Earlier this month, Liz Smith went down to Texas for her good friend, and one of our mentors, Ann Richards:

“I AM here tonight because my friend Ann Richards couldn’t make it … But she has a really good excuse,” said I, opening the Texas Hall of Fame Awards in Austin over last weekend. This remark got the kind of friendly laughter Ann would have approved of.

MOVIE PEOPLE were tripping all over one another, and there were big stars galore at this Texas Monthly magazine-sponsored event in an airplane hangar in the Mueller Airport. Yes, 900-plus folks hunkered down to eat chicken-fried sirloin steak and drink margaritas while they toasted the memory of the late governor because she had helped moviemaking become a fact on “The Third Coast.”

Those in attendance at the Texas-sized bash, emceed by Liz, included Bill Paxton, Lily Tomlin, Anna Deavere Smith, Betty Buckley, Carla Gugino, Phyllis George, Thomas Gibson, Lance Armstrong and “two of the Dixie Chicks who won an AMD soundtrack award and spoke eloquently about their differences with our current president.”

Read more about the Texas Film Hall of Fame and the 2007 honorees. Sounds like quite a night — and it ended on an especially high note:

At the evening’s end, the Hall of Fame presented Ann’s daughter, Ellen Richards, with a $10,000 check for the newly established Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. “I want these girls to have a place where they can soar and go as high as they want!” said Ann in establishing this school just before her untimely death last September. You can help out at austincommunityfoundation.org.

Liz has also penned some great columns recently on Rosanne Barr and coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death by highbrow magazines.

Just another reason why we love Liz.

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  • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger March 23, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. That Liz! She is an incredible mentor for concise writing. And just look at how she can get our attention with a sad and hilarious comment, seven short words long! No matter what Liz writes about, no matter where she is, no matter who she brings center stage, we see what she sees — and we share her empathetic concern.