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Stars moved to tears by Oscars

by The Associated Press on November 18, 2013 10:50 AM

LOS ANGELES — Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin and Angela Lansbury were moved to tears at the film academy’s fifth annual Governors Awards.

Each of the entertainers accepted honorary Oscar statuettes Saturday at a private dinner at the Hollywood & Highland Center. Italian costume designer Piero Tosi was also honored, but did not attend the ceremony.

Jolie, 38, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Before guests including Brad Pitt and a man Jolie cited as “my hero,” World War II veteran and Olympian Louis Zamperini, the actress-director became emotional as she thanked her late mother, whom she said inspired her to think of others and give back.

“To stand here today means I did as she asked,” Jolie said. “And if she were alive, she’d be very proud.”

Tom Hanks and Martin Short helped present Martin with his honorary Oscar, which Short described as “the highest honor an actor can receive in mid-November.”

Accepting recognition for his distinguished career, Martin, 68, said, “I can’t possibly express how I excited I am tonight, because the Botox is fresh.”

But Martin got misty eyed as he reflected on the dear friends he’s made during his five decades in film.

“I knew I wasn’t going to make it through this speech,” he said. “I read it to my dog this morning and wept.”

Lansbury, 88, recited a list of her famous co-stars as she accepted her honorary Academy Award: Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable, Lawrence Olivier and Orson Welles. With her two brothers, three children and three grandchildren in tow, the actress’ voice cracked as she thanked movies and acting for rescuing her after the death of her husband.

She said sharing the Governors Awards ceremony with her family was better than “shivering with hope” during her three Oscar nominations, none of which resulted in statuettes.

“You can’t imagine how happy and proud I feel, really undeserving of this gorgeous golden chap,” she said.

The Governors Awards were not televised but portions of the ceremony may be included in the Academy Awards telecast on March 2, 2014.

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LOS ANGELES — Andy Warhol’s artwork has always grabbed attention and sparked discussion, but one of his portraits of Farrah Fawcett is about to receive scrutiny of a different kind in a Los Angeles courtroom.

The case centers on a relatively simple question: Does one of Warhol’s depictions of Fawcett belong to her longtime lover, Ryan O’Neal, or should it join its twin at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin?

To decide the case, jurors will hear testimony and see evidence focused on Warhol and O’Neal’s friendship, his relationship with Fawcett and the actress’ final wishes.

The panel will likely get insight into Warhol’s creation of the Fawcett image, which was based on a Polaroid photo the artist took of the “Charlie’s Angels” star in 1980. The image, one of the main attractions in a 2011 exhibit on portraiture at UT’s Blanton Museum of Art, features an unsmiling Fawcett looking out from the canvas.

Warhol painted her lips red and her eyes green in an otherwise uncolored image.

The trial starts this week, with O’Neal and possibly Fawcett’s “Charlie’s Angels” co-star Jaclyn Smith taking the witness stand. Lawyers will argue what evidence will be admitted during the trial, which is expected to take two weeks.

Fawcett decreed in her will that all her artwork go to the school, yet O’Neal insists that Warhol gave him a copy of the portrait as a gift and it belongs to him.

Warhol’s art continues to garner attention and high prices. His painting of the immediate aftermath of a car crash sold for $105 million at auction last week, although the value of his Fawcett portrait is at dispute in the case. Estimates range from $600,000 to more than $10 million, according to filings in the case.

University of Texas’ lawyers contend O’Neal improperly removed the portrait from Fawcett’s condominium after her 2009 death. The Oscar-nominated actor had the artwork moved there to prevent it from being damaged by the salty air at his beachside home and had the right to retrieve it, his lawyers argue.

O’Neal has countersued the university, seeking the return of a cloth napkin that Warhol drew hearts on and gave as a gift to Fawcett and the actor.

“It is a precious memento of his life with Ms. Fawcett, the love of his life, with whom he was romantically involved for 30 years up until the time of her death,” O’Neal’s lawyers wrote in a trial brief. “Because O’Neal’s Warhol portrait is an heirloom, he never intends to, nor will, sell it.”

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LAS VEGAS — Tim McGraw and Faith Hill brushed off tabloid divorce rumors as they powered into an encore run of “Soul2Soul,” a Las Vegas Strip residency that drew sellout crowds in its first season and is scheduled for 10 select weekends through April.

The country music royals sat close and bantered with each other before a doubleheader of shows Friday at the Venetian resort, telling reporters they’ve outlasted split rumors that started from the first weeks of their 17-year marriage.

“I wish people would stop buying that stuff, and I wish they’d just stop printing that stuff,” Hill said of the tabloids. “Happy is good. I don’t know why happy can’t be a story.”

The show, which squeezes the electricity of an arena production into a 1,800-seat theater with a live band, is a tag team of hits drawn from two decades of their separate, stellar careers.

The couple’s chemistry takes center stage in the final duet as they sit on opposite sides of the same old-fashioned microphone, hands on each other’s knees, and sing “I Need You.”

McGraw called the Las Vegas shows a chance to “catch your breath” compared with the whirlwind of touring that he’ll pick up once again this summer.

After Saturday’s performances, the next showings of “Soul2Soul” are set for mid-January.

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November 18, 2013 10:40 AM
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