Dean Martin

Dean Martin

By Jill Jackson
HOLLYWOOD … Hilary Swank’s name gets bigger and bigger as her career grows with every film — and she’s not going to change it. My mentor Frances Marion told me in the old days that a movie star had to have a pretty name like Bessie Love. But not today. If you’re a star and your name is Ivanivich and you want it to stay that way, it stays that way. Hooray for independence!

Aside to Vivian M. of Hamong, La.: Yes, I knew Dean Martin. We first met when I had radio and TV shows in New Orleans, and he guested. Then I came out here to Hollywood and was in the movie “Airport,” in which he starred. For six weeks I sat in the plane that he “piloted,” and we all chatted during breaks and everyone got to know everyone else pretty well.

If I see one more long blond hairdo, parted in the middle, hanging straight as if ironed, I’m going to type bad words. Let’s hear it for the brunettes a bit. P.S. I’m a blonde (but it’s short and parted on the side).

It’s a while yet till October, but already Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are readying their act for “Carousel of Hope,” a big charity event to benefit childhood diabetes. It’s going to be a gala gala event, with Jay Leno as emcee. Halle Berry and Quincy Jones also will participate. Since its founding 32 years ago, the Carousel of Hope has raised more than $75 million! Wonderful, wouldn’t you say?

Aside to Florence G. of Atlanta: You ask if I knew Jimmy Durante. Yes and no. Back when I first started out on TV in New Orleans, he would bring his act to the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel. Then he would come to my studio for an interview. He was a lovely, sweet, funny man, but that was on a business basis. I really didn’t know him personally. But I do know he was a wonderful entertainer.

Julia Roberts looks different every time she makes an appearance on “The Late Show.” Her hair is a different color each time. Also, it seems like every interview David Letterman does with the stars, they always talk about their kids and their dogs. I wish Dave would take that bite out of his leg and get it over with. Just joking, folks!
BITS ‘N’ PIECES: Great combination: Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver team in a thriller titled “Cold Light of Day.” … When I started writing a showbiz column, the red carpet was just a rug for guests to walk on in lieu of the cement pavement. Now everything is “red carpet, red carpet.” It’s a star. … Heard on a golf course: One golfer to another, “What’s your handicap?” Replies the other guy, “Honesty.” … And Hollywood is called “The Land of Make Believe” because actors always make believe they are someone else.

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.