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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, March 8, 2010

Clooney king of red carpet

Associated Press

There are many reasons why George Clooney is one of the most popular stars in Hollywood: the crinkles around his eyes when he smiles, his soothing voice and his deep brown eyes.

But he's also one of the most generous celebrities on the Oscars red carpet. He bounded across the red ropes yesterday to the bleachers with a pen in hand, ready to shake hands and sign autographs. The fans leaped out of their seats to get a glimpse of him, pressing toward the carpet that ran into the Kodak Theatre.

After he signed a woman's security badge, she held it up in the air triumphantly and fans cheered for her.

"That was super-duper nice. That's what they all should do," said Pauline An, a stay-at-home mom from Golden, Colo. "I talked to Mary Hart, shook George Clooney's hand and Jason Bateman waved to me. It's a good night."


The Oscars were a little bit country this year.

"Crazy Heart," which stars Jeff Bridges as an aging country music star, was the most obvious presence on the red carpet at yesterday's ceremony. Bridges was nominated for best actor, Maggie Gyllenhaal was nominated for best supporting actress and the song "The Weary Kind" by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett was up for best song.

But Tim McGraw, co-star of the best-picture nominee "The Blind Side" was also in attendance with his wife, Faith Hill. McGraw plays the husband of Sandra Bullock's character in the film.

Miley Cyrus was also at the Kodak Theatre to present an award. She came with her mother, Leticia Cyrus, but not her father, Billy Ray Cyrus.

"Last time I was here, I was with my dad," the young pop star told E!'s Ryan Seacrest. "He kept stepping on my dress, so I'm hoping that doesn't happen again."


In a throwback to more competitive days, Academy Award presenters rehearsed the line "and the winner is ..." instead of the blander "and the Oscar goes to ..." for yesterday's show.

The last time the language was used officially was for the 60th Academy Awards in 1988, when "The Last Emperor" won for best picture. The following year, show producer Allan Carr changed the wording, although some presenters ignored the new guidelines.

"His goal was to make it not seem as competitive," said Lucia Schultz, the motion picture academy's librarian. Other awards shows also followed suit.

Although academy staff would not confirm the change before the telecast, presenters had been using the phrasing through last week.