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By United Press International   |   Sept. 14, 2012 at 3:57 AM

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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

RICHARD GERE: Actor Richard Gere will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Hamptons International Film Festival next month, organizers said Thursday.

Gere is to receive the Golden Starfish Award during the 20th edition of the festival Oct. 6 at Guild Hall in East Hampton, N.Y. The award will be presented during the festival's "Conversation with Richard Gere" program, a discussion with Gere about his life and career, moderated by the festival's honorary chairman, Alec Baldwin.

Gere's film credits include "Arbitrage," "Days of Heaven," "Pretty Woman," "American Gigolo," "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Chicago." He also is an accomplished musician, photographer and humanitarian, advocating for human rights with organizations that include The International Campaign for Tibet, Survival International and Healing the Divide.

"Richard Gere's outstanding body of work speaks for itself. Richard's phenomenal talent and social activism has showcased his passion and heart. We are thrilled to present him with the Golden Starfish Award for Lifetime Achievement in Acting," Karen Arikian, the festival's executive director, said in a statement.


DAVID LETTERMAN: Comedian David Letterman said he is "grateful" he will be recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors this winter in Washington.

It was announced Wednesday Letterman, bluesman Buddy Guy, actor Dustin Hoffman, ballerina Natalia Makarova and rock band Led Zeppelin would be the 35th annual Kennedy Center honorees. President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are to attend the December ceremony.

"This is something wonderful for my family, my co-workers and myself," "Late Show" host Letterman said in a statement. "I believe recognition at this prestigious level confirms my belief that there has been a mix-up. I am still grateful to be included."


TOM HANKS: National Geographic Channel says Hollywood actor Tom Hanks is to be the on-camera narrator for its upcoming "Killing Lincoln" program.

Based on Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's New York Times best-selling book "Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever," the 2-hour special is being produced by Ridley Scott and the late Tony Scott's Scott Free Productions. It is to air in early 2013, National Geographic Channel President Howard T. Owens said Thursday.

The network described "Killing Lincoln" as a "historical thriller" that "combines the stunning drama with CGI, in the signature style of the Scott brothers, with rare historical archives."

Hanks is a two-time Oscar winner known for his roles in "Saving Private Ryan," "Forest Gump," "Apollo 13," "The Green Mile" and "The Da Vinci Code."

"It's odd to say the killing of Abraham Lincoln is an unknown story, but it may as well be," Hanks said in a statement. "The depth of the intrigue, the breadth of the conspiracy and the bare-naked exposure of human nature is so timeless, it's a wonder how that seminal tragedy in our history could ever be explained in a few sentences: 'Ford's Theater... John Wilkes Booth,' etc. The murder of Lincoln is not a passage of our history -- it was a signpost of our American character, then, now and forever."

"Only Hanks can add that unique poise, intrigue and dynamism that are his trademark to a film about one of the most significant, life-changing events in America's young history," Ridley Scott said. "His mastery always shines through and we can't wait for viewers to be engrossed in this story."

Actor Billy Campbell will play Abraham Lincoln in the film, while Jesse Johnson will play John Wilkes Booth and Geraldine Hughes will play Mary Todd Lincoln.


'HEATHERS:' Bravo Media says it is developing an updated, small-screen version of the hit Hollywood dark comedy, "Heathers."

The show picks up 20 years after the movie ends with Veronica moving back to her hometown with her teenage daughter, who enters high school and has to deal with the latest generation of popular mean girls, the Ashleys, daughters of the surviving Heathers. Winona Ryder played rebellious Veronica in the 1989 film version.

Bravo said it is also working on "The Apartment," a scripted series about a beautiful Upper West Side Manhattan apartment rented as a private space for extra-marital affairs; "The Darlings," a drama set in Wall Street after the crash of 2008; "All American Girl," centered around a female lifestyle magazine across three different time periods; and "Rita," a family drama following an acerbic, outspoken private school teacher who struggles to raise her own three teenagers.

"Through our growing slate of scripted development we plan to build upon the success of our award-winning unscripted programming, accessing and exploring new worlds and characters while still engaging the same affluent and pop culture savvy audience that watches the 'Real Housewives' and 'Top Chef,'" Andrew Wang, the network's vice president for scripted development and production, said in a statement.

"We're excited to partner with such high caliber talent in developing TV that pushes boundaries conceptually and thematically while still telling a fun story in the way that our audiences have come to expect from us."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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