Friday, September 2, 2016

My Celebrity Quiz: Answers Revealed!

As promised, here are the answers to Wednesday's quiz. If you feel you should have been included here and you don't see your name, please contact me asap.

1. Margo Martindale (above, as Mags Bennett in the TV series Justified) read a poem at my wedding in Randolph Center, Vermont, in 1981. The groom, Patrick Husted, was her ex-boyfriend, and the poem, which Margo chose herself, was “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.” She won her first Emmy a few years after her star turn at my wedding.

Ethan Phillips as Neelix.
2. Ethan Phillips lent me his house in the Catskills while he went to L.A. to look for work. Mr. Phillips went on to play Neelix, a space alien and gourmet chef, on Star Trek: Voyager, and I had many encounters with his exterminator, whom we always referred to as "the Bug Man."

3. Julia Glass was a copy editor in the Cosmo copy department when I was the copy chief, back before desktop computers. As chief, I hosted a weekly meeting where we ate croissants and discussed punctuation marks. Julie went on to win a National Book Award and I went on to write this blog.

4. Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown was my boss in 1979, before Hearst renovated the eighth floor of 224 West 57th Street and she finally got her own bathroom. Besides the paper towel that she handed me one day in the ladies room, she also gave me a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, four Tiffany dessert plates, and a four-leaf clover that she plucked from her sister's lawn in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

5. Martha Stewart hired me to help expand her business empire, which was growing at such a rapid pace in the late 1990s that she eventually ran out of office space and had to move some of her staff into a warehouse in Chelsea. My job was to edit recipes for wedding cakes, and my desk was in a corridor outside the men's room.

Composer Nico Muhly; we had the same piano teacher.
6. Nico Muhly and I were born in the same hospital and had the same piano teacher: Florence Scholl Cushman of Randolph, Vermont. Nico’s mother, Bunny Harvey, introduced me to stuffed squash blossoms and his father, Frank Muhly, taught me how to eat shrimp. Nico wrote an opera that was performed at the Met; I quit piano lessons when my acting career began to take off, a chapter of my life that I wrote about in embarrassing detail here.

7. Bette Midler and I started our respective careers in New York City, then moved to L.A. We moved back to New York City at almost exactly the same time, and we were both so appalled by the amount of trash that had accumulated during our absence that she started a beautification program and I volunteered to pick up litter. (I actually met her face-to-face only once and I doubt she would remember me.)

8. Bernie Sanders visited the Randolph Senior Center in 2010, when I was a volunteer server. Senator Sanders told the Wednesday lunch crowd that Social Security is NOT going to bankrupt the U.S. government and anyone who says otherwise is full of crap (not his exact wording). He did not stay for the meat loaf.

Lost in Moscow for Condé Nast Traveler.
9. Klara Glowczewska was the editor in chief of Condé Nast Traveler in 2009 when the editors of the Stop Press news section (RIP), Kevin Doyle and Deborah Dunn, sent me to Moscow on a writing assignment-slash-scavenger hunt modeled after the reality TV show The Amazing Race. One of my assignments was to find an all-night pharmacy and buy aspirin.

10. Jon Voight was just about to start rehearsals for Hamlet, the play that wrecked his marriage, in the summer of ’77 when he invited the play’s director to dinner at the Park Lane hotel in New York City. I was the director’s date. Marcheline Bertrand was there, too, and Angelina Jolie was asleep in a crib. I think it's fair to say that the production, which opened a few weeks later at Rutgers, was (a) not very good and (b) memorable only in that it changed the lives of everybody in that room. Jon Voight plays a minor role as the movie star in this book.

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