Monday, July 22, 2024

RIP Norby Walters, Hollywood Character Who Invented Night of 100 Stars, Ran Famous A List Poker Game


I am very sorry to report the death of Norby Walters, a youthful 91 years old.

Norby’s death was reported on Facebook by his son, movie producer Gary Michael Walters.

Norby was a real Hollywood guy. He invented the Night of 100 Stars, an annual charity fundraiser held on Oscar during the broadcast, at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was basically a huge party for former stars, past favorites, lots of TV people. You would run into Bo Derek, Lassie, Flipper, the stars of “Dallas,” that sort of thing. They came in droves and had to be out when the Oscars ended so a studio — usually Miramax — would take over to celebrate their wins.

Norby also ran a famous poker game for gambling celebs at his apartment in the Empire West in West Hollywood. Lots of real A list stars went there, and it was serious money. 

I really adored Norby and looked forward to seeing him on my trips west. He had a big heart and remained optimistic as Hollywood changed around him He deserves a star on the Walk of Fame more than most. I hope that poker game in the sky is going great. Peace, Norby. Condolences to Gary.

Here’s a link to more of his colorful career:

Comedian Jeffrey Ross just posted on Instagram: “Well my old poker pal Norby Walters finally folded. Me, @sarahkatesilverman and @jeffgarlin were the young comics who got invited to play poker with Norby’s pals like Harvey Corman, Jerry Vale, Charles Durning, Sid Caesar and so many other legends. Buddy Hackett took me over there for the first time. Lots of great stories and free Chinese food. Norby was in the music biz and is mentioned in a lot of early rap songs. His Oscar parties were epic. Norby kept all the stars humble by repeating his mantra, “Never too big”!”

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A post shared by Jeff Ross (@therealjeffreyross)

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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