05/30/2012 08:42 am ET Updated Jul 29, 2012

Justin Bieber 'Batters'? .. Bette Midler Beautifies.. It's Marilyn Monroe, All Summer Long!

"JUST KEEP not taking yourself too seriously. And just remember to go get a hamburger!" That was Liza Minnelli talking to the Wall Street Journal the other day.

The "hamburger" reference comes from something her mother told her, when Liza arrived home crying about ugly remarks being made about Judy. Garland advised: "People will say what they are going to say. Let them say what they are going to say and you and I are going to get a hamburger."

In this Internet age of instant blogging, tweeting and dissing, perhaps stars should simply rent out space at Burger King.

  • SPEAKING OF media intrusions, I have to laugh over the notion that Justin Bieber "battered" a pesky paparazzi who was hounding the singer and his actress girlfriend Selena Gomez. In all the pictures released of the confrontation, the slight singer and the bigger photographer don't appear to have been engaged in a physical brawl. But Justin was upset and even lost a sneaker, dashing to confront the photographer. (The stalkerazzi was immediately advised by helpful friends that he was seriously injured and lawyers should be involved.) I must say, however, in the language of John Wayne to Maureen O' Hara--"you're awfully purty when you're riled up, Justin."
  • ON THURSDAY, Bette Midler celebrates 17 years of beautifying Manhattan with her annual Spring Picnic on the Cloisters Lawn in Fort Tryon Park. Joining Bette will be such avid environmentalists as Susan Sarandon...Mica Ertegun...Gloria Gaynor...Enid Nemy...Parker Posey...Michael Kors...Tim Gunn..Adrian Grenier, and others who love what Bette Midler has done for this city, with her New York Restoration Project.
  • OUR FRIEND Frank Langella will be honored at the Nantucket Film Festival, which happens--naturally--there, on June 23. Frank will receive the Compass Rose Award for his "profound" contributions to the world of acting. Well deserved, indeed. His recent contribution to the world of gossipy anecdote has also been fairly profound with the publication of "Dropped Names." The New York Times categorized Frank's 65 chapters (65 celebs, all dead, save for Bunny Mellon) as a mix of "a mash note and a carpet-bombing." Yes, it's that dishy!
  • OKAY, SO "Men In Black 3" finally pushed "The Avengers" from its box-office perch with a $200 worldwide gross. (Although the film's $70 million U.S. take was considered a slight "underperformance.") But forget movies. What about Broadway? The revival of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" has broken its house record for the 7th time with a million dollar week! The last time a Miller work was even remotely as successful was back in 1964, with "After the Fall," which was the late playwright's take on life with the lady in the following item.
  • A VERY Marilyn Summer: On August 4 or 5 (depending on how you calculate night into day, or which "theory" you buy into) Marilyn Monroe will have been dead half a century. Hard to believe, because this star, who only had a ten-year major career and left a mere handful of memorable films, is as vital a part of the cultural mix as any actress today. Young people who have never seen one of her movies, know her name, recognize her face, what she represented. They are even aware of the various "mysteries" surrounding her death.

    New books on the star are more plentiful than usual, including re-issues of Norman Mailer's 1973 bestseller, "Marilyn," now illustrated with only Bert Stern's photos from the infamous "last sitting." Also arriving soon is Lawrence Schiller's "Marilyn and Me," which tells of
    that photographer's experiences with the star on the sets of "Let's Make Love" and "Something's Got To Give." (He gave the world the magnificent semi-nudes from her
    pool scene in the latter, uncompleted film.)

    Mr. Schiller will be on hand tonight at Steven Kasher Gallery, with Nan Talese and Taschen publishers, signing copies of his book. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served as people gawk at Schiller's photos, displayed on the gallery walls.

    In Hollywood, beginning June 1 (it would be MM's 86th birthday!) Grauman's Chinese Theater in conjunction with Playboy, will present a week of the star's most famous movies--"Some Like It Hot," "The Seven Year Itch," "Bus Stop," and her most all-around entertaining film, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," with the equally great Jane Russell. (Russell, so Amazonian, so protective of Lorelei Lee, was hands down, Monroe's best "leading man.") It's a pity that the Chinese Theater has chosen to show Arthur Miller's dreary, condescending "The Misfits" instead of "The Prince and the Showgirl" which contains what is probably Monroe's greatest comic performance.

    Oh, and I should mention that your Liz was on the MM bandwagon this year before anybody else, with a cover story in Q magazine. There will be a lot more coming!

    Just before she died, Marilyn told Life magazine, "I want to state here and now, fame is fickle!" Perhaps--but not for you, dear girl.