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Living in the past with Shirley MacLaine

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: Actor Brad Pitt arrives at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images) R:MerlinGetty_Photos137914639.jpg

Yikes …

Will legendary actress Shirley MacLaine, who has written about her past lives, disclose she once lived in the Edwardian era – now that she’s joining the cast of the hit PBS series: “Downton Abbey?”

â—†A past life: Gareth Neame, the series managing director, claims his late grandfather directed MacLaine in the 1966 film “Gambit.”

The Obama Voice …

Sneed hears rumbles President Barack Obama, who is fighting an aloof image, may “sing” in an upcoming presidential campaign ad!

â—†Hey! If former presidential hopeful Bill Clinton could play the saxophone on Arsenio Hall’s TV talk show, why wouldn’t President Obama exercise his dulcet tones?

â—†Upshot: American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe was so impressed with the President’s golden tonsils when he unexpectedly sang a line from singer Al Green’s legendary “Let’s Stay Together,” during a recent news conference – he invited Obama to appear on the the hit Fox show singing a duet with Green.

â—†Buckshot: “No, we have no such (singing) ad in the works,” Obama campaign guru David Axelrod e-mailed Sneed.

â—†Upshot: Sneed hears whispers White House insiders – who were stunned and impressed when Obama unexpectedly crooned the tune – think Obama’s golden tonsils might be a terrific way to offset their bosses cool demeanor and make him “very today.”

â—†The last shot: “The President has reserved his ‘singing’ for his family and close friends like Valerie Jarrett, Marty Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker,” said a source. “But it would come as no surprise if the President sings in First Lady Michelle Obama’s ear on the dance floor.”

The Biden Beat …

Loose lips sink ships: Sneed hears Vice President Joe Biden, who claims “every single person” in the White House Situation Room “hedged their bet” in the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden – “except Leon Panetta” – is getting some flak.

â—†To wit: Sneed is told sources in the White House Situation room that day “are throwing up” over Biden’s “incorrect” assessment.

Garb gab …

The first dude: Check out the hip jeans outfit President Obama is wearing while accompanying his family to the Corcoran Gallery of Art Sunday.

Kirk & Kirk …

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, who is recovering from a serious stroke, is no relation to State Sen. Kirk Dillard … but it’s not stopping Dillard from getting get well cards.

â—†Quoth Dillard: “This is weird! I have people sending me get well cards … obviously confusing me with Sen. Mark Kirk … just like when we were both running in the 2010 GOP primary.”

â—†“Sneedless to say, I’m forwarding them on to my namesake,” said Dillard.

Hmmmm …

Is a reciprocal visit at hand?

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio recently introduced his Skokie native/supermodel girlfriend, Erin (nee Bubley) Heatherton, to his mother during a meet and greet at the Four Seasons in LA.

â—†The big question: Could a trip to Skokie be in the cards for Leo to meet with Heatherton’s parents.

It’s the Pitts …

A Newt note: GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich told a Florida radio station he’d prefer actor Brad Pitt to play him if Hollywood ever made a movie about his life.

â—†Was resemblance a the key factor?

â—†Quoth Newt: “No, I don’t look like him at all. He’s thinner, he’s better looking, he’s younger. But you asked me if I had anyone who could play me in a movie … why not go for Brad Pitt?”

There ya go.

I spy …

Actor Jeremy “Entourage” Piven spotted at Carmine’s Friday posing for pics (dukes in the air) with mixed martial arts ruffian Rashad Evans … Bulls tallman Joakim Noah was also spotted at the eatery …

Sneedlings …

Today’s birthdays: Lisa Marie Presley, 44; Princess Stéphanie of Monaco , 47, Pauly Shore, 44; Sherilyn Fenn, 47; Neal Zucker, 46, and Tony Durpetti, ageless.