It’s August, the “High Season” of the Hamptons! The parties, the benefits, the concerts, and the night clubbing are all at their fiercest peak. Over the years, I was paid to write about real estate, business, politics, benefits, festivals, traditions, people, and even boring town meetings. Now it’s time for fun, it’s time to list the Top Ten Diva’s of the Hamptons! The order can be debated, perhaps we should let the Divas’ PR professionals duke it out.
10. Julie Andrews: One of the Grand Dames of the Hamptons now, Andrews is turning 80 this October. This Sag Harborite can be seen all about. In her prime, she was an ultimate diva. However at a recent Guild Hall play, I watched her flash her steely pissed off look when someone tried to take a photo of her. Yes, she still has it.
9. Christie Brinkley: At this point in her life, Brinkley (61) could teach “Marketing your Family 101” at Wharton Business School. The never aging Hamptons icon is used to getting what she wants. She is usually seen walking about both Sag Harbor and East Hampton Village, you can’t miss noticing her.
8. Susan Sarandon: Yet another veteran Sag Harborite, Sarandon (68), loves her Golden Pear coffee, and prefers drinking it on an outdoor bench. Beneath her famous sunglasses is a sweet woman who has a ferocious bark when annoyed. I am amazed at how great she still looks, it’s almost as if she shot “Bull Durham” yesterday.
7. Dina Merrill: The 91-year-old is the Queen Mother of Hamptons royalty. Her generosity to the arts of the Hamptons is only second to the legend of her mother, Marjorie Merriweather Post and her Dad, E.F. Hutton himself. I saw her early this summer full of energy and still in command as she ruled Guild Hall before a performance she helped financed on the Dina Merrill Theater stage. She is the royalist hamptonite!
6. Paris Hilton: Still just 34-years-old, Hilton causes a buzz when she appears at East Hampton nightlife spots, even nowadays. Once she was a phenomenon beyond comprehension, but now the Kardashian’s have taken it to a whole new level. However, who could deny that Paris Hilton is still a Hamptons Diva?
5. Scarlett Johansson: The actress (30) is more often seen in Amagansett and the Springs being low key as only one of the highest box office movie stars of today can be. A true superstar, people who see her about are amazed she is all of 5’3″ in flip-flops. She also owns a stare that keeps most at bay. It’s like watching “Lucy” walk into Indian Wells Tavern! BTW I first met her when she was finishing the movie “The Horse Whisperer,” with Robert Redford; yes that little girl was Scarlett!
4. Madonna: Now who would not have Madonna on every Diva list? Madge is now 57-years-old and still bringing it when she performs. She’s made waves in the Hamptons over her tree farm, but the truth is, I have never met anyone who has actually seen her anywhere ever, yet she is there quite a bit. Now that’s a true Diva!!!
3. Jennifer Lopez: Jenny from the Block is now 46 and has a $10 million plus home in Water Mill. Known for her demanding ways, she like Madonna is on almost everyone’s Diva list, and rightfully so. Younger teens forget she was the original “booty” girl, way back when Kim Kardashian was in grade school. However, she still commands attention with her god given beauty.
2. Kelly Ripa: At 44, she still runs around the Hamptons creating a hurricane effect wherever she goes. Years back at the now defunct Wainscott Mexican restaurant Almonditto, she would ask the management to halt karaoke while she was eating, meanwhile there I was waiting for her to leave so I could sing. Sometimes she stayed and held court for 3 hours. When she left, all the karaoke regulars quickly resumed their spot at the mic.
1. Gwyneth Paltrow: Now 42-years-old, Gwyneth is what being a “Diva” is all about. From causing a scene during a Hamptons benefit to just stopping traffic riding around Amagansett with her children on bikes, this actress truly demands attention. It’s hard to believe she is the daughter of easygoing, well-liked Hamptons regular Blythe Danner.
On the “Honorable Mention Diva” list is Alec Baldwin. I’m surprised that Mr. Baldwin doesn’t have an official East Hampton Village vehicle with police lights on top. He loves the attention.