PRESS

Media mentions on the work of Patricia Duff


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DUFF JAM

“Duff is back in the spotlight – although this time around she’s the one asking the questions. Last year she launched her own political chat show, Duff Talk, on plum TV, a new niche cable network that caters to the resort communities of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons, Aspen and Vail. She is one of the producers of the show and books most of the guests herself. “The idea was to do an intelligent but not overly serious show where we could talk about the issues,” says Duff.

“She’s extremely smart and knowledgeable about the issues,” says Plum TV’s Woods.


 

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PATRICIA DUFF

DAVID PATRICK COLUMBIA – New York Social Diary

“I was first aware of her in Los Angeles when she was married to Mike Medavoy and an activist in Democratic Party politics as well as other environmental and political issues. Patricia Duff was the most high profile entertainment industry-related female political figure in Los Angeles. It was she who was instrumental in the mid-1980s in introducing Governor Bill Clinton to L. A. Democratic Party supporters and contributors. Clinton was relatively unknown in national party politics and was only one of many potential candidates and party leaders whom Duff presented to Southern California Democrats …. She quickly established herself as an independent and forceful individual in the forums she participated in.”


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Cover Story – WOMEN WE LOVEPolitical Hotshot – Patricia Duff Medavoy

Esquire Magazine

 “Women We Love,” “Political Hotshot – Patricia Medavoy,” “As a mogul’s wife, she could just as easily take lunch at Le Dome and perfect her workout. Instead, she hot-wires L.A. to Washington, driving the entertainment community to support the homeless, the hungry, and the environment. If Hollywood has a conscience, she’s it.”


 

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“POWER BLOC”

By ROBERT SHEER – INTERVIEW Magazine

“… Politics in Hollywood these days is two great-looking women and one rumpled guy huddled in the corner of Hamburger Hamlet on Century Park East plotting who deserves to become the next president of the United States…”

“… Patricia Duff Medavoy… Betsy Kenny…and Danny Goldberg…They are the driving force behind the Show Coalition, one of the star-studded liberal groups that are putting new-age politics on the national stag. Only a year old, the Show Coalition now includes Richard Dreyfuss. Robert Foxworth of Falcon Crest, Donna Mills of Knots Landing, Ed Begley, Jr. of St. Elsewhere, and directors such as Sydney Pollack and Phil Alden Robinson … ”

“‘ There are a lot of people whose first political involvement was the ‘84 Hart campaign,’ says Betsy Kenny, Princeton ‘83, an always collected brunette…’For the people in California,’ she adds, ‘the Hart experience was very happy. He won the state. So this was a group that was very eager to be with Hart in ‘88. Once they had gotten a taste of activism, it was something they continued to do, and I think that Show Coalition came out of that.’ …”

” But these leaders of Show Coalition are determined to build something more…They are serious about using their Hollywood power base, which translates into media skills as well as money and celebrity contacts. …At the moment, HWPC and Show Coalition are at the center of this new movement that aims to secure a leading role in the national liberal scene ˆ defining and pushing such issues as peace, the environment, and women’s rights rather than just rolling over for visiting west coast heavies…”

” Betsy … ‘I’m here because there’s an openness to ideas and people and an intellectual ferment that’s accessible to newcomers.’” (more)


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HARPER’S BAZAAR

West Coast Wonder Woman

“Medavoy recently founded Show Coalition, a national political education network of entertainment industry leaders featuring policy discussions with candidates, seminars and forums on current issues. ‘We’re organizing the new generation of Hollywood leadership,’ she says.”


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LOS ANGELES TIMES Magazine Cover Story

“89 for 89 – During the Coming Year These are the Rising Young Stars to Watch in Southern California”

“The editors and writers of The Times have chosen some of the brightest of Southern California’s rising stars to showcase The people profiled in the following pages already have achieved a measure of greatness in the respective fields.. but were picked because of their potential to achieve even greater fame and recognition Patricia Duff Medavoy…the Georgetown University graduate first came west with the Hart campaign in 1984, rallying support from Jack Nicholson, Robin Williams and Rob Lowe, among others. Her work on U.S. Senate and congressional races continued to mesh Hollywood and politics. But having been associate producer of last summer’s Democratic convention…”


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The Real Life of a Hollywood Wife

“Even in the late Eighties, Hollywood is a man’s town intriguing, in fact, are Hollywood wives. And wife hardly means “little woman.” Witness Pat Medavoy…wife of Mike Medavoy, Orion Pictures’s executive vice president…She wrote Jimmy Carter position papers… she associate-produced the Democratic National Convention…From Georgetown University she went to a job at a Congressional committee reinvestigating John F. Kennedy’s death. Then to a great-American women series. On to working for pollster Pat Caddell…”


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The First Ladies of Hollywood

“She is at first glance, the picture of a Hollywood Wife…groomed carefully to a casual elegance…Had we found the last of a dying breed? Was this a Hollywood wife? ‘I’m leaving for Atlanta…There’s a lot to do.’ She is the associate producer of next week’s Democratic National Convention, working with the Smith-Hemion production group. She is beyond busy…This First Lady of Hollywood will be one of the most powerful women in Tinseltown if Dukakis is elected. She is major in the Hollywood Women’s Political Caucus and SHOW (Coalition), political groups which have showcased the presidential hopefuls here in Southern California. She is not in Atlanta to ensure that everyone has a good time…’I won’t have time to go to any of the parties.’…’Politics has been passion of mine all my life. I got it from my mother. She was a serious Kennedy Democrat.’…Medavoy, a native Californian, went to high school in Brussels at the International School. Her father, an executive with an American company, moved the family to Europe and Medavoy grew up in Bonn, Brussels and Switzerland… She has a remarkable successful home life. And she does it all with almost no assistance ‚ no private secretary…What doe she think of the fulltime social animals in Hollywood? “Well, they may exist, those Hollywood wives.’ She laughs. ‘I never met one. I think now that sort of woman, an appendage of her husband, is an anachronism.’ ‘I honestly believe in the democratic process…You know, we really can make things happen as individuals’…”


New_York_Daily_News_logo

Richard Schwartz is a New York Daily News columnist

Look out, divorce court “…Today, Duff is a compelling voice for matrimonial court reform. She’s helping organize scores of city parents who were abused by the system and now hope to reform it. Advice to the legal geniuses: Listen to them…” (To read the rest of this and other articles on Duff’s efforts in matrimonial reform, click here)


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ENTERTAINMENT

The Studio Shuffle : Mike Medavoy

December 18, 1994 | CLAUDIA ELLER

Then: Chairman of TriStar Pictures, 1990-1994. Now: In process of launching entertainment company with two partners and investors. * He no longer wields power as one of Hollywood’s handful of movie studio moguls. But don’t tell Mike Medavoy he’s any less a player today than he was for the two decades when he was a top executive at United Artists, Orion Pictures or, most recently, TriStar Pictures.


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NEWS

Rising Activism : Hollywood and Politics: a New Grit

October 10, 1989 | JOHN BALZAR, Times Political Writer

Money and glamour always have been Hollywood’s easy entre to politics. Let others sweat it out in cigar smoke and crowded meeting halls; democracy here has been accompanied by the tinkling of cocktail glasses and properly hip parlor chatter.

But something else is stirring now. Here and there in Hollywood are the sounds of fine Italian shoe leather hitting the asphalt and the rustle of silk sleeves being rolled up. Here and there, Hollywood is getting its hands dirty at the work of politics.

Standing-Room Breakfasts

–Week in and week out, an assortment of Hollywood producers and lawyers and mangers rub the sleep from their eyes in the early mornings. Calling themselves the Show Coalition, they fill standing-room-only breakfast meetings to hear and question a parade of national political leaders. At night in their homes, they conduct talking sessions. And on weekends, it’s issue seminars. These are not fund-raisers but rather the breeding grounds for broader and more organized political activity by Hollywood.

Shake Their Heads

Some visiting pols, when speaking not for attribution, shake their heads at the emptiness of the Hollywood fund-raising ritual. Certain contributors want only to ride in the limousines. Others want a set of tennis with a notable from C-SPAN. Some just want a politician in their living room. Cliches are passed off for wisdom. Ideology is of greater value than insight. There is an airy detachment to anything except the celebrityhood of politics, and money.

The new generation of activists is determined to live down this bedeviling stereotype.

Show Coalition is a group of industry artists and professionals who banded together after the collapse of the 1988 presidential campaign of former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart. The group has now grown to more than 200 members and any number of other followers.

Chiefly, the coalition offers a way for the politically inclined to get together and feel their way through the complex policies and personalities of American politics. It has served as an introductory force in the political resurgence of Hollywood. Here is where officeholders can meet to meet potential supporters and contributors, and where Hollywood activists can find outlets for their political energy.

At first glance, Show Coalition presents a paradox. Here are Hollywood liberals dining at the private Regency club on $25 breakfast muffins, demanding answers to the questions of hunger and homelessness. Here are Hollywood liberals, in cashmere and silk and gold, raising questions about the “scourge of Republican materialism.”

Spurious, you say?

Perhaps, or probably. But it is possible to view these men and women as scarred veterans of the acquisitive wars, those who won big but who still find themselves unsatisfied–and therefore are eminently qualified to question obsessive materialism.

“A lot of these people are coming to a moment in their lives where they are taking serious stock of who they are, what they are, and the environment in which they live. It’s been a fast-line ride for a lot of them to make themselves professional successes. Now, they’re taking a second look,” said Robert L. Burkett, who is full-time political and philanthropic operative for multimillionaire newspaper heir and movie producer Ted Field.

Some of them are impatient to do more than just look.

Patricia Duff Medavoy, a producer and coalition chair, said the group begins a significant transformation from talk to action at a general membership meeting Oct. 21. She said she will encourage a down-to-earth game plan that emphasizes local problems–“to look here at the urban problems right here in front of us . . . problems like the homeless, or libraries in the inner city.”

“We don’t want to be involved in just elitist politics, but also to look here in our own back yards,” Duff Medavoy said.

In addition to Show Coalition, a select few entertainment leaders have taken the step of establishing their own political organizations. Norman Lear is a modern pioneer of the idea with his People for the American Way. That group now claims 300,000 members and operates on its own. But, with his full-time political aide Betsy Kenny, Lear remains an organizational force in the industry. Producer Ted Field has done much the same thing by hiring Burkett.

More recently, Richard Dreyfuss hired a political lieutenant, Donna Bojarsky, a prominent figure in the Westside Jewish community. Among Dreyfuss’ political passions is the quest for peace in the Mideast. Gary Goldberg, the creator of “Family Ties,” and his wife, Diana Meechan, have hired political organizer Marlene Saritzky, formerly executive director of the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, to run their foundation. Their concern is primarily family issues.


The Huffington Post The Huffington Post (May 30, 2012)

A Way to Fix Our Politically Polarized State?

By DAVID HELFENBEIN – Political Contributor/ HuffPo –

I recently attended an event in New York City held by The Common Good, featuring Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, authors of the new book, It’s Even Worst Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.

Mann and Ornstein discussed the importance of expanding the electorate in order to decrease polarization in American government. In their book, they write how Republican-dominated state governments have moved in the past two years to narrow the franchise for partisan political gain.

The authors believe that such concerted efforts to raise roadblocks to voting haven’t been evident since the days of the poll tax in the 1950s and 1960s and they believe that these new efforts may increase but also note that laws to restrict or constrain voting via voter ID or other methods in Mississippi, Texas and South Carolina must be cleared in advance by the Justice Department under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

As evidence has shown, voter ID laws place both a costly and high burden on individuals which leads to the disenfranchisement of the poor and also affects many minority voters. The proposals that Mann and Ornstein suggest (should voter ID laws be enacted) include mandating that people must be able to obtain any government ID required for voting for free and at a reasonable proximity to voting locations and require that polling places accept student IDs in addition to government issued IDs.

The legal and political consequences of disenfranchisement are, of course, not new. According to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, jurisdictions that have a history of suppressing minority voters must demonstrate that the newly enacted measure will not disproportionately disenfranchise registered minority voters. New laws enacted in several states, such as those attempted recently in Texas, have not met this standard…


The Common Good, headed by Patricia Duff, had a media coup, by being the first organization to have Jill Abramson, former New York Times Executive Editor, as a speaker.

  Women’s Wear Daily (Alexandra Steigrad)

Jill Abramson’s Media Blitz

The recently ousted executive editor of The New York Times is suddenly everywhere — perhaps to the dismay of her former employer.

By Alexandra Steigrad

ABRAMSON’S BLITZ: Jill Abramson, the recently ousted executive editor of The New York Times, is suddenly everywhere. Perhaps to the dismay of her former employer. Abramson, who was dismissed in May, gave two interviews on Tuesday, one on WABC 77 AM radio with Rita Cosby and Pat Kiernan, and the other with nonprofit organization The Common Good.

While the latter touched on the state of political journalism, the former addressed her departure from the newspaper. “I look back on it with a lot of pride, because I had a wonderful career at The New York Times. It’s true that my departure was abrupt,” Abramson said. “I love journalism today as much as I always have.”

Although the reason for Abramson’s departure was never overtly spelled out, as widely reported, chairman and publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. released a series of statements pointing to Abramson’s poor management style. Cosby and Kiernan asked Abramson directly about her thoughts on that. “That is what he has said publicly,” she said, adding that she led a newsroom that “upheld the best of journalism. “I respect Mr. Sulzberger. He said what he said and that is his take,” Abramson offered, but bristled when Cosby asked her about sexism at the Times. “I’m now past the point of wanting to rehash these issues,” she said. “I’m not going to talk about that.” But she did talk about that in a story for Cosmopolitan, which will appear in its September issue. A shortened version was published on the magazine’s Web site Tuesday, in which Abramson admitted to experiencing “sexism” during story sessions at the Times. She noted that her ideas were often credited to male colleagues. “I didn’t pipe up in real time. I did grouse about it with other women in the office, which, in some ways, is safer and more cowardly but is very comforting and kind of gratifying,” she said.

Abramson’s interviews precede two splashier appearances this week. Today, Abramson will sit down with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, at 7 p.m., for a live televised interview, and on Thursday, Yahoo’s Katie Couric will release her interview with Abramson. According to reports, she will talk to Couric about the challenges facing women in the workplace, life at the Times and the changing media landscape. Abramson has already touched on those hot-button issues following her termination from the Times when she delivered Wake Forest University’s commencement address in late May. In that speech, she spoke vaguely about her dismissal and about resilience in the face of discrimination.


The New York Times (June 20th 2013)

Weiner Wants City to Test Single-Payer Health Care

Vowing to “make New York City the single-payer laboratory in the country” if he is elected mayor, Anthony D. Weiner on Thursday presented an ambitious plan to create a Medicare-like system for the coverage of municipal workers, retirees and uninsured immigrant residents left out of the Affordable Care Act. […] His talk, at a public lecture series sponsored by the Common Good, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, at a City University of New York branch on West 67th Street, stirred enthusiasm and interest. In the hour before he spoke, word of Mr. Weiner’s proposal galvanized other Democratic candidates for mayor to issue hurried news releases on health care.


New York Post (January 31st 2013)

Mark Kelly Talks Gun Control Following Gabby Giffords Testimony

Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords

Members of the nonprofit group The Common Good were given an off-the-record preview Tuesday byMark Kelly, the astronaut hero husband of former congresswoman and gun assault survivor Gabby Giffords, of the testimony he would give before the Senate Judicary Committee on proposed gun-control legislation. He said, “Both my parents were cops. They owned guns, I’ve owned guns, Gabby’s owned guns. We are not anti-gun, but we need sensible laws to protect our families from senseless tragedies.” The crowd included Beth Rudin DeWoody, Sharon Handler LoebMichelle Paige Paterson, entrepreneur Peter Thomas RothPatricia Duff,Star Jones, lawyer Robert Pietrzak and Steve Buffone.


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Bipartisan fun in DC 

“One of the hottest invites in DC on Saturday night was the bipartisan inauguration party thrown by Patricia Duff’s The Common Good. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy rubbed shoulders at the posh Cosmos Club on Embassy Row. The New York congressional delegation was well-represented with Carolyn MaloneyJerry Nadler and Joe Crowley.

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro attended with his brother and identical twin, Rep. Joaquín Castro, in matching tuxedos, and told the story of how in high school they dated two girls (not related) with the same name. Grover Norquist was huddled in a corner with former ambassador and real-estate magnate Joe Paolino and lawyer Richard Farley talking about the debt ceiling. Other New York notables in attendance included Dennis and Coralie PaulVictor Kovner and Orin Kramer.” [MORE]


CNN Money Fortune Magazine Banner CNN Money (December 4, 2012)

Alan Simpson paints dire market outlook

By Allan Dodds Frank – In a speech in New York City Monday to a non-partisan, politically-attuned group called The Common Good, Simpson said the stalemate that appears to be playing out in the news may be what is really going on in Washington with Congress, even behind the scenes. alan-simpson“I don’t really feel they are playing games now. I think they are totally confused,” Simpson said. “But they know the President has one basic thing on his mind: raising taxes on the rich and let me tell you folks: That’s going to happen.” Both Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Democrat from the Clinton administration who co-chaired the commission that put out a 64-page plan for reform entitled “The Moment of Truth,” have been under non-stop attack since their report was released two years ago. Simpson says Bowles “used to think we had a chance not to go off the cliff, but now he thinks it is a one-third chance. I think we will go off the cliff and the markets will call the shots and the chaos will be destructive.”


The New Yorker   (May 30, 2012)

Naked Truths 

By HENDRIK HERTZBERG

In the non-fairy-tale world we actually live in, nobody pays much attention if some random urchin on a street corner starts shouting that a feared and lofty potentate isn’t wearing any clothes. But if the shouters are a pair of prestigious guardians of public rectitude and upholders of the ancient traditions of civic morality, then word that the emperor in question is not just buck naked but scrofulous and syphilitic just might begin to trickle down to the lower orders.

Such a duo of über-respectables are Thomas E. Mann, a luminary of the ever so slightly left-of-center Brookings Institution, and Norman J. Ornstein, an ornament of the somewhat more firmly right-of-center American Enterprise Institute, both of whom used to communicate in tones of calm, non-inflammatory reassurance. Such a street corner is the Washington Post, and such a potentate is—well, here’s the headline over Mann and Ornstein’s double-length op-ed, which landed on Georgetown stoops a few Sundays ago: “Let’s Just Say It: The Republicans Are the Problem.” Oh dear. How very impolite.

A sample: We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach. Elsewhere on this site, George Packer writes that while sentiments like these have been coming from some surprising quarters lately, “Mann and Ornstein are the unlikeliest polemicists of all.”

Their Post piece was a bugle call for their new book, provocatively titled “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism. ” Naturally, Mann and Ornstein were in town the other day for a bit of book tourism. At a lunch sponsored by The Common Good, Patricia Duff’s floating political salon, Ornstein said that the nonpartisan reputations which he and Mann have earned over their long careers represent a store of capital, and that the Republican Party’s comprehensive lurch to the extreme right had persuaded them that “now is the time to spend that capital.”

Both parties have become more ideologically uniform—more “parliamentary.” But they are not symmetrical. Moderation, a visible if not dominant tendency in the G.O.P. as late as the Bush père Administration, is now an almost exclusively Democratic phenomenon. Third-party fantasists like Tom Friedman and Matt Miller, pining for a Presidential candidate of centrist moderation, seem not to have noticed that we already have one—Barack Obama.

When it was Mann’s turn to speak, he remarked that it is no longer accurate to describe the Democrats as the liberal party and the Republicans as the conservative party. It’s closer to the truth to say that the Democrats are the conservative party and the Republicans the radical party. “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks” is a cogent, concise, and, in its think-tanky way, passionate book. One of its strengths is that the authors go beyond simply (and quite persuasively) scolding the Republicans. They recognize that the G.O.P.’s “New Politics of Extremism” is enabled by “the American Constitutional System,” broadly understood…


Wall Street Journal (May 27, 2011)

 Fashionable Crowd for ‘Style Wars’

By MARSHALL HEYMAN — The 1983 documentary “Style Wars” is often cited as an inspiration for contemporary artists, filmmakers and people who consider themselves—or, in fairness, we consider—coolhunters. Made in New York by Henry Chalfant and the late Tony Silver, it chronicles the lives of street artists who traffic in graffiti, break dancing and rapping. People with names like Demon and Spank and Quik and Iz the Wiz and Trap and Daze and Crash and Shy 147. People who sound like they would pretty much liven up any party. The Wall Street JournalOn Wednesday at Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs, a relatively new venue in TriBeCa co-owned by the hockey player Sean Avery, The Common Good held a fund-raiser for the restoration of the damaged negative of “Style Wars.” (It was damaged through years of storage.) The Common Good, founded by Patricia Duff, is a nonprofit devoted to motivating and inspiring Americans to “become more involved in civic affairs and the political process.” “This is the coolest group of people ever,” said the actress Catherine Keener of the crowd, which included such folks as the designer/actress Mary-Kate Olsen (who said she’s looking forward to a two-week vacation, her first in ages, next month); Mr. Chalfant and his wife, the stage actress Kathleen of “Wit” (who was wearing a pin that read “Well behaved women seldom make history); the fashion designer Charlotte Ronson; the breakdancer Mr. Freeze of the Rock Steady Crew; the graffiti artist Eric Haze; the Brooklyn-based subway artist Lee Quinones; Jerry Ferrara, a.k.a. the Brooklyn-born actor who plays Turtle on “Entourage” and the filmmaker Spike Jonze who directed Ms. Keener in several films. The Wall Street JournalTo make it all even cooler, the B-Boys and Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs showed up at the after-party at the Bunker Club. There, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys was spinning and folks like Brad Pitt, Mark Ronson and Mr. Brainwash (the subject of yet another renegade art documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop”) had donated art. Spike Jonze “We’re really interested in engaging younger people,” said Ms. Duff, as she ushered guests from cocktails downstairs to that bar upstairs for dinner. “Good luck,” she added. “It’s a squeeze.” Well, they don’t call it Tiny’s because it’s big. A lot of cool people who seemed to be speaking their own artistic vocabulary crammed into a small (pretty warm, for what it’s worth) room to celebrate Mr. Chalfant, who was also being given an award. “Henry was always interested in those ephemeral masterpieces that disappeared, of which there was no record,” Ms. Chalfant said. “He recognized them as works of art.” Public institutions, it seems, have finally caught up with him: MoCA, in downtown L.A., recently opened a show called “Art in the Streets,” which runs through early August and was curated by Jeffrey Deitch. It is, according to MoCA, the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art. Mr. Chalfant explained that when he and Mr. Silver were following their subjects, people thought “these two then middle-aged white guys were organizing the biggest bust in history.” The Wall Street Journal“Now his subjects are middle-aged white guys,” said Mr. Haze, as the burrata, arugula and rhubarb jam appetizer was being served. Mr. Chalfant went on: “It was not our idea in the beginning to put all these wonderful things in a film. We just picked up our cameras. You just set out to do something, but never in a million years did I imagine it would become this. I had no idea then. It really was just about fun.”


about fun.”

The New York Post New York Post (May 21, 2011)

Pitching in to save ‘Style’

Last Updated: 2:51 AM, May 21, 2011 Posted: 1:44 AM, May 21, 2011 Top artists and actors are supporting a bid to restore the original damaged film of “Style Wars,” a historic documentary about New York’s early ’80s street culture and graffiti art. Catherine Keener, Charlotte Ronson and David Arquette, along with nonprofit organization The Common Good, are hosting a dinner and party at the Bunker Club on May 25, where the film’s late director, Tony Silver, and producer Henry Chalfant will be honored. Guests expected include James FrancoSpike JonzeSean AveryHilary Rhoda, Rock Steady Crew and Mr. Brainwash, the star of the hit Banksy documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” The negative for “Style Wars” was damaged during years in storage. It is hoped it can be repaired using costly digital technology. To help raise money, art has been donated for a silent auction by Brad PittRachel Roy, the Beastie Boys, Mr. Brainwash and Shepard Fairey, among others. Read more: [MORE]


US Weekly US Weekly

 Mary-Kate Olsen: Style Wars with Sean Avery!

Better in Black Mary Kate OlsenCatherine Keener and Mary-Kate Olsen attended a celebration of Style Wars hosted by The Common Good, Levi’s Film workshop and Keener on Wednesday in NYC. Mary-Kate Olsen meets up with former flame, NHL star Sean Avery, at a dinner party celebrating 25 years of “Style Wars” on Wednesday (May 25) at Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs in NYC. The 24-year-old fashion mogul, who previously dated Sean back in 2007, also met up with actress Catherine Keener who hosted the bash along with The Common Good and Levi’s Film Workshop. MK and twin sis Ashley have joined a handful of designers who are using the Made-in-America label to lure wealthy shoppers to their line The Row. Olsen and Avery “There is a customer that appreciates that the product is made in the United States and is willing to pay for the difference,” Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio del Vecchio told Bloomberg. FYI: Catherine is wearing Dolce&Gabbana. Credit: Jason Kempin; Photos


The New York OBSERVER (May 18, 2012)

Betabeat – Mark Ruffalo Goes Green for The Common Good

By DREW GRANT 

Waiting in the lobby of the Midtown East home of the interior designer wet dream penthouse apartment of John and Andrea Stark, we heard the bellhop turn to one of our companions waiting in line for the elevator. “You’re the Hulk, aren’t you??!” The young man asked feverishly, as if hoping that the actor in our midst would suddenly turn green and start screaming in nouns and verbs. “Yes, Mark Ruffalo, nice to meet you,” he said.

The elevator doors opened, and the anti-hydrofracking advocate attempted to enter, as we were already running a little late to an event for The Common Good, Patricia Duff‘s non-profit public advocacy group. The bellhop stepped in front of the open door, barring entrance. “Hey, can I get a picture?” He asked, breaking really the only rule of being a good hotel employee. The door almost dinged shut, but we grabbed it with our hands. Mr. Ruffalo looked slightly pained, but put on his game face. “Sure!” he said, while one of his people snapped a picture. “Okay, up we go! Can’t keep the ladies waiting!” The Hulk took a dapper step into the elevator and winked at us. Upstairs at the rug mogul’s lavish two-story condo, we grabbed a Grey Goose and introduced ourselves to Ms. Stark, who didn’t seem at all worried that her guests might spill canapes on the floor.

Ms. Duff, wearing a stunning red ensemble, confidently introducing guests to Mr. Ruffalo before a short presentation up on the deck. Among those in attendance were philanthropist Elaine Sargent, lawyer Jonathan Goldberg, mystery writer Harper Dimmerman, tea guru Tracy Stern, fashion writer Michele Gerber Klein, plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Greenberg, artist Jenna Lash, actress Cassandra Seidenfeld, Dr. Robert Grant, actor Franco Porporino Jr. and Bar Candy’s Erica Lancellotti. Fashionista Jean Shafiroff, fresh off her stint as a tastemaker on Ike Ude‘s the Chic Index, was also in attendance. Over by the entrance, the parents of Buzzfeed’s John Steinberg were talking about their son’s culture site. “Maybe I’m biased, but it’s my homepage on the Internet,” said the proud father. “It’s just a great source of political information.” “You should tried to get a job there,” his mother stage-whispered to us. “You know they just hired someone from New York Magazine!”

Producer Austin Stark strode in around 7:30. “What are you doing here?” we asked. We hadn’t seen Mr. Stark since the premiere of his latest feature, Detachment. “Um, this is my parents’  house,” he told us. Oh: Stark, Stark. That made sense. We were waiting to run into Tony Stark at the bar. (It would fit with The Avengers theme of the evening.) Ms. Duff reintroduced us to Mr. Ruffalo. “We met on the elevator,” he replied drolly.

Seeing if we could actually make Hulk smash, we asked Mr. Ruffalo about his current work opposing hydrolic fracturing. “At first I believed what people said, that it was going to save us from our dependance on coal, that it was going to be clean energy,” Mr. Ruffalo told us. “But then my family moved upstate, where they are actually poisoning the drinking water with all the carcinogens. You can’t drink the tap water where we are. And all this toxic water has to go somewhere. It’s filled with carbon dioxide, it’s just poison sediment leaking into the water. Do you know that soon there will only be 2.5 million liters of clean water left in the world? All our wars are going to be over drinkable water. And it’s going to be found on the coasts; at the Finger Lakes and the Hudson. And we’re depleting it! We’re speeding up the process of running out of water!”

By this point, Mr. Ruffalo was almost yelling. “You might want to save your voice for the speeches,” one of the guests said gently. Literary agent Karen Zahler told him he should be writing a book. “Right, but when am I going to find the time?” As if on cue, the actor was whisked away upstairs to speak to the crowd. One thing can be said about Mr. Ruffalo: he is much more articulate about his chosen cause in person than he was on The Colbert Report.


The New York Post  New York Post (March 14, 2012)

New York City’s Newscast Legend Sue Simmons — Going, But Not For Long!

By LIZ SMITH And more from our Liz: do high heels hobble women’s power? … Gloria Steinem speaks … “Game Change” raises HBO to the heights  ARE YOU a fan of Gloria Steinem? I am. So the Common Good, courtesy of Patricia Duff, is offering the HBO documentary “Gloria: In Her Own Words,” on March 21 with a discussion following that will feature Gloria in person. There will be a Q&A led by the ebullient Gayle King, now of CBS. Call 212-599-7040 about this event, where you’ll be seeing New York’s “finest” women. The names are too VIP to print them all!


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ENTERTAINMENT

Coming Soon to a Capitol Near You ! : Inaugural: Despite a snafu leaving celebs off guest lists, Clinton fever has set in big time.

January 13, 1993 | ELAINE DUTKA, TIMES STAFF WRITER

Things got off to a rocky start. It was erroneously announced that Elton John would sing at the Presidential gala. A miffed Michael Jackson publicly denied reports that he asked to be the sole star at the only official inaugural performance. Not only were a number of celebrities initially omitted from guest lists, but some high-powered names that made the cut decided to forgo the hassle and stay home.


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ENTERTAINMENT

COVER STORY : Hollywood’s Family Ways : Things haven’t changed since the days of Selznick: It helps to have an uncle–or a father, brother or aunt–in the business. Do Hollywood’s clannish ways affect the movies we see?

January 31, 1993 | TERRY PRISTIN, Terry Pristin is a Times staff writer

“The Son-in-Law Also Rises,” proclaimed a trade paper in 1932 when Louis B. Mayer lured David O. Selznick, husband of his daughter Irene, back to MGM with a lavish deal. These days, at Sony Studios, which occupies MGM’s former premises in Culver City, some of the wives rise too.


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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

Mandela Returns to Seek Support : Diplomacy: The anti-apartheid leader arrived without the fanfare of his visit three years ago. He is on a U.S. tour to raise funds and backing.

July 9, 1993 | CARLA HALL, TIMES STAFF WRITER

South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday for two days of meetings, fund raising and dinners with local community leaders and Hollywood powerbrokers. Mandela, who was welcomed here three years ago in a series of euphoric celebrations, was greeted quietly at noon on the windy runway of a private aviation company at Los Angeles International Airport. Awaiting his arrival was a small entourage that included Rep.


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ENTERTAINMENT

Hollywood’s Party Politics : Clinton, Kerrey Front-Runners on Democratic Circuit

January 31, 1992 | DIANE HAITHMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER

It’s too early in the presidential race to dub any Democratic hopeful the “Hollywood candidate,” but Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton appeared to retain strong backing among entertainment industry activists this week following his denial of accusations of adultery, first carried by a tabloid newspaper. In a community where keyhole journalism is often the source of anguish and lawsuits, even supporters of other popular Democratic candidates, such as Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and Nebraska Sen.


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NEWS

Fund Raising for Clinton Holds Steady : Politics: Tabloid’s allegations are showing little effect on donations. The candidate has collected more money than his rivals.

February 1, 1992 | RONALD BROWNSTEIN, TIMES POLITICAL WRITER

Leslie Danziger was in Texas on a business trip Tuesday when she ran across a notice in her hotel lobby announcing that Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was holding a fund-raising dinner there that night for his Democratic presidential campaign. Danziger, the chief executive officer of a high-technology company in Tucson, said she went back to her room, got on the phone, and after a few calls, tracked down local Clinton campaign officials for details about the event.


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ENTERTAINMENT

Soul-Searching on Violence by the Industry : Hollywood: Do heavy doses of movie and TV violence affect public behavior? Complex issue has no easy answers.

May 18, 1992 | TERRY PRISTIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER

As soon as the Los Angeles riots ended, members of the entertainment community were quick to respond with food and clothing drives, checks and pledges to help reconstruct burned-out buildings. Others have recorded public service announcements or appeared in an all-star video to benefit the South-Central area. A recent industry-sponsored town meeting on the crisis drew a standing-room-only crowd.


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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

A look at noteworthy addresses in the Southland.

September 18, 1992 | Patricia Duff Medavoy, founder of the Show Coalition , a political education network for entertainers, spoke to Town Hall on Tuesday. From her address:

Leadership in the Entertainment Industry “Unfortunately, (the entertainment industry) is so dispersed over such a wide field that it is difficult to pinpoint any particular person or group (responsible for influencing public opinion). . . . All of these various aspects of our popular culture have some influence. You turn on the radio and you hear . . . a rap song about . . . killing cops. You turn on the television and there is a television show with an unwed mother.


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NEWS

Czech Political Fund-Raiser Is Hollywood Chic

April 25, 1990 | JOHN BALZAR, TIMES POLITICAL WRITER

In an unmistakable, if slightly unsettling, exhibition of the torrid velocity of political development in the Eastern Bloc, a Czechoslovakian campaign manager greeted Hollywood this week–right there in Jane Fonda’s living room, at that most refined of California political functions: The chic fund-raiser.


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89 FOR 1989 : Meet Southern California’s Rising Stars

January 1, 1989

The editors and writers of The Times have chosen some of the brightest of Southern California’s rising stars to showcase in this second annual special issue of the magazine. The people profiled in the following pages already have achieved a measure of greatness in their respective fields, but they were picked to be among this select group of 89 because of their potential to achieve even greater fame and recognition.


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NEWS

200 Friends to Toast Reagans at a Secluded Estate

February 1, 1989 | MARYLOUISE OATES

On Feb. 25, Nancy and Ronald Reagan will be welcomed home by about 200 friends at a party given by Mouaffak Al Midani at his sprawling Beverly Hills estate. Don’t be embarrassed if Midani’s name doesn’t ring a bell. Midani is a native of Syria who is sometimes identified as a Saudi Arabian, perhaps because he reportedly owns electric and telephone companies there.


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NEWS

The Rock Activist : Danny Goldberg Is on a Roll, Coalition-Building for a Dazzling Array of Causes

February 10, 1989 | ELAINE WOO, Times Staff Writer

It was a typical morning for Danny Goldberg, rock entrepreneur and political activist extraordinaire. In a Universal City office that looked as if a mild earthquake had just rolled through it–the gold albums and celebrity-inscribed photos of Don Johnson, Sheena Easton and other clients all slightly askew, and wads of paper and loose cassettes scattered on the floor–Goldberg was glued to the phone.


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NEWS

Wolper– Demo for the Bush Push

June 3, 1988 | Marylouise Oates

David Wolper, the mega-producer who brought America the spectacular ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics here, the hoopla of Liberty Weekend and dozens of honored documentaries and miniseries, this summer will be “helping” to bring presidential hopeful George Bush and the Republican National Convention to the folks at home, Hollywood insiders say. That’s right.


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NEWS

Unconventional Delegates : Movie, Television Stars to Play Leading Roles at Democratic National Assembly

July 17, 1988 | ALAN CITRON, Times Staff Writer

Actor Robert Walden has played a lot of parts in his career–from a sleazy Watergate figure to a crusading investigative reporter. But as far as he is concerned, one of his most important roles is a recurring one in the long-running political drama known as the Democratic National Convention.


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NEWS

Assessing the Dukakis Style If the White House Is Home

July 20, 1988 | Marylouise Oates

Oxymoron–a figure of speech in which opposite ideas are combined. Welcome to the era of Dukakis Style. “That’s like saying airline food. Or military intelligence,” one political observer here quipped. Pack away the Lenox china (remember that Nancy Reagan’s cost nearly $1,000 per place setting), push those Adolfos to the back of the closet and take those Hollywood types off the guest list.


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NEWS

Tribute to a Stellar Pair in Theater

July 29, 1988 | Marylouise Oates

There are stars. And then there are people who make stars shine–like playwright Neil Simon and theatrical impresario Bobby Fryer. Now, the stars will shine for them, as Simon and Fryer (to be cited for his 20 years as artistic director of the Ahmanson Theatre) will be honored Sept. 9. A lengthy list of stars who have worked with Simon and/or Fryer will turn out to perform in a tribute orchestrated by ABC’s Gary Pudney.


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NEWS

The Party That Never Panned Out

September 16, 1988 | Marylouise Oates

Two groups of people missed out on the fun at the much-anticipated Mr. Chow party Wednesday night: Group A, those who were not invited, and, Group B, those who showed up. The guest list was like a Chinese menu–a selection from Column A, some from Column B. There were a few brand names–Arnold Schwarzenegger, Audrey and Billy Wilder, producer Doug Cramer.


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ENTERTAINMENT

Political Power Players Stake Out Hollywood

February 5, 1987 | DAVID T. FRIENDLY, Times Staff Writer

When Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.) hits Los Angeles next week, he’ll be the first in a line of political power players courting show-business power players early and ardently. About 500 A-list guests will gather for a $1,500-a-couple party hosted by Michael Eisner, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, and Michael Ovitz, head of the dominant Creative Artists Agency. Dustin Hoffman, The Times has learned, is scheduled as emcee and Whoopi Goldberg and others will entertain.


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NEWS

Kluges’ Party Proves That Yes, There Is a Virginia

November 13, 1987 | Marylouise Oates

Some people weren’t quite sure why they were at the Bistro Garden Wednesday night. No, no, that’s not right. Everyone knew why they had come: They had been invited by John and Patricia Kluge, and he happens to be very, very rich, having what Forbes magazine says are assets of $2.6 billion. So the only thing was, some people weren’t quite sure why the Kluges were having this particular party. It was simple, really.


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ENTERTAINMENT

Hollywood and the Homeless: A Proposition? : Concert Tonight Launches Show-Business Move to Put Initiative on ’88 Ballot

November 24, 1987 | JANE LIEBERMAN, Lieberman, a USC graduate, is a Times intern. and

If there’s a Proposition H on next November’s state election ballot, it could easily stand for Homelessness, Hunger and Hollywood. Californians Working Together Against Hunger and Homelessness, a consortium of entertainment and business leaders headed by State Board of Equalization Chairman Conway Collis, kicks off a drive to put the homeless issue on the state ballot with a benefit at the Universal Amphitheatre tonight at 8:15.


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NEWS

Why Lee Hart Is Back : Her Inner Circle Describes How She Put Aside Scandal and Returned to the Campaign Trail

December 22, 1987 | This story is based on reporting by Times staff writers Nikki Finke in Los Angeles, David DeVoss in Denver and Betty Cuniberti in Washington. It was written by Finke.

Before Gary Hart formally announced last spring that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination, he hosted a weekend camping retreat in the mountains near San Juan Capistrano for his inner circle. One night, as the group gathered around the fire, “there was an open discussion and everyone was throwing in their two cents,” recalls John Emerson, then Hart’s deputy campaign manager and now a deputy Los Angeles city attorney.


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NEWS

Streisand Sings Democrats’ Praises at Benefit

September 8, 1986 | MARYLOUISE OATES, Times Staff Writer

So you didn’t make the Barbra Streisand party–the first time she’s sung in public in six years, this time raising $1.5 million for Democratic senatorial candidates and the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee. So you missed it. Eat your nonpartisan heart out.


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NEWS

Apartheid Issue Casts Shadow Over AJC Evening for Allen

September 19, 1986 | MARYLOUISE OATES, Times Staff Writer

The American Jewish Committee honored corporate exec Howard Allen on Wednesday night. The black-tie evening ended on a provocative note, however, after Episcopal Suffragan Bishop Oliver Garver Jr. walked out after questioning a speaker’s implied criticism of Nobel Prize winner Bishop Desmond Tutu. Up to that point, the benefit at the Beverly Wilshire–where Allen, the chairman and CEO of Southern California Edison, received the AJC’s Human Relations Award–followed the too-well-known pattern.


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NEWS

Stars Take Detour From Political Trail

October 8, 1986 | MARYLOUISE OATES, Times Staff Writer

“It’s a glitter question.” That’s how Patricia Duff Medavoy described the problem of matchmaking celebrities and Democratic Senate candidates. Despite a plethora of politicized personalities, this year’s heavily contested campaigns for control of the U.S. Senate have seen only a few famous faces on the national campaign trail. And this, despite earlier promises, that stars would light up politics this year.


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NEWS

A Birthday Bash With No Birthday Boy in Sight

November 22, 1986 | Marylouise Oates

Some days it just pays to go to a party. No telling what will happen. Take three smallish events held Thursday–a birthday party for Gary Hart, in which the presidential hopeful neither showed up nor called, a benefit fashion show of “intimate apparel” in which nothing looked very intimate, and a gathering of American Film Institute supporters at which a $250,000 contribution almost went unmentioned. First things first.


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NEWS

Ex-Reagan Aide Writes Book That Breaks Code

October 23, 1985 | MARYLOUISE OATES, Times Staff Writer

POLI SIGH–“Rawhide” is the name of the soon-to-be book–also the Secret Service code name for President Reagan. The book, by former Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins and political columnist Joe Scott, is tentatively set for fall ’86, from Simon & Schuster–whose West Coast editor, Gene Stone, signed it up. . . . On the Democratic side, Sen. Gary Hart goes into his third-of-a-kind retreat in Hilton Head, S.C., this weekend, to plan strategy with 20 or so of his good buddies. Very close L.A.


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LOS ANGELES TIMES Magazine Cover Story

“89 for 89 – During the Coming Year These are the Rising Young Stars to Watch in Southern California”

“The editors and writers of The Times have chosen some of the brightest of Southern California’s rising stars to showcase The people profiled in the following pages already have achieved a measure of greatness in the respective fields.. but were picked because of their potential to achieve even greater fame and recognition Patricia Duff Medavoy…the Georgetown University graduate first came west with the Hart campaign in 1984, rallying support from Jack Nicholson, Robin Williams and Rob Lowe, among others. Her work on U.S. Senate and congressional races continued to mesh Hollywood and politics. But having been associate producer of last summer’s Democratic convention…”


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SELF MAGAZINE  – The Real Life of a Hollywood Wife

“Even in the late Eighties, Hollywood is a man’s town intriguing, in fact, are Hollywood wives. And wife hardly means “little woman.” Witness Pat Medavoy…wife of Mike Medavoy, Orion Pictures’s executive vice president…She wrote Jimmy Carter position papers… she associate-produced the Democratic National Convention…From Georgetown University she went to a job at a Congressional committee reinvestigating John F. Kennedy’s death. Then to a great-American women series. On to working for pollster Pat Caddell…”


 ward-take-aim-at-wallet-herald-examiner

The First Ladies of Hollywood

She is at first glance, the picture of a Hollywood Wife…groomed carefully to a casual elegance…Had we found the last of a dying breed? Was this a Hollywood wife? ‘I’m leaving for Atlanta…There’s a lot to do.’ She is the associate producer of next week’s Democratic National Convention, working with the Smith-Hemion production group. She is beyond busy…This First Lady of Hollywood will be one of the most powerful women in Tinseltown if Dukakis is elected. She is major in the Hollywood Women’s Political Caucus and SHOW (Coalition), political groups which have showcased the presidential hopefuls here in Southern California. She is not in Atlanta to ensure that everyone has a good time…’I won’t have time to go to any of the parties.’…’Politics has been passion of mine all my life. I got it from my mother. She was a serious Kennedy Democrat.’…Medavoy, a native Californian, went to high school in Brussels at the International School. Her father, an executive with an American company, moved the family to Europe and Medavoy grew up in Bonn, Brussels and Switzerland… She has a remarkable successful home life. And she does it all with almost no assistance ‚ no private secretary…What doe she think of the fulltime social animals in Hollywood? “Well, they may exist, those Hollywood wives.’ She laughs. ‘I never met one. I think now that sort of woman, an appendage of her husband, is an anachronism.’ ‘I honestly believe in the democratic process…You know, we really can make things happen as individuals’…”


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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS OPINION COLUMN

Richard Schwartz is a New York Daily News columnist

Look out, divorce court “…Today, Duff is a compelling voice for matrimonial court reform. She’s helping organize scores of city parents who were abused by the system and now hope to reform it. Advice to the legal geniuses: Listen to them…” (To read the rest of this and other articles on Duff’s efforts in matrimonial reform, click here)


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