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Tom Cruise honored by Harvard drama group

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Actor Tom cruise was honored Tuesday night as 'Man of the Year' by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest undergraduate drama group in the nation.

Cruise, the star of last year's hit movie, 'The Firm,' was presented with the group's traditional Pudding Pot prior to its annual production featuring male students dressed garishly as women.

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Cruise, who has played a Harvard graduate in both 'The Firm' and 'A Few Good Men,' was forced to 'earn' his award by dressing up in bright pink high heels and a huge white bra with a red Harvard emblem on each breast.

'Oh God! Oh God!' muttered a blushing Cruise as he took off his shoes and socks and squeezed barefoot into the heels, and then stood as two students in drag strapped him into the bra and gave him a big wet kiss on each cheek. The crowd of several students roared with laughter and cheered wildly.

'This is how you turn people crimson,' replied Cruise, referring to the school's official color.

The awards are given annually to performers who have made a 'lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment.'

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Movie star Meg Ryan was feted as Hasty Pudding's 'Woman of the Year' last week.

Hasty Pudding producer Catherine Zipf said she bought the heels for Cruise because she'd 'read somewhere Tom doesn't like sharing the spotlight with someone taller than he is.'

Cruise thanked the audience and called Harvard a school 'based in truth and honor.'

'So I know for certain that I'm getting this award for 'My lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment,' not because I played a Harvard grad in my last two films,' he said.

Last year's male winner was Chevy Chase. Previous winners include Bob Hope, Michael Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, Robin Williams and Sylvester Stallone.

The theater group this year is presenting its 146th annual production, entitled 'A Forum Affair,' a comedy featuring its traditional all-male cast known for its outlandish wit and shameless puns.

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