Columnists: From Nowhere to Everywhere

As soon as a Hollywood columnist attains celebrity status, several things happen. The headwaiter at Chasen's, with a deferential flourish, wipes imaginary dust motes from the best table in the house. Film stars proffer unbidden the gilt nuggets of gossip that once had to be mined. Film fans clamor for autographs. And the elevated one publishes an autobiography. Until last week, only two of the three Hollywood columnists who boast star billing had fulfilled this requirement of noblesse oblige: Louella Parsons, who wrote her life story in 1961,* and Hedda Hopper, who...