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Never Moore of the Same

Toronto Sun - Thursday, May 30 1991

What can I tell you about Micki Moore?

She lives in a spectacular white midtown house framed in summer with hundreds of pink geraniums. She gives cocktail parties for women friends where a pianist entertains and a jockey parks your car at the door. She winters in Florida where Sophia Loren is a neighbour and where she works out with an improv comedy troupe or pitches Miami condos on a commercial. She hosted a CityTV show called You’re Beautiful, and then wrote a book called Having It All. She’s tall and thin with manicured pink nails and perfect hair.

Sense of humour

She’s funny, and laughs at herself. She has a 26 year old son and a 24 year old daughter, the latter about to make this fifty-something mom a grandma. She works out every day and the fact that she is eating only watermelon for lunch doesn’t seem to affect her mood. She’s a regular on The Dini Petty Show, has had a syndicated radio show and is broadcast editor of Flare magazine. She’s on the board of Mount Sinai Hospital and the International Academy of Fashion, and she’s honorary spokesperson for the 1991 Juvenile Diabetes Canada Foundation Raffle and Gala, The Toronto chapter’s giant fundraising event August 17 and 18. She sings duets - My Way and New York, New York - with her handsome husband whom she married last summer in an impromptu wedding in Nice, France.

Their wedding was an intimate affair for 30 people at the famous four-star Riviera Restaurant called Moulins de Mougins.

Just like Cinderella

And, to top it all off, her husband is every woman’s fantasy - Leonard Simpson, owner of Town Shoes. “Before him, I had one pair of beige shoes, one pair of white, one pair of black... now it’s purple, salmon, peach, red, flats, heels, mules, sandals... Yes, I have shoes” She laughs.

But it’s not Micki’s feet you’ll be seeing coming up in these pages. It’s her words - as we run her occasional series called Close Encounters - heart to hearts she’ll have with the rich and famous.

This Sunday, for instance, we’ve got the Micki and Roberta show - a two-page exclusive interview with Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar. Famous people, it seems tell Micki Moore things they don’t tell others. Audrey Hepburn, for one. “She told me she had never liked her own looks, that she was big-eared and flat-chested. She just couldn’t understand the generation of women who wept to look like her.” Marlo Thomas, married to the smart and sensitive Phil Donohue, told her Phil’s no Mr. Feminist at home. Nosiree. He’s like other men his age - rooted in the '50’s when it comes to taking out the garbage and real off-camera relationships.

And sometimes what they don’t say speaks volumes: “When I first met Sophia Loren, I wore a skirt with two deep slits in the front. She walked into the room, took a look at my skirt and said, 'You know people are going to get the wrong impression about you if you wear skirts like that...' I thought that said a lot about her. You expect this sexy Italian tornado and then she goes out of her way to play against that image of herself.” Speaking of image, Micki has done a lot of work on her own.

Though she looked like a young Ava Gardner, she was painfully shy, had a high-pitched voice, and, even after broadcast training at Ohio State, came to her first job as a production Assistant with a southern drawl as thick as whipped cream. “I’d read the stopwatch backwards to air time but I’d say it, “fahv, foe, tharee, tew, wone” At the Royal Conservatory of Music, the elocution teacher would say hawk and I was sure she was saying hook.

Driving Miss Daisy was Micki Moore’s childhood. “My neighborhood in Shreveport, Louisiana, we were steel magnolias - soft on the outside but with a tough core.

There she was Miriam Meisel, a middle child and A-student, enjoying an all-American '50’s childhood right down to the obligatory sweet sixteen party.

First Toronto connection

And the husband. At 20, she left the south for here where she married her first love - a Torontonian she met while at Ohio State who became a realtor and with whom she had a son Lance and daughter Lisa. They divorced 10 years later.

Though, she says none of the pieces of her life fit together, figuring out others’ puzzles’ is what draws her to her interviewees: “Peoples’ lives are like jigsaw puzzles and I like trying to fit the pieces together.” “From the women I interview I want to know how they got there, if they had children, how they managed. You know, very few of them ever get it all together.”

No, you can’t have it all. But if you’re Micki Moore, you can get pretty close.

And having the right shoes helps, wouldn’t you say?

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