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One hundred years of boffo-tude

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Blessed by both surviving 100 years and having friends to celebrate with, Variety marked its centenary Friday with a gala at the historic Beverly Hills Post Office.

Co-hosted by editor-in-chief Peter Bart, publisher/prexy Charles C. Koones and Reed Business Information CEO Tad Smith, the centennial was rung in by a wide spectrum of both industryites and Variety staff.

Attendees included Jim Berkus, Ari Emmanuel, Robert Evans, Jon Feltheimer, Sid Ganis, Jim Gianopulos, Ed Limato, Richard Lovett, Ron Meyer, Tom Ortenberg, Lou Pitt, Jeff Robinov and Tom Rothman. But it was 91-year-old thesp Norman Lloyd (whose career spans from the Depression to this years In Her Shoes) who had the longest relationship with the paper.

Lloyd said his first Variety legit review was probably from 1935s Noah, but his most vivid early memory of the pub was from starring in Orson Welles 1937 Mercury Theater production of Julius Caesar.

The extras were upset because they were only getting $8 a week --- I was getting $40 --- and a Variety reporter got wind of this, recalled Lloyd. He wrote about the revolt of the extras and the management was furious.

From a younger generation, Peter Falk said his first significant encounter with the paper came at a Greenwich Village coffee shop when Sal Mineo and Ben Gazzar a told him he should campaign for an Oscar for his 1960 Murder, Inc perf. You campaign for an Oscar by taking out ads in Variety? said Falk. Who knew?

And the youngest topper in attendance, Fox Searchlights Peter Rice, said hed found it flattering to be in a witty Variety headline: Rice cooks at Fox (Daily Variety, Jan. 19, 2000)

And if ankling is among the most famous of the Varietys slanguage terms, then the best story on learning youve ankled came from Peter Guber.

Guber recalled that hed read in Variety that hed been laid off from Columbia --- his first job out of grad school --- before even arriving at the studio. The head of the studio told me: Dont worry, it doesnt matter --- you werent making that much.

Gala was produced by J. Ben Bourgeois Productions and sponsored by Target, Moviefone and Microsoft.

For more information, please visit

Copyright ©2004 Reed Business Information. All Rights Reserved.

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