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R.I.P. Kate Mantilini:Beverly Hills Haven For Oscar Voters And So Many Others

By | Saturday June 14, 2014 @ 4:47pm PDT
Pete Hammond

AN APPRECIATION: It not only was perhaps the most consistently popular and cool restaurant in Beverly Hills, Kate Mantilini which is located at mantilinithe corner of Wilshire Blvd and Doheny and just two blocks from the headquarters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, has in recent years become a key part of Oscar campaigning.  Sadly, due to a dispute over higher rent with a greedy landlord more interested in lining their pockets than in pleasing Hollywood,  Kate’s is closing its doors tonight after 27 years in the key BH location. The other Kate’s located in Woodland Hills remains open, but frankly it isn’t the same. This one was special.

6106528389_87d11b7f81The restaurant, founded in 1987 and owned by the Lewis family (Marilyn and Harry who also founded the famed Hamburger Hamlet chain and sons David, and Adam who has been running it since 2010) which is open late unlike just about every other place of its type in the area, became a real watering hole  for many Hollywood types like Mel Brooks  who has written his own obit for the place, and so many others.  It was almost impossible to go in there and not run into someone you know. It was really a hopping place, both at lunch , dinner and late night.  And it not only has been host to numerous premiere parties (including several for Matt Weiner and Mad Men, a Marilyn … Read More »

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Sophia Loren Honored At Movie Academy 50 Years After Her First Oscar

Pete Hammond

She won her first Oscar for 1961′s Two Women, the first performer to win for acting in a foreign language. Then in 1991, the Academy decided she needed another Oscar and gave her an Honorary Award. Apparently, still wanting to demonstrate their love, the Academy in association with Cinecitta Luce gave Loren another tribute Wednesday night in front of a packed house at their Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills. Ostensibly in honor of the 50th anniversary of that first Oscar, the beautifully produced program covered her entire career through clips and reminiscences of friends and colleagues that was also significant for another reason: it also brought eight-time Oscar show M.C. Billy Crystal back into a hosting mode for the Academy, and to say he killed would be an understatement. Loren personally asked for Billy, whom she first met at that 1991 ceremony where she got that second Oscar.

After opening with a clip from 1964′s Marriage Italian Style, Crystal came out punching with a hilarious intro all in broken Italian. Then he praised the guest of honor (sitting in the front row next to son Edoardo Ponti). “Just thinking about her beauty can keep a traffic controller awake at night,” he joked. “Bin Laden’s  last words were, ‘I can’t believe I am gonna miss Wednesday night!’ “Among his other bon mots: ”She could live next door to you and you would never know she was there, even if you were the Pakistani military.” Or: “Miss Loren and I had a hot affair for years. She didn’t know it of course … when I met her I  was amazed she didn’t have a staple in the middle of her chest.”

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Larry King Heading Into Bagel Biz; Will He Have To Answer To Nate N’ Al?

By | Wednesday June 30, 2010 @ 4:32pm PDT
Mike Fleming

SURPRISE! CNN Talking To Joy Behar About Replacing Larry King

larry-kingWhen Larry King steps down from his CNN gig later this year, he’ll need something to fill his downtime. Bagels will play a role. Just before he announced his exit, King closed a deal to become a financial partner in The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company, a Florida-based enterprise that claims to have developed a water treatment technology that replicates the H2O from the New York borough that is the key to churning out bagels that taste like they were made in Brooklyn. (I’m not kidding). Read More »

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