- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fashion forward

British actress Kate Winslet led the pack of People magazine’s 10 best-dressed women of 2009, with first lady Michelle Obama chosen for “best accessible glamour,” Reuters news agency reports.

Although the list, released Wednesday, does not have numerical ranking, Miss Winslet, 33, who won an Oscar in February for playing a dour Nazi in “The Reader,” was deemed by People to be the best-dressed woman on the red carpet on 2009 “with her unique brand of sexy sophistication, modern Hollywood glamour and those enviable curves.”

People named Reese Witherspoon as having the “best short dresses,” “High School Musical” actress Vanessa Hudgens as “best hippie chic,” and Freida Pinto, the Indian star of Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” for having “best use of color.”

Brad Pitt, “Twilight” actor Robert Pattinson and Bradley Cooper of “The Hangover” and “Nip/Tuck” fame were among the best-dressed men of the year. People said their attention to details “took their looks beyond basic.”

Rounding out the 10 best-dressed women, teen country singer Taylor Swift was dubbed “best sparkle”; Cameron Diaz was cited for “best jeans”; Nicole Richie, who gave birth to a son, Sparrow, on Sept. 9, was cited for “best maternity”; Beyonce for “best street chic”; and Kim Kardashian for “best bikinis.”

In some of the fashion flops of 2009, the magazine cited former “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul and actress Renee Zellweger as having the worst red carpet dresses.

The magazine’s annual best- and worst-dressed double issue will hit newsstands Friday.

Swayze tribute

ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” will honor Patrick Swayze on its live results show Wednesday, People.com reports.

“We have some very fond memories of [the late actor] coming to help us out when we were a tiny little show way back when,” Conrad Green, ‘Dancing’s‘ ” executive producer, said.

Mr. Swayze, who died of pancreatic cancer on Monday at age 57, made a guest appearance on the show’s inaugural U.S. season in 2005, teaching friend and fellow actor John O’Hurley a few dance moves in rehearsal. He also supported Mr. O’Hurley by attending the season 1 finale.

“He was one of the few people to integrate dance with being an A-list actor,” Mr. Green says. “He inspired many people and many of our pros to dance. We want to honor the great moments he’s brought to film by getting our dancers to do their interpretation to some music from his films.”

On the run

British actor and comedian Eddie Izzard met Prime Minister Gordon Brown Wednesday after running 43 marathons in 51 days for charity, Agence France-Presse reports.

Mr. Izzard, known for his surreal comic riffs, cross-dressing and roles in films such as “Valkyrie” and “Ocean’s Thirteen,” finished his 1,100-mile, seven-week tour of Britain on Tuesday.

“I feel really good,” said Mr. Izzard as he met Mr. Brown at Downing Street. “My legs hurt, my body hurts, I’m very tired. I lost my toenails, had blisters and stuff, but to finish, it’s kind of like science fiction in a way.”

The double Emmy Award winner, not previously noted for his athleticism, carried out just five weeks’ training before his epic feat. Typically, runners are advised to take up to three weeks’ rest between marathons.

Explaining how he got through it, Mr. Izzard said, “I just had to keep going, I just get determined to do strange things.”

His “Eddie Iz Running” challenge has so far raised more than $330,000 for Sport Relief, which helps vulnerable people in Britain and in poor countries around the world.

As he ran, Mr. Izzard was followed by a sports therapist and an ice cream van that handed out free treats to supporters.

Festival opener

Director Quentin Tarantino will open the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico this October while on a promotional tour for his latest film “Inglourious Basterds,” Agence France-Presse reports.

“Tarantino will present his new film and participate in the opening of the festival on October 3,” said Pepe Abrego, a spokesman for the festival. “Afterwards there will be a press conference. He is coming here as part of the international promotional tour for his movie.”

Starring Brad Pitt in the lead role, the movie has been a hit for the “Kill Bill” director, claiming the top spot at the U.S. box office in its debut weekend and taking in about $75 million in North American theaters since it opened.

Mr. Tarantino is the first international star whose attendance at the seventh Morelia film festival has been confirmed. Organizers have also invited British musician Michael Nyman and actress Anjelica Huston. The festival, held Oct. 3 through 11, will pay tribute to her father, the late director John Huston.

$10M to Philharmonic

The New York Philharmonic says it will receive a $10 million gift from philanthropist Henry R. Kravis, Associated Press reports. The gift will endow its composer-in-residence program and fund the creation of an award in the field of new music.

Both will be named after the financier’s wife, economist Marie-Josee Kravis.

Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg will be the first recipient of the two-year Kravis composer-in-residence position. Mr. Lindberg’s “EXPO” had its world premiere Wednesday during Alan Gilbert’s opening night concert as the Philharmonic’s new music director.

The Marie-Josee Kravis Prize for New Music will be given out every two years. It will consist of a $250,000 award and a commission from the Philharmonic.

Compiled by Dianne Lash from Web and wire reports.

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