Saturday, April 20, 2024

Jackie Collins on a “Power Trip” in West Hollywood at Craig’s, Queen of the Paperback Novelists


Jackie Collins, who knows everything about everyone in Hollywood, commanded a corner table last night at the very hot Craig’s LA restaurant. Her guests were Nancy Valentino, the popular head of PR for People magazine, and legendary music biz manager Barry Krost, who’s been entertaining longtime client Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens).

They were celebrating Jackie’s new bestseller, “The Power Trip,” selling like hot cakes from St. Martin’s Press. Jackie is one of the best people in this nutty town. She’s funny, insightful and unaffected. I missed her at Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy dinner earlier this month. She and her sister, actress Joan Collins, usually captain the most popular table in the joint. But Jackie came down with a bad case of flu. She’s in the pink now and will be at all the Oscar events this weekend.

Barry Krost, by the way, says Yusuf Islam (yes, Cat Stevens to us) is going to produce a documentary about his amazing life.

There’s no recession at Craig’s, that’s for sure. The place was buzzing. “Charmed” star Rose McGowan — currently a platinum blonde– hosted her own table next to Jackie’s, with pals visiting from Augusta, Georgia and points East. Rose is a free spirit and a very independent thinker. How does she handle Hollywood life? “I get out of town once a month,” she told me. “L.A. is a big city, it’s not all the movie business. There’s plenty to do where no one knows who I am or what I do.”

Craig’s isn’t the only busy eatery in town. The Grill on Dayton Way remains the town’s lunchtime cafeteria. On Thursday I ran into Jeffrey Katzenberg, Allen and Debbie Grubman, Lorne Michaels, and Irwin Winkler– all at different tables. On Friday, New York power player Ronald Perelman had a big pow-wow that included Irving Azoff and John Branca. You wonder what these LA people when the New Yorkers aren’t in town!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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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