Linda Ronstadt: may I tell you how wonderful she is? She came to Los Angeles from her home in San Francisco to accept an award on Saturday night. The award — from the AARP’s “Movies for Grown Ups”– was for the documentary made about her currently playing on CNN called “The Sound of My Voice.” She is battling Parkinson’s Disease.
Linda can only walk short distances. Otherwise she’s in a wheelchair. She stood to accept her award and make a speech with her good friend, Maria Muldaur, at her side. You remember Maria: she had many hits in the 70s also, including “Midnight at the Oasis.”
Linda is still charming and beautiful and smart. But she’s suffering. She told me before the show started: “This may be my last trip to L.A. for this sort of thing. It’s just too painful.” She means, actual pain. I sure hope she doesn’t stop traveling and seeing people. She is a gem. Her fans love her. She got a standing ovation when she arrived at the podium, not because she’s sick, but for her whole career.
In the ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel she wasn’t alone. Alan Alda is tackling the disease, too. But he rose to the occasion when it was time to present Noah Baumbach with an award for “Marriage Story.” You would never know he’s in pain, too. Like Michael J. Fox and others — including a friend of mine in Los Angeles — Alan and Linda are warriors. God bless ’em.