I’m sorry to report that the great Cynthia Heimel, a wise and once-scalpel-wielding New York columnist (“Problem Lady”), satiric women’s-market author (“Sex Tips For Girls,” “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?,” “Advanced Sex Tips for Girls: This Time It’s Personal“) and legendary party girl, is gone. She died yesterday. Hugs and condolences to friends, family (i.e., her son Brodie), colleagues, fans.

Heimel and “Details” columnist Stephen Saban were major Manhattan scenesters and Soho Weekly News chroniclers in the late ’70s and ’80s. They visited every hot Manhattan club, knew everyone, partied’ till the wee hours. I knew Cynthia a bit starting in ’81 or thereabouts, although she was way above my journalistic station back then. We actually went out a couple of times, if you wanna know. She lived in the Chelsea district (18th or 19th near 8th) when I was living on West 4th and then 81 Bank Street. Then we went our separate ways.

Then we re-friended in ’15 and ’16 when she moved to a modest home in Inglewood. I can’t honestly describe Cynthia as a happy-camper type when we started to chat back then. We went to a screening of Spotlight in…I forget, November of ’15 or thereabouts. We went on a couple of shopping and medical-clinic errands. (She wasn’t radiantly healthy.) We watched a couple of films and had dinner at her place once. She had a friendly dog who was part husky. We kind of piddled along for a while, then we drifted apart again.

Cynthia and I had a mutual friend in legendary film critic Andy Klein. Andy, Cynthia and I chatted back and forth and hung a couple of times in ’16, I think. We definitely shared a dinner a couple of years ago (March or April of ’16) in Santa Monica. 6 pm update: I called Klein this morning after hearing of Cynthia’s demise — he called back around 20 minutes ago. I also wrote Saban, who lives in Echo Park and is doing okay, I’ve read. He hasn’t replied.

One time in the spring of ’16 Cynthia stopped responding to my messages. After a couple of days I asked Klein if she was alive and well. “I’ve spoken to her both last night and the night before, so I can attest that she’s okay,” he replied. “Depression has stifled her social interactions. I mean, I’m depressed but she’s DEPRESSED.”

“Very sorry, very sad,” I wrote on Facebook. “I was a huge fan of Cynthia’s back in the day. A sassy-sexy Dorothy Parker-level columnist and author, at least in my estimation. An excellent writer, quite the wit, didn’t miss a trick. She was very highly renowned in the late Carter, Reagan, Poppy and Clinton eras. Things started to downshift after she lost her monthly column for Playboy in ’00.”

On top of everything else Cynthia was a mensch. She was often gloomy but once you had her attention you could trust her judgment, and when she needed a favor I always came through.

Stephen Saban, Cynthia Heimel in ’86.

Stephen Saban, Cynthia Heimel in ’86.

SoHo Weekly News staffers Stephen Saban, Cynthia Heimel and Michael Longacre during a New Year’s Eve party at Studio 54 — January 1, 1978