Hollywood Hits the Red Carpet

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AFI Gala: I'm proud to be an actor, although for this one night, you made me feel like a star," Morgan Freeman said as the American Film Institute bestowed on him its 39th Life Achievement Award during its annual gala at Sony Pictures Studios. A portrait of the actor hung high above the stage inside the luxuriously converted Stage 15, where attendees enjoyed a dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck. Hollywood's oldsters stole the evening celebrating an actor who was 50 when his film career kicked into high gear with Street Smart. Backed by an all-male chorus line, Betty White belted out "Hello, Morgan!" (her version of "Hello, Dolly!"), while his former Electric Company co-star Rita Moreno launched into a sexy, freeform poem in praise of Freeman that had the room in stitches. Clint Eastwood, who directed the 74-year-old actor to an Oscar win for Million Dollar Baby, presented his great friend the award and said, "He is the most effortless person to be around."  -- Gregg Kilday

The Tony Awards
The 65th Annual Tonys moved to a new venue this year, downsizing from Radio City Music Hall to the Upper West Side's renovated Beacon Theatre for a more intimate feel. The show, running at slightly more than three hours, got the audience on their feet during Martha Wash's surprise performance of "It's Raining Men." Such stars as Alec Baldwin, Chris Rock and Al Pacino sat in the front row, and Neil Patrick Harris shined as host for the second time. "You made me think I was straight for like 23 years!" he quipped to Brooke Shields. The talk of the night was The Book of Mormon, which won nine awards, including best musical. "We've been to enough award shows to know that it is easy to lose to Phil Collins at any time," Mormon co-writer Matt Stone told THR. "We weren't really expecting anything, but this is great."  -- Kim Messina

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