- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2003

Honor for Hines

Boston Globe

The late tap-dancing actor Gregory Hines will be awarded an honorary degree by Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., in May.

Mr. Hines, considered the greatest tap dancer of his generation, died of cancer in August at age 57. He had created the Gregory Hines-Dancepower Endowed Scholarship at the state university.

The Tony Award winner starred on Broadway and in movies including “White Nights” and “Running Scared.” He also had a recurring role on NBC’s “Will & Grace.”

Others who will receive honorary degrees from Rutgers include Puerto Rico’s Gov. Sila Calderon and NBA Commissioner David Stern, Rutgers announced Friday.

Material girl

New York Post

Kimora Lee Simmons comes off a mite materialistic in Harper’s Bazaar.

The magazine reports the wife of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has two Bentleys, a Mercedes SUV, a Range Rover and “her eye on a new Ferrari,” the New York Post reports.

She also has “an eye-popping assortment of jewelry — trays and trays of it,” capped by a 25-carat Asscher-cut diamond in a platinum setting that “looks like you’re wearing a light bulb on your finger,” Mrs. Simmons says.

Wait…there’s more.

Mrs. Simmons lives in a 49,000-square-foot mansion in Saddle River, N.J., with 15 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a 15-seat screening room. She has the world’s biggest collection of Louis Vuitton bags and so many clothes — including 300 pairs of jeans and piles of Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Chanel shoes — that she’s having every item in her closet cataloged on computer.

Mrs. Simmons also has five maids, four assistants, two live-in nannies, a chef and two drivers — not to mention her trainer, hairstylist and makeup artists who are on call.

Blake’s Oscar take

Hollywood Reporter

Filmmaker Blake Edwards, who has given movie lovers such indelible images as Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Peter Seller’s Inspector Clouseau in the “Pink Panther” series, is being awarded an honorary Oscar.

The board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has elected to recognize Mr. Edwards at the 76th Annual Academy Awards. The citation will read: “In recognition of his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen.”

Mr. Edwards, the husband of Oscar-winning actress Julie Andrews, will receive his statuette at the ceremony Feb. 29 at Hollywood & Highland’s Kodak Theatre.

Berry’s new beau?

San Francisco Chronicle

Actress Halle Berry is so smitten with a hunky British TV personality, she reportedly flew him out to Los Angeles for a romantic dinner date.

The “Monster’s Ball” actress — who suffered a traumatic split from her husband Eric Benet in October — exchanged phone numbers with “T4” host Steve Jones after he interviewed her last month, the San Francisco Chronicle noted in yesterday’s edition.

And Mr. Jones didn’t hesitate to travel 5,500 miles to spend an intimate evening with the Oscar-winning actress when she asked him out.

When reporters quizzed him about their reported date last night, a stunned Mr. Jones would only say, “I haven’t got a clue how you found out about this. Miss Berry is going through a hard time and I’m not going to add to it.

“But she is a lovely lady, very beautiful and I interviewed her.”

However, colleagues at his “T4” show insist the unlikely pair did enjoy a romantic meal, and are desperate to “get to know each other.”

One tells Britain’s The Sun tabloid, “They had a lovely dinner together in L.A. and got on really well again. By the time Steve got home he was totally jet-lagged but I’m sure he thought the trip was worthwhile.

“It was a very long way to go for one date but they didn’t have any choice. He obviously thinks it’s worth it. Steve and Halle just want to get to know each other and see if they like each other.”

Compiled from Web and wire reports by Robyn-Denise Yourse.

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