Thursday, April 18, 2024

Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky on Daughter Paulina’s Engagement to Golfer Dustin Johnson


I did get to meet Wayne Gretzky last night. WTH you ask? On the second floor of Toronto’s Soho House, I ambled over to a banquette and was introduced to 80s actress and pin up Janet Jones, beautiful and lovely as ever, who said, “Do you know my husband, Wayne?”

Hockey fans: what would you say? I’ve met just about everyone but Wayne freakin’ Gretzky? The greatest hockey player of all time? Now, that’s a star.

The Gretzky’s are here in Toronto because Janet plays Mrs. Compson in James Franco’s film version of William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury.” It’s a small part, she says, but the actress who starred in A League of their Own, A Chorus Line, and The Flamingo Kid is back! She came to Toronto with Wayne and their 21 year old baseball player son Trevor, who just finished minor league season with the Anaheim Angels.

The Gretzkys have five kids including 25 year old daughter Paulina, a stunner who’s also a trained singer. Paulina has made tabloid headlines for being engaged to rogue golfer Dustin Johnson. So how’s that working out? “We love him,” Wayne tells me. “I like him more than I like her,” he jokes. Does the NHL superstar ever golf with his son in law to be? “I’m not crazy,” he says. “Dustin’s the real thing.”

The Gretzky were out with young actor Jacob Loeb, a new Francophile, who plays Quentin in “S&F” and stars in Franco’s “Bukowski” as well and looks like a young James Franco. Nice guy, too.

Did I get my picture taken with Wayne Gretzky? No. Am I kicking myself now? Yes. What’s he up to these days? “Just following these people around,” he said, pointing to wife and son. It’s ok. He’s done just fine.

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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