Legend in Her Own Time
Culinary icon Julia Child, who cooked her way into American hearts and
homes, died Aug. 12, two days shy of her 92nd birthday. Her lively show,
The French Chef,debuted on PBS in 1963, and
Child, 51, quickly became a star, inspiring cooks everywhere to sing out her
classic signoff "Bon Appetit!"
Her show ran for 206 episodes and won a Peabody award in 1965 and an
Emmy in 1966. Most recently, Child paired with fellow TV chef Jacques Pepin for
a 1994 PBS special Julia Child & Jacques Pepin:
Cooking in Concert and its 1996 follow-up More Cooking in Concert. Saturday Night Live spoofed her, but with great
affection. The Food Network is preparing a tribute this week.
Two weeks prior to her death, Child talked to B&Cabout being a TV chef, the food business, and
why she never sold her name.
On TV chefs: "Not everyone can
articulate and demonstrate at the same time. TV is a visual medium. And a
'talking head' is boring! The TV chefs who are most popular are enthusiastic
and really love what they're doing."
On the food industry: "The culinary
profession has become just that: a profession. The discipline involves much
more than just cooking. There are an unlimited number of careers: from
nutritionists to food writers, culinary historians, photographers, set
designers, dietitians, restaurant reviewers—not to mention chefs."
On why she never took endorsements:
"I want to be able to be completely honest about what I say and what I present.
I like having the opportunity to show the difference between brands and styles
of cookware. I don't want to have to avoid using anything simply because it may
conflict with the views of a sponsor."
If that doesn't get her into heaven, nothing will.
Claim to Fame
Without Joe Namath, jocks like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods may
never have become media celebrities. And without Sonny Werblin and George Lois,
Namath might never have become "Broadway Joe," the first sports star of the TV
That's according to Mark Kriegel, author of the new bio
Namath, (Viking) which comes out next week.
Werblin was the "king of the package deals" at MCA, the Lew Wasserman-helmed
machine that pumped out some of TV's most famous shows, including
Wagon Train and My
As co-owner of the New York Jets with a vested interest in the success
of televised football, Werblin signed Namath for the unheard-of sum of $400,00.
Then he put the handsome athlete with a swinging nightlife in front of the
Kriegel says Namath redefined the concept of the ballplayer, "and it
was perfect for TV." Later, legendary adman Lois turned him into an endorsement
machine. After shaving his Fu Manchu mustache for Schick (and $10,000), Namath
appeared in spots for everything from pantyhose to Ovaltine. Call it pioneer
Today, every bad-boy athlete with a fat endorsement contract has
Namath to thank.
Courage and Meatloaf
Veteran 60 Minutes anchor Mike
Wallace has new friends among New York City's taxi and limousine drivers. A
trade group plans to honor him with the Mike Wallace Courage Award for
"enduring for one day what drivers have to endure every day of the year," says
Fernando Mateo, president of the New York Federation of Taxi Drivers.
Last week, New York's Taxi and Limousine (TLC) Commission inspectors
questioned Wallace's driver when they found his limo double-parked outside a
restaurant. He was inside getting meatloaf, an errand that apparently requires
a limo. Accounts differ, but a TLC rep initially claimed Wallace, 86, "lunged"
at the inspectors. He was handcuffed and charged with disorderly conduct.
Mateo insists that the award, to be given annually, "has humor in it."
Maybe, but Wallace won't attend the Aug. 22 ceremony, nor will he accept the
award. (Perhaps he can't find a ride.)