- - Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Metallica has made a public service video as part of a law enforcement publicity blitz to try to catch a man wanted in the death of a Virginia Tech student who disappeared after one of the heavy metal band’s concerts.

Composite sketches of the suspect will be featured at bus shelters up and down the East Coast, and a video on the Internet from lead singer James Hetfield urges people to come forward with tips.

“Remember, any information no matter how small you might think it is, could be that crucial piece investigators need to help solve the case,” Mr. Hetfield says.

Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old aspiring teacher, disappeared after an October 2009 concert in Charlottesville, Va. Her skeletal remains were discovered about three months later in a field about 10 miles from the concert venue.

Her T-shirt was found in front of an apartment building near the area. A camera and a crystal necklace she had with her were never located. She was last seen hitchhiking.

The Jefferson Area Crime Stoppers is offering $100,000 for any information leading to an arrest, and Metallica has put up a $50,000 reward.

The FBI said the suspect has been linked through DNA to a 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax City, where a woman walking home from a grocery store reported being grabbed from behind, dragged behind a maintenance shed and attacked.

Friars Club honors Cruise with entertainment icon award

Tom Cruise was in Manhattan to collect an award, and, yes, promote a movie.

On Tuesday night, the actor received the fourth-ever Friars Club Entertainment Icon Award, placing him in the same company as Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra.

The evening was a toast, not a roast.

Alec Baldwin presided at the Waldorf-Astoria, where speakers included former co-stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kevin Pollak. Robin Thicke and Corinne Rae Bailey were among the musical performers.

Many had stories about working with Mr. Cruise and his impact on them. Mr. Baldwin joked that any time he finds himself taking on too many tasks at once, he hums the theme from “Mission: Impossible.” Mr. Pollak, who appeared with Mr. Cruise in “A Few Good Men,” remembered being in awe of the “unusually large and perfect pen” Mr. Cruise used for marking his script. The actor soon had a pen sent to Mr. Pollak’s trailer, then sent him a second one when Mr. Pollak worried about losing the first.

The capper: Mr. Pollak still carries one of the pens with him and showed it off to the crowd.

Mr. Cruise said during his acceptance speech that his wife, actress Katie Holmes, was out of the country. But he did bring their 6-year-old daughter, Suri, who not only got to stay up late, but also took in an R-rated tribute to Mr. Cruise in keeping with the Friars tradition of blue humor.

Mr. Gooding cracked a couple of shower jokes, Mr. Pollak made some suggestive comments about the size of Mr. Cruise’s pen and a few f-bombs were dropped, notably a barrage on film by Mr. Cruise during a highlight reel of his career, a reel that featured Mr. Cruise kissing Cameron Diaz, Renee Zellweger and other leading ladies.

Numerous plugs were worked in for his latest movie, “Rock of Ages,” which opens Friday.

Meryl Streep presents film award to Viola Davis

They may have been Oscar rivals earlier this year, but there’s nothing but love between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis.

Ms. Streep, who ended Ms. Davis’ awards run for “The Help” by winning the lead actress Oscar for “The Iron Lady,” lauded her friend and colleague Tuesday at Women in Film’s annual Crystal + Lucy Awards.

She called Ms. Davis “a lion-hearted woman,” a gifted and determined actress who studied at Juilliard, won Tony Awards and captivated Hollywood with her eight-minute performance in “Doubt.”

“She was a newcomer at 45,” Ms. Streep joked.

Ms. Davis returned the love as she accepted the award.

“I have a confession,” she said, sharing how touched she was when Ms. Streep sent her a card after the film wrapped. Ms. Davis also kept a photo of the two of them together on set.

“OK Meryl, I framed the card,” Ms. Davis said. “So you can never come over to the house.”

Kinkade’s widow, girlfriend in court over artist’s will

Thomas Kinkade’s widow and girlfriend took their dispute over the late painter’s estate to court Tuesday as handwritten notes allegedly written by Kinkade that could be central to the clash were made public for the first time.

Amy Pinto-Walsh was living with Kinkade and found his body when the 54-year-old accidentally overdosed on alcohol and Valium in April. She asked a judge to allow arguments over the artist’s contested will to be heard in open probate court.

Attorneys for Kinkade’s wife of 30 years, Nanette Kinkade, and for his company want the terms to be decided in secret binding arbitration. The couple had been legally separated for more than two years when Kinkade died.

Ms. Pinto-Walsh has submitted handwritten notes allegedly written by Kinkade bequeathing her his mansion in Monte Sereno and $10 million to establish a museum of his paintings there, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The two notes, dated Nov. 18, 2011, and Dec. 11, 2011, were written in barely legible print, the newspaper said.

A July 2 hearing is scheduled to determine the authenticity and legal weight of the notes.

Mrs. Kinkade has painted Ms. Pinto-Walsh in court papers as a gold-digger who is trying to cheat the artist’s rightful heirs. After Kinkade’s death, she obtained a restraining order prohibiting the other woman from talking publicly about the artist.

Compiled from Web and wire reports