Wham, 2016 finishes with complete sadness

January 03, 2017 3:00 AM


Death, they say, comes in threes, and we were sure hit hard by the loss of the unsinkable Debbie Reynolds, her daughter the talented Carrie Fisher and iconic singer, songwriter and performer, George Michael, who was just 53.

Reynolds had the greatest array of memorabilia through her lifetime of collecting. She was able to sell much of it in order to support herself. When I first came to Las Vegas 17 years ago she was very gracious. Debbie made me laugh and understood that I was an aging movie flop and not a star since “Saturday Night Fever.”

In those days she had the idea to bring Hollywood glamour to the Strip. She sang, acted and did wonderful impressions of Zsa Zsa Gabor and Marlene Dietrich. She came from nothing and won a beauty contest, then learned to sing and dance. Gene Kelly said she was a very quick study.

But it was all about her marriages, first to Eddie Fisher, having two children, Carrie and Todd, then marrying the shoe guy, Harry Karl, and then Richard Hamlett… always giving her money to these bad men. That’s really what we had in common.

Fisher had a heart attack on a plane. Debbie was making funeral arrangements at Todd’s home when she had a stroke. To me she died of a broken heart. One news report said her last words were about going to be with Carrie, who was 18 when she did “Star Wars” and will be Princess Leia forever. She and her mother had a volatile relationship for years, but had a great love that brought them back together in recent years.

Hollywood is mourning the end of a heyday and movies, the likes of which we’ll never have again. There’s a documentary about Debbie, Carrie and Todd that should be out soon.

Michael was an unbelievable talent, a singer/songwriter and famed member of the music duo Wham! He was discussed in the same vein as Elton John, the late David Bowie and Mick Jagger. He really was one of the greats. Of these artists, many were gay and lived their lives hiding it. We also lost Prince and Bowie in 2016.

These legends, the performers, writers, directors… always a back story. We try to keep their memories alive. Let’s remember their talent and what they gave to the world. May they all rest in peace.

Another closing

Clint Holmes is closing his show at the Palazzo. The hotel and all his fans wish him luck. I’m sure he’ll end up somewhere else with something new in no time at all. It was a great show and we wish him the best and look forward to seeing him wherever he goes.

For Sale

That beautiful 55,000 square foot estate of the talented and fabulous Phyllis McGuire in Las Vegas, is now for sale. She had a hip replacement and rumor has it she’s moving in with her sister, Chris. There are three houses on this incredible property. We hope for a fast sale and wish her luck and all the best.

It’s still Caesars

The recently opened Lucky Dragon has architecture to die for. SLS was built on the old Sahara property, which was sacred ground. Not sure what they are doing down there. I don’t know where this is going with new management, new marketing and who are your customers?

In my opinion, the winner of all, the hotel of all hotels in Las Vegas is Caesars Palace. 

As for headliners, I have to give it to Donny and Marie. Their show at the Flamingo continues to be hugely successful because of these two great talents. It’s still going strong… full of variety, singing and dancing. It’s the perfect show for Las Vegas.

On the other hand, why did Vegas bring back Mamma Mia? Please give it a rest! Two of my favorites are David Copperfield and Chris Angel for at least having the production value, continually filling their respective theaters at the MGM Grand and the Luxor. My hat’s off to them. 

Thank you… to Jaki Baskow of Celebrity Talent Brokers and Producers and top agent Leanne Lindsey for a wonderful holiday dinner. Wishing everyone a very happy and wonderful New Year!