Gossip columnist Liz Smith dies aged 94

Legendary New York gossip columnist Liz Smith has died aged 94.

Smith’s career as a journalist started in the 1950’s and she worked all the way into her late 90’s, sharing news about movie stars, musicians and the rich and powerful. While the newspapers she wrote for in her heyday have cut staff and budgets, Smith continued to write for online publications.

During the peak of her career in the 80’s and 90’s she broke big celebrity stories like Donald Trump’s divorce from wife Ivana and Madonna discovering she was pregnant during the filming of Evita.

Smith didn’t take her profession too seriously, commenting that gossip was meant to be a fun look at the world around you.

“We mustn’t take ourselves too seriously in this world of gossip,” she said in 1987. “When you look at it realistically, what I do is pretty insignificant. Still, I’m having a lot of fun.”

For 25 years her column simply titled Liz Smith was run in newspapers across the world, including three papers in the New York region.

Smith said she spent her life at openings, lunches, parties and premieres, once joking that she should have her kitchen converted into something more useful, because she never at home for a meal.

The ‘Dame of Dish’ was seen as a natural successor to the gossip columnists Hollywood’s golden days including Hedda Hopper, but Smith was regarded as being much nicer to her subjects than those who came before her.

In her 2000 autobiography Natural Blonde Smith confirmed her bisexuality, or as she described it “gender neutrality”.

The writer was married twice, her first marriage to George Edward Beeman in the 1950’s lasted two years, her second marriage to Fred Lister that began in 1957 lasted 5 years. Smith also had a long term relationship with archaeologist Iris Love.

Smith’s publicist has confirmed that she died of natural causes.

OIP Staff, image Shutterstock 

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