Liz Smith (1923-2017) Tribute List

November 12, 2017
Gossip columnist Liz Smith died on November 12, 2017 at the age of 94. A pioneering woman in her field, Smith was known as “The Grande Dame of Dish.” Smith reported at a time before the internet and social media, when gossip was a different business, and Hollywood stars weren’t seen all the time the way they are today. Although Smith had her detractors and her rivals, she reported gossip in a gentler way than we think of it today, and her career represents a lost era of celebrity culture. Here columns were among the most widely read in the world, and we pay tribute with words from these quotes.
"Do not join groups. If you enjoy being made to feel inadequate, call your mother."

"To deny we need and want power is to deny that we hope to be effective."

"Good gossip is just what's going on. Bad gossip is stuff that is salacious, mean... the kind most people really enjoy."
"Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do."

"Gossip is a luxury we can no longer afford."
"You know, I've known most of these people either well or slightly. And I think they're pretty terrific. I even had good experiences with Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, who were, you know, talk about divas. They were divas."
On being fired:
"I was more shocked than anyone. I thought I was indispensable. Looking back, I just wasn't what the powers that be wanted." - From a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter
"But I found some friends of mine who had graduated earlier, and they showed me the ropes. Like how to subsist at the automat on crackers and ketchup, or get dinner for a quarter at a restaurant with knives and forks!" - From a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter
On Elizabeth Taylor:
"I met Elizabeth just as her career as a beautiful movie star was tapering off and she had escaped to Europe with Richard Burton because she didn't dare leave him alone." - From a 2015 interview in The Hollywood Reporter
On Bette Midler:
"The funny thing is, I love Bette now. She's amazing, but she's a volatile person."
- From a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter
"I don't mix with a lot of celebrities these days. I know Oprah, to say hello and kiss her and genuflect."
-From a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter

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