Home Celebrity Barry Diller’s Senior Picnic: Maureen Dowd Gets Shot Down

Ok. so while the “kids” at the Independent Spirit Awards were handing out statues down on the beach in Santa Monica, Barry Diller was having his annual picnic for Hollywood elders. Oprah and Gayle, Ellen DeGeneres, Valentino, Shirley Maclaine, Anderson Cooper, Jessica Alba, plus all the media heavyweights like Eisner, Katzenerg, Murdoch. Brad Grey, Ron Meyer, Harvey Weinstein everyone was there who wasn’t involved in a current movie. My favorite story, about Dani Janssen, who’s the smartest person in town. Dani gives her annual Oscar party. No press, and you must have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. Penny Marshall is first at the viewing party, Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson are usually there, and Dani serves her famous homemade monkey bread. Former superagent Sue Mengers tells Dani she must bring New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. “Don’t worry,” Sue says, “no one will recognize her.” Says Dani, who once found Andy Warhol’s tape recorder under her couch cushions the morning after she’d allowed him into her party: “You know what, stay home, see you another year!” Dani stands her ground, Hollywood remains safe. We love Dani Janssen!

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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