Actor Bruce Willis got "potted" Thursday night at Harvard University on the eve of the national opening of his latest movie, "Hart's War."
Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals -- the oldest undergraduate drama group in the nation -- presented the actor with its traditional Pudding Pot in honoring him as the group's Man of the Year.
During the presentation at the Hasty Pudding Theater in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., Willis was told he had to "earn" the Pot by showing the "softer side" of his "Bad Boy image." Members of the group had him put on a gold bra over his tux and don a blonde wig.
"Well, it's come to this," Willis said, obviously enjoying the good-natured ribbing.
Asked later at a news conference how he liked cavorting with Harvard male students in drag, Willis said, "I haven't seen this many men dressed in women's clothing since my bachelor party." He added, "It was big fun hanging out with these kids today."
Willis said he was particularly honored to receive the Pudding Pot because most of the other awards he has received involved politics of one sort or another, but that "this came from the heart."
Last week, Hasty Pudding Theatricals honored Sarah Jessica Parker as its Woman of the Year.
(Thanks to UPI's Dave Haskell in Boston)
ROBERT DE NIRO
Robert De Niro will host a CBS-TV special on the World Trade Center attack March 10 (9-11 p.m. EST).
The two-hour show, titled "9/11," is an exclusive account of the tragedy from French filmmakers Gedeon and Jules Naudet. They were in lower Manhattan Sept. 11 taping a documentary on the Engine 7, Ladder 1 firefighters when Jules suddenly heard a roar from above and turned his camera upward. In doing so, he captured the only known video of the first plane striking the World Trade Center.
Cameras still rolling, Jules and Gedeon followed the firefighters into the heart of what would soon be known as Ground Zero. Over the next several hours, the brothers captured extraordinary video unlike any broadcast since -- including 45 minutes of footage from inside the North Tower as the rescue effort was underway and dramatic scenes of escape in the minutes before the building collapsed. Much of the video has never been aired.
ROSIE'S COMING OUT
According to Rosie O'Donnell's publicist, Cindi Berger, the TV host isn't worried that revelations about her personal life in her upcoming autobiography will have a detrimental effect on readership levels of her magazine.
But, according to the New York Post, it's not clear whether the German-based publishing house that funded the conversion of the venerable McCall's into Rosie anticipated what would happen next.
During the past months O'Donnell has come out of the closet, one small step at a time. She finally leaps out in her soon-to-be-published book, "Find Me."
A sampling of publishing experts tells the Post that it's hard to judge what tack the public might take -- especially fans in Peoria. Even so, it's a given that many "conservative" fans of O'Donnell can watch her on TV without the neighbors knowing and not mind her private life. Heck, they might be gay themselves, might have a son or daughter who is, or think that the entire "preference thing" is a dead issue. But whether they would be willing to walk into the corner bookstore and pick up a copy of Rosie's book is a different story ... at least in small-town America.
(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)
'ANGELS' DIRECTOR TOUTED FOR 'SUPERMAN'
According to a report in Daily Variety, "Charlie's Angels" director Joseph "McG" McGinty has come to terms with Warner Bros. to direct a new "Superman" movie -- from a screenplay by J.J. Abrams, the creator of the TV series "Felicity" and "Alias" and one of the credited writers on "Armageddon" (1998).
Jon Peters ("Ali") will produce the project.
Warner Bros. spent several million dollars in the 1990s developing a movie called "Superman Lives" with Tim Burton directing and Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage set to play the Man of Steel -- but when the budget shot past the $140 million mark, the studio shut down the project.
McG won't get around to making "Superman" for a while. He's set to begin shooting "Charlie's Angels 2: Halo" this spring.
(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
French and American Catholic organizations are blasting what they see as an anti-Christian message in a poster advertising the award-winning new film about the Holocaust, "The Eyewitness."
The poster showing a cross blended with a swastika on a black background advertises a French-German movie about an anti-Nazi Protestant, Kurt Gerstein, who became an SS officer in order to obtain inside information about Hitler's genocide. He witnessed the gassing of thousands of Jews and tried to inform the world about it, but was turned away by Pope Pius XII.
The movie premiered at the Berlin Film Festival Wednesday.
"This kind of anti-Catholic agitation is getting worse and worse," William Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League, told UPI, commenting on the poster designed by Oliviero Toscani. "We have arrived at a point where school children no longer see the moral difference between Catholicism and Nazism."
Meanwhile, the French Catholic Bishops Conference is contemplating legal action. Its secretary-general, the Rev. Stanislas Lalanne, told the Paris newspaper Le Monde that the poster "gravely offended the religious feelings of Catholics."
The film's director, Constantine Costa-Gavras, reacted with surprise to the fury created by his movie and its advertisement. "This film is about the cohabitation between the Nazis and the churches, which is a historical truth," he told Le Monde.
The movie is the big-screen version of Rolf Hochhuth's 1963 stage play, "The Deputy."
(Thanks to UPI Religion Correspondent Uwe Siemon-Netto)
DIDN'T SHE SEE THIS COMING?
The state of Florida is taking psychic pitchwoman Miss Cleo to court to force her to prove she's really the Jamaican shaman she has claimed to be in her TV infomercials that are seen daily by millions of viewers.
Florida's Attorney General's Office on Thursday subpoenaed Miss Cleo's birth certificate and records of her relationship with Fort. Lauderdale-based Access Resource Services Inc. "Rather than consulting their tarot cards, Miss Cleo and Access Resource Services had better consult their lawyers," Attorney General Bob Butterworth said. "I foresee some potentially dire consequences in their futures."
Butterworth said the state filed a civil complaint in Broward County Circuit Court charging Miss Cleo, also known as Youree Dell Harris, and Access Resource Services with violations of the state's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
The company portrays Miss Cleo as someone with "astounding psychic talents" who, along with other Access Resource Services psychics, can provide those who call their hotline with valuable insights into their lives and futures. The company also promises a free, three-minute reading over the telephone, after which callers are charged $4.95 a minute.
But in his complain, Butterworth charges that despite her billing as a "Nationally Acclaimed Master Tarot Reader and Psychic," Harris "cannot substantiate that she had any such national acclaim as a psychic, clairvoyant or tarot reader prior to her promotional activities on behalf of Access Resource Services."
In addition to civil penalties, the state seeks consumer refunds and asks the court to permanently bar the company and Harris from continuing their "objectionable practices."
Access Resource attorney Sean Moynihan could not be reached for comment.
At least four other state attorneys general have sued Access Resource Services -- including North Carolina, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Missouri.