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Comedian ANDREW “Dice” CLAY, 58, was never my cup-of-tea. Yes, he was funny now-and-again. However, I found his misogynist, caveman/greaser stand-up act hard to take on an on-going basis. Still, Clay turned in a surprisingly good dramatic performance in the WOODY ALLEN film, “Blue Jasmine” (2014). So, maybe there’s more to him than most assume and its worth checking out his new, six-episode Showtime series, “Dice,” which starts on April 10. It’s a semi-scripted autobiographical show that follows Dice as he tries to mount a career resurgence. He moves to Vegas and tries to re-pay his gambling debts while, at the same time, managing his two sons’ rock band. Guest stars include RITA RUDNER, 62, MICHAEL RAPAPPORT, 42, and ADRIEN BRODY, 42.
Gloria Vanderbilt, 91, is the subject of an HBO documentary, “Nothing Left Unsaid” (Premieres Saturday, April 9 at 9PM). She is interviewed by her son, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, 48. There’s a lot about the battle for “little Gloria” in the 1930s. Her father died when she was 18 months old and left her a huge trust fund. The country was riveted as her mother and rich aunt battled in court about use of the trust funds and her mother’s fitness to raise Gloria. Surprisingly, Gloria emerged pretty unscathed, and by age 16 (1940), she was a pretty young socialite whose best pals (the same age as her) were Oona O’Neill, the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill, and CAROL MARCUS. Despite their age, these bright, beautiful, and “connected” young women could go into any nightclub and meet anyone. O’Neill was romantically tied to J.D. SALINGER when he went into the army in 1942. He got a “Dear John” letter in the form of a newspaper article that said she had married Charlie Chaplin (1943). Marcus went on to wed author William Saroyan and WALTER MATTHAU, who survived her.
Meanwhile, Gloria got more arty and met more Jews---like famous acting coach SANFORD MEISNER, whom she studied with in the 1940s. Her first marriage to conductor Leopold Stokowski produced two sons and ended in 1955. The same year she married the then fairly unknown director SIDNEY LUMET (“12 Angry Men”, “Network”). Their childless marriage ended in 1964 and I am curious what Vanderbilt has to say about him. Vanderbilt went on to marry Anderson’s father and to become famous as a blue jeans designer in the 1970s. By the way, Lumet, who died in 2011, age 86, was married four times (like Vanderbilt). His first and only Jewish wife, the beautiful actress RITA GAM, died on Mar. 26, age 88. He had his only children, two daughters, with his third wife, Gail Jones, Lena Horne’s daughter.
“Demolition”: Opens Friday, April 8
JAKE GYLLENHAAL, 35, stars in “Demolition” as Davis, a successful investment banker who is devastated when he loses his wife in a car crash. His father-in-law, played by the always-great Chris Cooper, pressures him to get-it-together. But Davis continues to melt-down. Among other things, he writes a series of letters to the customer service department of a vending company. These letters include startling personal admissions. Karen, a service rep (Naomi Watts), is taken by his letters. She and Davis form an unlikely connection and Davis begins to re-build his life. Watts, by the way, has been the life partner of actor LIEV SCHREIBER, 48, since 2005 and, along the way, they probably married (Schreiber referred to her as his wife in 2013). They have two young sons, both of whom had a bris and Hebrew naming ceremony.
American Idol Ends
Well, the once powerhouse Fox talent show ends on Thursday, April 7 at 8PM. “Entertainment Weekly” interviewed some biggies associated with the show and here’s part of what former judge PAULA ABDUL, 53, and contestant ADAM LAMBERT, 34, had to say. Abdul: "[When the show started] I felt terrible for these kids. There were these brilliantly delusional ones, but there were these total standouts…I take a lot of pride in the fact that there were legitimate groundbreaking careers that launched from it.” Lambert says: “After I completed the first auditions…I had to quit my job in order to move on. That was my income, my health insurance. It was a big risk. So when it came out to go out in front of the [main] judges, I thought ‘If this doesn’t work, you’re screwed.’…The show came along right after the country needed some hope—right after 9/11. It was inspiring for people to come together and root for the underdog.”