- Last Updated: 1:02 AM, July 10, 2012
- Posted: 12:34 AM, July 10, 2012
Yesterday was Nora Ephron’s memorial. Why did no one know of her condition? Her husband, Nick Pileggi, told me:
“We understood she had only a short time. But Nora believed if anyone knew, they’d view her differently. It would always be, ‘How is she?’ . . . ‘How do you believe she’s feeling?’ . . . ‘Think she’s able to finish what we’re working on?’
“Last six months, as things became worse, she was taking aggressive treatment. And then pneumonia set in.”
RON Kovic, who co-wrote 1989’s famous Tom Cruise film “Born on the Fourth of July”: “I’m from Massapequa. I remember James Cagney’s patriotic movie ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy.’ When thinking of writing my life story I was in the VA hospital. I’d already received last rites. Grateful to just be alive, I thought if ever I get out of this place, I’ll write what happened to me in Vietnam and title it ‘My Yankee Doodle Dandy.’
“I wanted to not stay a victim, not people feeling sorry for my inabilities, my paralysis, my permanently being wheelchair bound. I wanted to turn my life around, make my parents proud, be more of, ‘Look what he’s overcome.’
“Hollywood was generous. I have no money complaints. And I’m just happy to be alive. Y’know, things change after you become famous. Suddenly high school buddies called, the Marine who saved my life, but I never saw again got in touch.”
And life now 44 years later?
“I live with my doctor in Redondo Beach five minutes from Terry Ann, my girlfriend for five years. She’s happy with that, and so am I. Tonight I’m taking her to a restaurant. I work with wounded veterans. If I had a son in service, I’d be wary. With my many friends gone, I speak out against Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I deplore war.
“My first book I wrote in one month on a Sears Roebuck $42 typewriter. I’m now writing an autobiographical novel set in 1974. With a computer. So far it’s taken a year and a half.”
EVERYBODY’s been someplace: Lawyer beaut Dominic Barbara with some Russian blond beaut at Southampton eatery 75 Main . . . Mark Ruffalo inhaling grilled salmon at Segafredo Zanetti, the West Village . . . Prince attending Esperanza Spalding’s performance at Montreal Jazz Festival . . . Dublin Airport, Beyoncé carrying daughter Blue Ivy after Jay-Z’s “Watch the Throne” concert . . . Celeste Holm, 95, and singer husband Frank Basile not anyplace. Temporarily homeless following neighbor Robert De Niro’s CPW apartment fire.
I DRAGGED Ernest Borgnine to judge Miss Universe in El Salvador. In my house, he said he bought a $500,000 motor coach to drive through rural America. In his house, he told me he schleps his Oscar around so friends can touch it. He and wife Tova have been my forever friends.
Sprinkling gentle dialogue with “by crackys” and “dog-gone-its,” I remember him telling me: “Five months once I quit the business. I was a real nothing. Walking Manhattan streets hunting jobs, eating stew every single night for dinner, down on my luck. I drifted back into the business because it was all I knew.
“When I got that ‘Marty’ part playing a real awkward lover, I thought, ‘Jiminy Cricket, you don’t have to be a good-looking idol to play romantic parts?’ Not all us guys are married to gorgeous women, but we still make out. Why shouldn’t it be the same in films. So help me Hannah, the time’s come to stop pretending that just gods make love in movies and that us mortals can do it, too.”
Ernie was a delicious human being.
TV NEWS types: Alphonse D’Amato on Eliot Spitzer joining his and Ed Koch’s longtime NY-1 segment Wise Guys: “(Sigh) Guess we’ll have to find something for us all to argue about.”. . . Everyone know Fox-TV’s morning talk show anchor Greg Kelly’s been promoted? Upped to 10 p.m.’s broadcast? Maybe great for them and good for him, but I’ll miss his a.m. fun-and-games talking with Rosanna Scotto . . . Kindly know CNN’s run strictly, exclusively by committee so kindly blame no single person for its current cistern rating. Now comes its new Christiane Amanpour show.
OPINION on Anderson Cooper opening his unclosed secret: “Timing’s right. Being straight now is almost unfashionable.”
OPINION on new Hamptonite summer wardrobe: Crappy. Previous long silk pants with fancy top? Gone. Finished. Dead. History. As old as “Dan Quayle for president” buttons. As over as Kim Kardashian valentines to Kris Humphries. The new party outfit? Short short shifts. Martha Stewart — a denim dress. Edie Falco’s was perfect for gardening. In elegant hand-embroidered pajamas, I looked like Thomas Jefferson.
THIS news about airline seats getting smaller? Less heft, less legroom? Being kept quiet is that on one domestic carrier the co-pilot sits in the pilot’s lap.
JULY Fourth. East 57th’s high-class Burberry. Upper floor. 5:15 p.m. Staffer exercising on the selling floor. Flat out, alongside a rack of expensive merchandise.
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