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Catherine Zeta-Jones Named Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year

Catherine Zeta-Jones receives the 2005 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year award. CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- On stage to accept her Woman of the Year award at Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Catherine Zeta-Jones, 35, first needed to prove to the presenters that she was worthy of the title. One of her tasks was to participate in "Pudding Idol," a mock version of the popular television series. With lyrics personalized just for her, Zeta-Jones belted out the new words to a "Chicago" favorite.

"Give me four more Oscars or I'll make 'The Haunting 2,' When you're good to Catherine, Catherine's good to you!" she sang to the tune of the Queen Latifah hit from the 2002 film that earned Zeta-Jones an Academy Award.

Even though she didn't write the lyrics, Zeta-Jones stayed true to her words. Showing she could perform with the best of them, she met every challenge given to her by Matt Ferrante, president of the Theatricals, and Sam Gale Rosen, vice-president of the cast, both undergraduates at Harvard. From passing a lie detector test to tap dancing in stilettos, Zeta-Jones didn't flinch at a single request. She even admitted her favorite on-screen moment from "The Mask of Zorro".

"Getting my clothes ripped off by Antonio Banderas," she joked.

A Harvard tradition for 55 years, the Woman of the Year pudding pot is presented annually to an actress that has made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment." Before being presented with the award, the celebrity being honored is roasted on stage. To prepare for this, Zeta-Jones asked for advice from her husband, 1992 Man of the Year honoree Michael Douglas.

"He said, 'Just give it back to them honey. What they give to you, give it back to them,'" she laughed.

Upon receiving the coveted award, Zeta-Jones told members of the audience, including Douglas, exactly what she would do with her bronze pudding pot.

"It will go next to my Oscar," she said before quickly reconsidering. "Well, in front of my Oscar, next to my husband's little pudding. We could have a family of little puddings!"

The Woman of the Year ceremony kicks off this year's festivities for "Terms of Frontierment," the 157th student-written production by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, a student organization at Harvard. Starting in 1891, it is one of the oldest theatrical traditions in North America and combines musical comedy with drag-show burlesque. The acting troupe gained international attention with the introduction of the Woman of the Year awards in 1951 and the Man of the Year awards in 1967.

The Hasty Pudding events continue on Feb. 17 when actor Tim Robbins is recognized as Man of the Year. Robbins' coronation will be followed by opening night for "Terms of Frontierment," which runs through March. -- Rachel Bowie

Posted by Mac on February 12, 2005 05:36 AM
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