EXCLUSIVE Barbara Walters threw herself quite an 85th birthday party at the newly refurbished Rainbow Room over the weekend fit for a queen. The star of the party, according to sources, was Paul McCartney, who came with wife Nancy, Barbara’s second cousin. The M’s were seated at Walters’ table along with venerated columnists Liz Smith and Cindy Adams, former Mayor Mike Bloomberg and gf Diana Taylor, and Henry and Nancy Kissinger. Yes, Barbara’s friendship with Kissinger from the 1970s persists to this day.
The hostesses for the party were Princess Firya of Jordan, Annette de la Renta (wife of Oscar), Marie Josee Kravis (wife of Henry), and Nicole Seligman (wife of former NY Schools Chancellor Joel Klein).
Guests included not only the Russian ambassador but the Israeli one too, as well as Frank Langella, Charlie Rose, Gayle King, David Geffen, Peggy Siegal, Mort and Linda Janklow, former ABC News chief David Westin and wife Sherry, super lawyer David Boies, Patricia Duff and Richard Cohen, and Allen and Debbie Grubman.
Not spotted: anyone from “The View” or Diane Sawyer or anyone from the current regime at ABC. (Or Richard Nixon, who was out of town.)
The big show stopper: the band– there was a band, ‘natch, it’s the Rainbow Room— played McCartney’s “I Saw Her Standing There.” The ex Beatle scooped Walters up onto the dance floor, took the mic from the bandleader, and sang his famous song to her! “Barbara was shaking she was so excited,” says a source. “One hundred fifty 6o to 80 years old got up and started Twisting and shrieking. Paul woke up his fan base.”
Barbara shares birthday — September 25th– with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, who’ve celebrated with her in the past but couldn’t make it. Their other 9/25 pal was the late Christopher Reeve.