Before TMZ, Twitter, and Gossip Girl, there was New York scandalmonger Liz Smith, a feisty woman from the South who spent the majority of her life defining modern gossip news. On Sunday, The New York Times confirmed that Smith passed away at the age of 94; but, for many in entertainment news, her memory and legacy will never fade.
Fascinated by the lives and secrets of others, The Times reports that Smith, who was sometimes lovingly called the "Dame of Dish," got her big start in the '70s by penning her own gossip column, "Liz Smith," for The Daily News. After 15 years at the outlet, Smith moved on to Newsday, later heading over to the New York Post.
Smith spent years rubbing elbows with some of Hollywood and Washington's biggest names — Frank Sinatra, Carol Burnett, Jackie Kennedy, Tony Bennett, Hillary Clinton, and Madonna, to name a few — and became a household name; a trusted source filled with insider info.
Throughout her career, she made television appearances on Fox News and local New York station WNBC's Live at Five program, which Variety reports ultimately earned her an Emmy in 1985.
While many of her stories were entrancing — think Keeping Up With The Kardashians in print form — perhaps it was her closeness to the Trump family that had people coming back for more. It was she, The New Yorker writes, who made Donald Trump's split from Ivana, and subsequently his affair-turned-marriage with Marla Maples into the hottest story of the early '90s.
Later in life, she told The New Yorker that she regretted how familiar she was with the then-candidate, saying that her appearances at Mar-a-Lago made it seem like she "accepted a lot of favors from him." Ultimately, she said that Trump "was a horse's ass" and "still is."
Her readers and celebrity confidants mourned her loss on Sunday by tweeting out their memories.