Richard Johnson: Kissing Raquel Welch and honoring Beyoncé
Paul Barresi, who would become a private investigator, has fond memories of making out with Raquel Welch, who died Wednesday at 82.
In 1972 when Welch was filming “The Wild Party” at the Mission Inn in Riverside, Calif., Barresi, a U.S. Air Force vet who worked at a nearby health spa, walked by.
“A flat bed truck pulled up with a huge make-up mirror tied up in the back. Two guys struggled to unload it. I jumped into action — told the two guys to take one end and I’d take the other. We unloaded it with ease,” Barresi told me.
“Raquel spotted me and told the producer Ishmael Merchant to find out who I was. I was tan, shirtless, and buffed.”
Barresi was soon working as a “production assistant” brewing coffee and fetching avocados and artichokes for Welch.
On her suggestion, Barresi was in the scene where Welch sang “Singapore Sally,” and she invited him to lunch.
“Then she kissed me on the cheek,” Barresi said. “I kissed her back on the mouth. She didn’t resist. Her kiss was warm. She called me a bad boy.”
Barresi would go on to be a private eye.
“I always dreamed of being a Hollywood actor,” Barresi said, “and this was as close as I could ever hope to being there.”
Beyoncé didn’t get enough acclaim — or air time — when she became the biggest Grammy winner in history.
Now CBS will try to make it up to the artist with a show devoted to her career. Expect her husband Jay-Z to make an appearance, and their three kids.
Beyoncé won her 32nd Grammy, becoming No. 1, but lost to Harry Styles for Album of the Year.
Spike Lee said, “I know she’s won multiple Grammys, but four times nominated for album of the year and she’s lost every time? No disrespect to those artists like Adele or Harry Styles who won. It’s not their fault, but that’s some straight-up bulls—t.”
CBS will try to rectify the slight by airing a 2-hour tribute to Queen Bey.
“It’s not a done deal,” said one source. “But this would solve a few problems and sooth some bad feelings.”
J. Bernard Calloway, who played football in college, almost missed the Super Bowl.
Calloway is in rehearsals on “The Harder They Come,” a musical adaptation at The Public Theater of the classic Jamaican film celebrating its 50th anniversary.
“I wasn’t even thinking about it. I’m rehearsing all day,” said Calloway, who played with Steve McNair at Alcorn State University in Mississippi.
Calloway, whose football career ended with injury, said, “Thank God for theater. Most of those cats can’t walk.”
Calloway didn’t have much trouble with the Jamaican accent. “My best friends were Jamaican,” he said.
The show runs through March 15.
Meanwhile, Calloway can be seen in “The Ms. Pat Show,” with season 3 premiering Feb. 23 on BET+.
The show tells the real-life story of a convicted felon turned suburban mom whose hustle was forged on the streets of Atlanta.
Playing her husband, Calloway is the voice of reason.
“People love it,” he said, “and stream the whole season at once.”
Joyce Wadler, who used to write for the New York Times, is now penning a weekly humor column on Substack.
“The only gatekeeper is somebody named Wadler. I hear she’ll let you get away with anything,” Wadler joked.
“It was just being in the right place at the right time. I’d heard I was available, so I hired me. And, just between us, I got me cheap.”
Wadler wasn’t ecstatic about her former employer.
“It is fun, after decades of being told no, to see what I’ll let me get away with.”
What do you give a 1-year-old who has everything? How about a big party the kid will never remember?
Olivia Dozortsev, whose parents are Arty and Anna Dozortsev of Ikraa Caviar, held the toddler’s birthday bash at Casa La Femme, which was decorated with toy animals, balloons and a table full of desserts.
There was a mass of models with husbands and kids in tow. Stopping by the bash were restaurateurs Marc Packer and Vittorio Assaf and photographer Antoine Verglas.
Said one source, “There were so many Hermes and Tiffany gifts that it took two cars to get them all out of the restaurant.”
Fashion designer Mary McFadden had at least five husbands, but only one child, her daughter Justine Harari by her first marriage to Philip Harari, a banker based in Cairo and London, where Justine grew up.
Now Justine has composed, recorded, and released a new single, “Dolla Store,” under the performance name Penny Arkaid.
Now in Los Angeles, Justine told writer Gregory Speck the name Arkaid “refers to what’s being left behind and what’s coming in the future, as in Noah’s ark.”
The song was recorded in a camper van near a Dollar Store in Los Angeles. “Though it took three producers and two years to get it decent,” Harari said.
“Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” stars Carson Kressley and Thom Filicia opened Brickworks Design Studio last year on Fifth Ave. as both a showroom and an event space.
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During NY Fashion Week, designer Dani Watanabe sent high fashion Oscar looks down the studio’s grand circular staircase.
On March 9, brick manufacturer Glen-Gery will host a panel discussion at the studio, featuring architect Morris Adjmi, who has designed homes for Sarah Jessica Parker and Melissa McCarthy.
With the end of COVID-19 era masking, restaurants in the city are booming.
“Ray Donovan” star Liev Schreiber has been holding court at IXTA, the new Mexican spot on Bowery, where designers, models, and the men that love them have been gathering after the fashion shows.
In Midtown, new Mediterranean restaurant White Olive is getting so much buzz that Michael McCarthy, who owns Michael’s across the street, came in for dinner to check out the lively scene.
Uptown, La Goulue has been reeling in Sienna Miller, socialites Libbie Mugrabi and Sofie Mählkvist and skin care mogul Peter Thomas Roth.
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