Home Celebrity Notes: Mary Fickett, Steven Tyler, Fattening Film Fest

Just a few notes from all over: the lovely Mary Fickett, the wonderful veteran actress who played Ruth Martin on “All My Children,” died this week at age 83. She’d been with the show since day 1, in 1970, until Alzheimer’s forced her to retire about ten years ago. She won the first daytime Emmy award. As Ruth Martin, she was a stand in for the show’s creator, Agnes Nixon. Ruth was the conscience of the show, especially when her son went to fight in Vietnam. Ironically, “All My Children” ends its run next Friday after 41 years. Last year, a similar thing happened with Helen Wagner, the matriarch of “As the World Turns,” died right before that show concluded after 54 years. She was 93. I remember Ruth Martin from when I was in high school; Fickett was direct and never wavering in her delivery. She’s been missed the last few years…

…Rocker Steven Tyler lost his dad last week. Victor Tallarico was 95. I met him two years ago when Tyler performed at the Boston Symphony Hall as part of a show put together by Chris Botti for PBS. Steven sang Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” for his dad, it was his favorite song. Everyone was charmed by the World War II vet. Condolences to Liv Tyler, his granddaughter, and the whole family…

…Is there room for another film festival? Apparently so. This one is set for March 22nd in Perugia, Italy. Sounds good to me. Karen Arikian, who does such a good job with the Hamptons Film Festival, will be consulting. On October 1st and 2nd, 2011–Arikian will do a preview over in Perugia to get the locals excited. She’s bringing over legendary DA Pennebaker and his filmmaker wife Chris Hegedus, as well as Bruce Weber, to show documentaries. They will all need to go on diets upon return! Maybe they can go on Kirstie Alley‘s dance-away-the-pasta regimen! (Wink, wink.) William Morris Endeavor and Stratus Media Group are also advising and consulting.

…Last night, Wednesday, The French Consulate of Los Angeles honored mega French Star Comedian/Filmmaker Dany Boon for his Sept 15th US release on iTunes two of his films, the all-time biggest French Box Office hit “Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis” (Welcome to the Sticks)  and the 2010 success “Rien a déclarer” (Nothing to Declare.)

Our Leah Sydney asked him if there was a difference between French and American Cinema.

Boon: “There is a big difference between French and American Cinema. In France, the directors and writers are more powerful. Here the producers and the studios are.  For 18 years I’ve been a French comedian, I started to write and direct movies eight years ago.  Its complicated here because the American market is very well protected. In Europe, we are open to other movies, American, Indian, Asian and African.  Here it is more insulated, not so much.”

We told Dany that Jerry Lewis was fired from the telethon. Dany didn’t know. We asked him his thoughts.
]“I’m a huge Jerry Lewis fan. We love him in France.  That is terrible that they fired him, it’s sad.  Why would they do that?   Not respectful at all. We would have never done that in France.  We honor him as he should be honored.   Very sad.”


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