Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith dies aged 94

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith dies aged 94

Liz Smith, the syndicated gossip columnist whose mixture of banter, barbs, and bon mots about the glitterati helped her climb the A-list as high as numerous celebrities she covered, died Sunday at the age of 94.

The writer, whose column was syndicated to almost 70 newspapers and was read by millions, died at her home in Manhattan on Sunday, The New York Times reports.

She started her own column at the New York Daily News in 1976.

Liz's signature style of celebrity storytelling in her "Liz Smith" column led her to mix and mingle with many A-listers as a Hollywood insider over the years. "She dished, but always found a way to make it entertaining and fun".

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From hardscrabble nights writing snippets for a Hearst newspaper in the 1950s to golden afternoons at Le Cirque with Frank Sinatra or Audrey Hepburn and dinners with Madonna to gather material for columns that ran six days a week, Smith captivated millions with her tattletale chitchat.

In an interview with the New York Times this past July, Smith said she was having trouble moving after suffering a minor stroke. Over time, she ascended to fame and wealth.

Mary Elizabeth Smith was born in Fort Worth, Texas.

Liz Smith attends the Edgar Awards of the Mystery Writers of America in NY in May 2003.

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Her famed hit its stride when she joined New York Daily News.

For almost 30 years, Smith bounced from job to job: publicist for singer Kaye Ballard; assistant to Mike Wallace and Candid Camera creator Allen Funt; ghostwriter for Igor Cassini's "Cholly Knickerbocker" gossip column. Ten years later she jumped to Fox, and she later did work for the cable channel E!

Known affectionately as the "the Grand Dame of Dish", Smith's legendary work included a chronicle of Donald and Ivana Trump's divorce, which made front-page news.

It was syndicated for years in 60 to 70 other newspapers, even as she appeared on television news and entertainment programmes and wrote magazine articles and books.

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"Oh no. I loved Liz Smith so much". I just never felt I was wife material.

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