Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith dies aged 94

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith dies aged 94

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith speaks at the Every Body, Rise!: A Celebration Of Elaine Stritch at Al Hirshfeld Theatre on November 17, 2014 in New York City.

According to the Associated Press, the "Dame of Dish" columnist died in NY tonight.

After proving she could canoodle with the best of New York's smart set, she was awarded her own column in 1976 by the New York Daily News and also became a regular on WNBC's "Live at Five". Her column was widely syndicated, and at her peak she earned more than $1 million a year, according to the New York Times. She also worked at New York Newsday and the New York Post. "She dished, but always found a way to make it entertaining and fun".

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Smith ultimately wrote for nine NY newspapers and dozens of magazines, but it was a stint writing for Cosmopolitan that led to her break.

Smith was full of stories about the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Carol Burnett, Bette Midler and her sometime-friend Barbara Walters, but she professed to the Times in 2014 not to pay any attention to Gawker, TMZ or any of the other celebrity gossip-oriented websites that have proliferated over the last decade.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas during prohibition, Smith graduated from the University of Texas in 1949 with a degree in journalism and, a year after, moved to the Big Apple. While establishing herself as an authority on Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Smith attracted the attention of the New York Daily News. Ten years later she jumped to Fox, and she later did work for the cable channel E!

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Smith was a NY legend who developed and defined the job of the gossip columnist as well as the celebrity journalist. Smith largely refused, though after the publication of her 2000 memoir Natural Blonde she did begin to acknowledge that she'd had relationships with women, including longtime partner Iris Love.

"Oh no. I loved Liz Smith so much". He never gave me a dime.

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