Thursday, April 25, 2024

NY PR Legend Bobby Zarem Gets a Hilarious, Touching Send Off with Stars, Media Pals from All Over


He loved New York. Bobby Zarem died in September 2021 so on Monday night his famous friends celebrated him at Michael’s restaurant in midtown Manhattan.

“Downton Abbey” star Elizabeth McGovern and her director husband Simon Curtis (“My Week with Marilyn”) came right over after landing from their London flight. Broadway star Melissa Errico and husband Patrick McEnroe, super model Christy Turlington, “Knots Landing” star Michele Lee, Linda Janklow (her late husband was legendary literary agent Mort Janklow) were among the celebrity guests.

The evening was organized by “Harry Potter” Broadway producer Colin Callender and his wife, Elizabeth, playwright Bill Augustin, former gossip columnists Joanna Molloy and George Rush, producer/casting director Bonnie Timmerman, mega Hollywood manager Jason Weinberg, Lisa Kaminsky, and producer Jon Furay among others. NY Times editor Peter Khoury was in the house, along with Broadway producer Judy Gordon, former Forbes exec Monie Begley, Jill Brooke of, Kim Garfunkel, publicist Lauren London, Ann Jones, Patti D’Arbanville, and NY Daily News gossip Richard Johnson. Whew!

There were a lot of laughs as one by one guests reminisced about Bobby’s famous friends (like Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino) and enemies (many), his love of theater, how he spent most late nights at Elaine’s, creating the Savannah Film Festival, and the landmark “I Love New York” ad campaign that brought New York back to life in the 1980s. Alec Baldwin sent a message to be read.

Bobby would reveled in the attention. In the his day, it was very exciting to receive one of his invitations to a book party at Elaine’s or dinners around town that Elaine didn’t know about. I owe Bobby a lot. In 1999 he invited me to a party for Mama’s & Papa’s singer Michelle Phillips (who sent beautiful flowers to the Michael’s event) at the China Club. I wound up meeting lifelong friends Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker. He networked the whole city, and his absence leaves a hole in our lives.

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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