me the bedroom where Ernest was sleeping the night he died. She said that she had unlocked the gun cabinet that night as a sign of trust for him, just back from the Mayo Clinic where he had electric shock treatments for depression. He sang an operatic aria to her from his bedroom and she fell asleep, awaking when she heard the shot. (Jon Voight once was set to play Hemingway.)"
Barry Parnell writes:
"My favorite story about Tallulah -- was that after viewing the dailies from 'Lifeboat,' she turned to Hitchcock and said, "I am not happy Mr. Hitchcock; you're not filming my best side." Hitchcock relied, "Darling, how can I? You're sitting on it."
•Hard to imagine but true: Gorgeous, glamorous, Oscar winning actress Nicole Kidman tells Roger Friedman in an exclusive interview for Joan Jedell's Hampton Sheet Labor Day issue, (she graces the cover) that when she's in Nashville, she shops at (gasp!!) Walgreen's, Whole Foods and Kroger! AND again, just like us, while she's waiting in the check out line ('Doesn't that look just like Nicole Kidman -- nah, impossible.') she reads the tabloid headlines!
Nicole tells of running into James Franco recently and they chatted about tabloids, which at times have erroneously reported she and Keith Urban breaking up. Franco -- no stranger to gossip, advised: "Just learn to treat it as white noise." Like us, Nicole eats and shops for her family and draws the line if anyone dares talk badly about her and Keith's beloved, young daughters.
One vote against Lauren Bacall ,and Miss Bacall would have cared not a whit! Michael Mogelgaard writes: "I asked Max, Sardi's maitre de for 35 years, who was the most difficult dislikable person he had ever encountered in his career there? He paused for less than a nano second and, well, you know who."
Here's another anecdote from reader Barry Parnell: "When my dearest friend, Susan Strasberg, was on tour with her one-woman show, after the show she would talk to the audience. Susan spoke of her affair with Richard Burton when both starred in "Time Remembered." Richard begged her to come to London where he would be in a play. When Susan arrived, she found he was involved with Claire Bloom.
Susan thought about throwing herself off Waterloo Bridge (a la Vivien Leigh). One woman asked, 'What was it like having an affair with Richard?' Susan replied, 'Didn't you hear what I said? -- I almost killed myself.'
The woman replied, "Yes, love, but better to kill yourself over Richard Burton than over my husband.'"
Ted Bowden sends this:
"Doris Day called then Governor of California Ronald Reagan to help animal rights. She said to the secretary who answered; 'You tell him it's his co-star from the movie 'The Winning Team.' I was married to him in that one, where he was only Grover Cleveland Alexander the baseball player and he better call me back if he knows what's good for him."
And finally, Kim Kardashian rakes in $700,000 a day from her game app.
Since June, the app has become one of the top 5 most wanted and according to The Week will gross $200 million a year. As Seth Meyers remarked at the Emmys, alluding to this: "None of you will ever be as rich as Kim Kardashian." The laughter was tepid. After all, actors really work for a living.