Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith dies aged 94

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith dies aged 94

Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith - known as the "Dame of Dish" - died on Sunday, NBC New York reported.

"It's a valid criticism, I suppose", Smith said in a 1991 interview with The New York Times.

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".

Eventually, her column became syndicated in nearly 70 newspapers as she made famous friends like Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.

But it was her sharp writing at Cosmopolitan - namely the salacious details of the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton - that led to her break at the Daily News.

At one point Smith was hired by Fox to develop a talkshow that Roger Ailes would produce.

Asked about why we retain our fascination with celebrities, Smith replied: "Remember 'Camelot?' The song: 'I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight?' We make stars into something exquisite, and we want to know what they're doing and thinking because our lives are desperately boring". She was later poached by Newsday and was paid $500,000 to leave the Daily.

Smith worked at some of New York's biggest newspapers throughout her career, having started as a proofreader Newsweek before becoming a press agent for Broadway shows, and a news producer for Mike Wallace at CBS Radio.

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. I just never felt I was wife material. 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. "I always felt that I was a great girlfriend".

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