Celebrity Scoop

032602, story, Celebrity Scoop, JM
Peter O'Toole, nominated seven times for an Oscar for films as diverse as the epic "Lawrence of Arabia" and the nostalgic comedy "My Favorite Year," will receive an honorary Academy Award this year. "O'Toole's performances have ignited the screen for more than four decades," Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said Friday in announcing the award. It will be presented during the 75th annual Oscars ceremony March 23 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Its citation will read: "Peter O'Toole — whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters." "He's seven times been nominated as best actor, which puts him in extremely rarified air for a performer," Pierson said. "The Board of Governors felt it was time for him to hold his own Oscar in his hands."

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen is donating $150,000 to help fight hunger in her native Brazil. Bundchen will hand over the money — her fee for one show in Sao Paulo Fashion Week — to Brazilian first lady Marisa Silva, O Globo newspaper reported Sunday. The fashion week starts Monday and Bundchen's appearance will be in a show by designer Ricardo Almeida, who also dresses President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Silva is initiating a "zero hunger" program that is expected to cost at least $700 million annually. "The campaign is very important for the country," Bundchen told O Globo.

Suzanne Somers, who played ditsy blond Chrissy Snow on the 1970s sitcom "Three's Company," now has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "And the nuns in Catholic school said I'd never get to heaven," Somers joked at the ceremony Friday. "This is heaven and I'm just floating in it." Somers, 56, also is author of 10 books on weight loss and owns the ThighMaster line of fitness products. She attributed her success to hard work. "If you believe in yourself, and you focus, and you're willing to work like a dog, you can make your dreams come true," she said. Somers' star is near the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, site of the first Academy Awards ceremony. On hand to see Somers honored were singer Barry Manilow, entertainer Merv Griffin and CBS Television President Leslie Moonves. Somers will tour in a one-woman show called "The Blonde in the Thunderbird" beginning in September.

Former President Jimmy Carter will give some of his $1 million Nobel Peace Prize money to an institute his wife founded to help caregivers and their families. The Carters will announce a "substantial financial gift" Tuesday to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development, said Wesley Sumner, spokesman for Georgia Southwestern State University, where the institute is located. The institute, established in 1987, provides some relief for caregivers, who often struggle with physical and emotional stress, isolation, guilt and financial strain as they care for the elderly, children and people with physical and mental disabilities. The institute also promotes effective caregiving practices and builds public awareness.

Sheryl Crow and The Goo Goo Dolls will perform during the NHL All-Star game Feb. 2 at Sunrise, Fla. The Goo Goo Dolls will perform their hit single "Sympathy" between the first and second periods. Crow will sing "C'mon, C'mon" after the second period. Crow, an eight-time Grammy winner, also will perform at an outdoor concert after the game. Latin Grammy winner Jorge Moreno will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner," and country star Paul Brandt will sing the Canadian anthem.

Spike Lee has canceled a speech at the University of Cincinnati because of pressure from groups calling for an economic boycott of the city, the university's student body president said. Darren Tolliver said he received notice from Lee's agent that the film director would not speak on campus Feb. 28 for Black History Month. "From the beginning we were up front and clear that there was a boycott in Cincinnati," Tolliver said. "We were told that it would not be a problem." The boycott began after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed, fleeing black man in April 2001. Boycott supporters want to pressure the city to make changes to improve the lives of black residents. Lee would have been paid $25,000 for his appearance. Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Wynton Marsalis and Smokey Robinson have backed out of appearances in Cincinnati during the boycott.

The town of Leavenworth can now buy a $15,000 band organ, thanks to rocker Melissa Etheridge. Etheridge, who grew up in Leavenworth, donated the $15,000 needed to buy an organ the town had its eye on for a long time. Jerry Reinhardt, a carousel aficionado who's worked with the Leavenworth Historical Museum Association for years, was ecstatic last week when the check for the band organ arrived. He said people restoring a small 1913 carousel that will be on display during the Taste of Leavenworth next month needed a band organ to go with the carousel. They expected to have to scrounge for money for several years, until a group member suggested contacting Etheridge. When Reinhardt learned she would pay for the organ, he offered to engrave a brass plate, as she wished. The plate, which will be on display at the Feb. 28 event, will say: "Given to the Great People of Leavenworth, with much appreciation. From Melissa Etheridge."