“Live from L.A.” proclaimed ABC’s Diane Sawyer when she kicked off her recent interview with Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jackson at Sony Studios . . . in Culver City.
The snub prompted a letter of protest from Culver City Mayor Steven Gourley. Sawyer wrote back, apologizing that such an error “occasionally happens when a group of New Yorkers ventures anywhere west of the Hudson. Please know that any slight to the great town of Culver City was unintentional. Especially since my husband makes movies there and would hold this against me forever.”
Apology accepted, Gourley wrote back. In a P.S., he asked: “Is your husband someone important?”
GIVE UP?: OK, our crack team of researchers tells us that Diane Sawyer’s husband is director Mike Nichols.
WE BET IT’S PRETTY CHUNKY BY NOW: James Tanaka of Monterey Park found a jar of peanut butter with a label that indicates it’s more suitable for a museum than a store shelf. (See photo)
WEST HOLLYWOOD’S MOST FAMOUS WRITER: It was, of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald, who spent his last months in an apartment on North Laurel Avenue, trying to finish his novel, “The Last Tycoon.”
Some tidbits from his L.A. period, as recounted in Robert Westbrook’s new book, “Intimate Lies,” an account of the love affair between Fitzgerald and gossip columnist Sheilah Graham.
* Fitzgerald described the large couch in his furnished apartment as “vomit green.”
* Once, after a particularly harrowing drunk, he mailed himself “a postcard to make certain he did exist.”
* He described Malibu, where he also lived for a time, as “a bunch of dressing cabins for people who can’t swim.” Off the hard stuff in that beach town, he turned to beer and was soon guzzling up to 35 bottles a day.
* Fitzgerald used to make lists of people who had “snubbed” him, the longest of which named 66 people for the period 1925-29.
* He told a screenwriter that total sales of two of his best-known novels, “The Great Gatsby” and “Tender Is the Night,” amounted to eight copies in 1938--for a total of $13 in royalties.
* Angered over a story in the Hollywood Reporter, he planned to challenge the publication’s founder to a duel until he was told that no one dueled anymore.
* Fitzgerald died of a heart attack on Dec. 21, 1940, at the age of 44 in Graham’s apartment on North Hayworth Avenue. He was worth $706, of which $613.25 went for funeral arrangements.
A belated happy birthday to Victoria Joyce Faerstein of West Los Angeles, who turned 50 on Monday--the 50th anniversary of V-J Day. Hence, the name Victoria Joyce. “I’m told I was the first baby born at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital after the cessation of the war,” she said. “But we don’t have a newspaper story to prove it.” Faerstein said that “a newspaper wanted to take our picture but my mother refused. No matter what anyone says, you don’t want your picture in a newspaper after you’ve just given birth.”