Jill Jackson’s Hollywood

by Jill Jackson

HOLLYWOOD… Looks like lefties are “in.” President Barack Obama is a southpaw, and others using the left hand include Carol Burnett, Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow and Julia Roberts. The lucky ones are ambidextrous. They can do anything with either hand. Hilary Duff’s next is a romantic comedy for ABC based on the book Diary of a Working Girl, about a reporter who goes undercover in hope of finding love while writing an article about men in suits. Aside to Barbara T. of Richmond, Va.: You ask about Portia de Rossi, Ellen DeGeneres’ “significant other.” Well now, let’s see. Her given name was Amanda Rogers. She was born and raised in Geelong, Australia, and attended Melbourne University. The 36-year-old ex-model is best known for her role as lawyer Nelle Porter on the TV series “Ally McBeal,” and she currently stars in “Better Off Ted.” Portia and Ellen have been together for some time now, and it looks as if it might last. How about this? Philadelphia school commissioners have approved a plan to allow Tony Danza to teach English to 10th graders for an as-yet-untitled reality show to premiere in the spring. You can bet that those 10th Portia de Rossigraders are a bunch of excited and happy students. The war is on. Jay will be fighting Conan for guests, and Conan and Dave are fighting for late-night ratings. It’s all fun to watch, and the more competition the bigger and better the guests. This is one war where the viewers win.

BOOKS: Bending Toward the Sun, a haunting memoir by Rita Lurie with the aid of her daughter Leslie Gilbert-Lurie about surviv ing the Holocaust from the time Rita fled her home in Poland to hide in an attic with 14 fam ily members. They survived on scraps of food, spoke in whispers and were always in fear. Through out all this watching, her grand daughter grew up. Then she goes on to tell how they lived when liberated. It’s a remarkable writing — and a remarkable read. I’m in LOVE. Bedded with a bug, I’m lying in bed one night when my phone rings. It’s actors’ agent Susan Schwarz, who says: “Someone wants to say ‘hello.’” This GORGEOUS voice comes on the line. He says, “This is Chris Pine. How are you?” I almost choked to death. Then he went on to tell me it was his birthday, and he and his agents and etc. were at a gala dinner. After 10 minutes of conversation I wished him happy birthday. Gorgeous man, gorgeous voice, and oh-so nice! I’ll tell you, dear readers, if I were younger he would still be running, and I would be right behind!

BITS ‘N’ PIECES: Tom Cruise captivated the audience at the Imagen Awards honoring Latinos in the entertainment industry when he spoke Spanish. And yes, it looks as if his marriage to Katie is “here to stay.”… George Hamilton is a truly remarkable man for his age. And of course, you know the film “My One and Only” is based on his life…. The date has been set for the opening of the Michael Jackson concert movie “This Is It.” A limited two-week run starts Oct. 28.

(c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.