Despite reports that Farrah Fawcett accompanied Ryan O'Neal to parties on Oscar night, they are not together — at least not in the way you think.
I ran into Farrah last week at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, where she was indulging herself in the hotel's suite of fashion spas, which were set up for the Academy Awards. When I spotted her, the beauteous angel was having a pedicure. But she was happy to expound on most subjects.
I have to tell you, I was pleasantly surprised. Fawcett was clear, coherent and well-spoken. She was courteous, funny, even bordering on delightful.
Why then has she come across like such a ditz in public, I asked her?
"It's a persona," she told us. "Letterman, for example. During the commercial he says, 'Act like that. Be spacey, it's working.' So I did it. It was just one time."
I asked Farrah about Ryan, how he was and what he was doing. At that point, on Thursday before the Oscars, she didn't know they'd be doing the party scene together.
She said, "I saw him recently. I talk to him. He's doing much better."
She did not address O'Neal's leukemia or his problems with being overweight. Those who saw the one-time hunk-of-hunks on Oscar night were more than shocked by his appearance.
"He's huge," said one observer succinctly.
Fawcett said she turned down offers to be in both Charlie's Angels movies.
"Why should I?" she asked. "That's over for me."
Nevertheless, she continues to work and may even do another series. She's been offered one, but is bridling at the work involved to make it a hit.
"When Ryan and I did Good Sports, it was a nightmare," she said. "The scripts were never ready, they needed constant work. Eventually the network started adding things to it out of panic. Then it failed."
So that's the story, right from the horse's mouth. She wasn't kooky or weird. What a shame! Now that would have been a headline. Instead we're left with "Farrah Is Nice." Stop the presses!
So it's my last night in Los Angeles, and it's off to the Beverly Hills Spago, where Wolfgang Puck still manages to turn out the most exquisite meal in town. It doesn't hurt that his pastry chef extraordinaire, Sherry Yard, has become a sensation in Hollywood.
On Tuesday night Yard prepared hundreds of mouth-watering treats for a banquet at the Beverly Wiltshire Hotel for Cedars-Sinai Hospital. That was after Sunday night, when Sherry made 1,760 desserts for the Governor's Ball after the Oscars!
Luckily, she has her parents, who come in annually and help her set up the plates. This fall, Sherry will publish her first cookbook through Houghton Mifflin, with editorial help from award-winning, best-selling food writer Martha Rose Shulman.
And who was in Spago to feast on these delights? None other than RCA Records and J Records honcho Clive Davis, who'd come in from New York to meet with American Idol judge Simon Cowell. They were joined by songwriter Diane Warren and two other pals.
Clive is busy putting together an album for American Idol star Tamyra Gray. You may recall my story from a couple of weeks ago that Gray and superstar Annie Lennox were both going to be on Arista Records.
But when their manager, Simon Fuller, who also created Idol, was late to a meeting with Arista's L.A. Reid, Reid threw Fuller out of his office without seeing him. Fuller went to Davis, and that's the way the cookie crumbles.
Davis is off to see Celine Dion in Las Vegas this weekend, and he's taking many members of his family as well. They'll also see Billy Joel and Elton John perform.
Across the room, meantime, was best-selling writer Barbara Taylor Bradford with her husband and two friends. They were busy celebrating producer Marty Richards' Oscar win for Best Picture with Chicago.
"If anyone deserves it, it's Marty," Barbara said. "And no one has worked harder."
True, true, true.
A lot of people have mentioned to me that Renée Zellweger looked pretty mad when she lost the Best Actress Oscar to Nicole Kidman on Sunday night. I know Renée was tense; she certainly skipped the rest of the evening's celebrations.
Zellweger has only been on the Oscar radar for a short time — about six years.
She "got us at hello" with Jerry Maguire, had a strange but endearing turn in Nurse Betty and finally hit pay dirt with Bridget Jones' Diary.
Her Chicago performance was wonderful and memorable. Little girls are going to be taking up dancing because of her for years to come. But the Oscar race is a long-distance one. Just ask Susan Sarandon, who waited forever, or Glenn Close, who has only come close.
Not winning this time doesn't diminish Zellweger. She has become a real Hollywood star. And Chicago will always be a breathtaking moment in her career.
Zellweger's next movie, for this fall, is Cold Mountain. Her co-star and presumed main competition for next year's Oscars is, ironically, Nicole Kidman. But Nicole's just won, so she probably won't mount another campaign.
Julianne Moore will sit out the next Oscars. Her pregnancy precluded any new films being shot.
There will be some surprise entries, no doubt, but 2004 looks good as Renée's year. She just has to hang in there.
The ax falls Thursday and Friday at Sony Music. I reported this Wednesday morning, of course. Later in the afternoon, msnbc.com reported it like it was a new story! I guess they were following the plan of parent NBC, which uses the line "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you!" for re-reruns. Very funny. Ha ha.