Obama gets laughs at Kennedy Center Honors

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In a toast to Streep on Saturday night at the State Department, writer Nora Ephron warned Clinton that the person who would someday play her on screen is the same woman who played Julia Child in “Julie and Julia” and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming “The Iron Lady.” Streep stood up for a better look at the nation’s top diplomat.

“It’s inevitable,” Ephron told Clinton, drawing big laughs. “You met her tonight, and I’m sure you thought she was charming, but she was just soaking you up.”

Streep, 62, has made more than 45 movies and won two Oscars in a career spanning Shakespeare to ABBA with the movie “Mamma Mia!” For her part, Streep said she is in awe of the accolades.

“Look where we are, look who’s here,” Streep told The Associated Press. “It’s overwhelming. I feel very proud.”

While in Washington, she has also met with women in Congress to push for a National Women’s History Museum because, “as you’ll notice, we don’t have one,” Streep said.

Emily Blunt, a co-star from “The Devil Wears Prada,” said Streep is unique for her devotion to her characters, taking on parts of their personas.

“It’s funny, I feel like when we were doing `The Devil Wears Prada,’ she definitely adopted a certain cool on set, sort of remained very much in this reserved territory,” Blunt said. “And then when my husband John (Krasinski) worked with her, she was playing a very vivacious, gregarious character, so she was just a ball of fun.”

Lionel Richie told the AP that he got into the music business because he wanted to be Diamond.

“He’s a great storyteller,” Richie said, as with the hit single “America.” “He’s not an acrobatic singer. Basically he told the story in a very simple voice.”

Ma, one of the best-known classical musicians, has played the cello since he was 4. Now at 56, he is hailed as a musical ambassador whose work has spanned styles around the world from Bluegrass to sounds from the Silk Road. His star power has drawn fans including Colbert, conductor John Williams and even Elmo from “Sesame Street.”

“Thank God for Yo-Yo,” said Sharon Robinson, a cello player who long played in a quartet with Ma, her husband Jaime Laredo and the late violinist Isaac Stern. “He has spread the love, proselytizing for all kinds of music, particularly classical music.”

Cook, 84, made her Broadway debut in 1951 and later had her breakthrough in Leonard Bernstein’s musical version of Voltaire’s “Candide.” She topped that performance as Marian the Librarian in 1957’s hit musical “The Music Man,” for which she won a Tony Award.

Glenn Close called Cook an icon for anyone who has worked on Broadway, adding that Cook went on to a successful solo career and is still performing.

“I think we have the biggest respect for her because she really has survived, survived and prevailed,” Close said.

Rollins, 81, is a jazz saxophonist has shared the stage with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, among others. He is one of the last surviving giants from the golden era of jazz.

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