Hollywood on the Potomac

Can We Talk

September 8, 2015

On this day a year ago comedian Joan Rivers, who made “Can We Talk” a national catch phrase, died under mysterious circumstances.  She was also known for speaking her mind and has been quoted as saying:  “I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.”  Sound familiar?

On the day of her death we spoke to Creative Style Director, writer, TV Correspondent Phillip Bloch who told Hollywood on the Potomac:  “I am so sad for the loss of my friend, mentor & fashion fairy-godmother. Our friendship & working relationship spanned two decades. She was always a consummate professional and managed to show us how to stay relevant even at 81 years old.”


“I appeared regularly with Joan on her various E! TV shows and fashion events. She taught us all how to laugh and find humor even when times were tough. She constantly kept reinventing herself and if one thing wasn’t working she had another idea and forged ahead with it. Everyone else with a huge career is like 20 and you can easily become a has been by 30 – but not my beloved, tenacious, crass, garish, many times inappropriate, but always well put together Joan. These are the lessons that I will take with me. I am proud to have been someone that she believed in when others didn’t even know my name.”

Phillip relayed to us one of his favorite Rivers’ moments. When she met his father, she just grabbed his hand, without bothering to say hello. She told him that he was obviously more handsome than his son, but ‘Congratulations. How wonderful to have a son who is successful and working. Is he sharing his money with you?’”

“I believe she would be so happy to see how much people are in love with her and saddened by her loss, but as a true professional she would want the show to go on.”

Click here to share your thoughts.

Unit #303

September 3, 2015

Johnny Depp is practically unrecognizable in Black Mass as apparently was James “Whitey” Bulger in real life for sixteen years.  Bulger is the notorious crime figure who for more than a decade mixed in with the local community in Santa Monica, California in apartment #303 where he enjoyed life for thirteen years incognito. Bulger is now inmate number 02182-748 at the United States Penitentiary Coleman II in Sumterville, Florida.

We probably unwittingly sat next to him at “Shutters” on occasion,  the popular watering hole on the beach where the views were majestic, the breeze soothing and the plates piled high with prosciutto and melon with a side of gherkins and pickled olives. On June 22, 2011, Bulger was arrested outside his apartment with his long-time girlfriend Catherine Greig. Bulger was 81 when he was were extradited to Massachusetts where part of Boston Harbor was shut down for the trial. Bulger was “one of the most vicious, violent criminals ever to walk the streets of Boston,” said Assistant US Attorney Fred Wyshak of James Bulger, Jr. – a.k.a. “Whitey” Bulger.  He was a legendary figure; we can attest to that having grown up in Boston, although you didn’t have be a Bostonian to be intrigued by this case.

Click here to share your thoughts.

As Time Goes By

August 31, 2015

The three faces of Ingrid Bergman: “I didn’t do anything I’ve never done before. But when the camera moves in on the Bergman face, and she’s saying she loves you, it would make anybody look romantic.”  Humphrey Bogart.  “In my whole life I never had a woman so much in love with me as Ingrid was.  The day after the picture (Saratoga Trunk) ended, I couldn’t get her on the phone.”  Gary Cooper.  “I’m only interested in two kinds of people, those who can entertain me and those who can advance my career.”  Ingrid Bergman.

his weekend, The Embassy of Sweden hosted multiple events in her honor to celebrate her Life & Legacy at the House of Sweden in Georgetown with two new exhibitions.  Saturday marked the Bergman Centennial.  One of the world’s greatest actresses of all time, she was both beloved and controversial. She was seen as both a role model and a danger to the morals of society of the times.

While Leamer was finishing up the touches on As Time Goes By that would become a best-seller, I was a guest in his home in Santa Monica.  There was lots of anticipation as Dr. Petter Lindstrom, the Swedish surgeon whom actress Ingrid Bergman abandoned for a scandalous affair with and subsequent marriage to Italian director Roberto Rossellini and the father of her first child Pia, was expected for breakfast and Leamer wasn’t sure if he would show up.  He did and related how the marriage ended in a firestorm of scandal: Her fans were horrified. The affair was even denounced from the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Click here to share your thoughts.