The founder of private equity firm Forstmann Little died today of complications from brain cancer. He was 71. Forstmann was best known as a critic of junk bonds who lost the 1989 bidding war with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for Nabisco chronicled in the book Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall Of RJR Nabisco. But Forstmann also was active in media. He bought Ziff-Davis Publishing in 1994 and turned it around. He also bought IMG, a management firm that handles athletes including Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. Other media investments included Citadel Broadcasting and Topps. In 1995 the National Academy of Popular Music gave him its Patron of the Arts Award. Media execs flocked to Forstmann’s annual conferences in Aspen, which attracted world leaders including Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The billionaire also was well known for his personal life which included relationships with Princess Diana and Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi. The end of his life was marred by a power struggle with longtime friend Michael Ovitz over IMG.
Elizabeth Snead contributed to Deadline’s Emmy coverage.
Historically, the Emmys is not a couture-heavy red carpet. But last night several Emmy-nominated actresses sashayed into the Nokia Theatre modeling haute couture from international designers like Armani, Elie Saab, Marchesa and Dior.
What does this mean? It could mean that TV actresses are increasingly cross-over film stars (and vice versa) and warrant couture designers’ attention. Or it could mean that the bigger awards — the Golden Globes and the Oscars — are now so competitive that designers are looking to the Emmys for additional celebrity mannequins.
Who got the most gowns on the hottest actresses on the 2011 Emmy carpet? Let’s do a head count.
Giorgio Armani outfitted Julianna Margulies, the Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series winner from The Good Wife. He also garbed Top Chef reality star Padma Lakshmi and fresh face Minka Kelly, star of the upcoming Charlie’s Angels. Marchesa dressed Glee star Lea Michele and Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss. Oscar de la Renta had his designs on Modern Family‘s Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series winner Julie Bowen.
But Elie Saab dressed Mildred Pierce winner Kate Winslet (left) and nominee Evan Rachel Wood as well as Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt. He gets extra points for dressing Winslet, who won the Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Emmy and gave major exposure to his simple elegant red gown, a design that was head and shoulders above the sea of strapless, garish, sparkly and overdone red gowns worn last night. We counted nine. Was there a red dress memo that went out?