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Mary Elizabeth Smith is an American gossip columnist. Liz Smith is known as “The Grand Dame of Dish.”
She broke into the media world as a news producer for Mike Wallace at CBS Radio. In the late 1950’s Smith worked as a ghostwriter for the popular “Cholly Knickerbocker” gossip column that appeared in the Hearst newspapers. After leaving that column in the early 1960’s she went to work as the entertainment editor for the American version of “Cosmopolitan” magazine later working simultaneously as the “Sports Illustrated” entertainment editor as well.
On February 16, 1976, Smith began a self-titled gossip column for the “New York Daily News”. During a 1979 newspaper strike, her “Daily News” editors asked her to appear daily on WNBC-TV’s Live at Five, and she stayed with the program for eleven years. Her exposure on television made Smith a popular figure on the Manhattan social scene and provided fodder for her column which had, by then, been syndicated to nearly seventy newspapers. Smith was hired by Fox Broadcasting Company to head up the entertainment segments at the network in 1989, winning an Emmy for her reporting in 1995. She also worked for Newsday from 1991 to 1995.
Her 2000 memoir “Natural Blonde” made the New York Times Best Seller list. In 2005, Smith published “Dishing: Great Dish - And Dishes - From America’s Most Beloved Gossip Columnist.”