Despite the fact that such celebs as James Cromwell (Babe), Zooey & Emily Deschanel and Jorja Fox were in attendance, the real star of the Twentieth Anniversary Genesis Awards was "Katrina" a black Labrador, rescued and adopted by photographer Jeff Mailes, and featured in a two part report on the hurricane in New Orleans. The Genesis Awards honor a diverse selection of movies and major media, including the Academy Award winning animated feature Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit. In accepting his award, Dug Calder, key animator, amused the audience with his comment: "It seems a bit odd to be accepting an award on behalf of some very small plastic bunnies. But we are very proud of them, and none of them were harmed in the making of the film."
Esai Morales with "Katrina"
Other winners were Larry King Live, CSI and World News Tonight. Some of the animal friendly celebs feasting on gourmet vegan fare included Tippi Hedren (who owns and operates her own animal reserve Shambala) who recently celebrated her 75th Birthday. The former femme fatale who starred in several Alfred Hitchcock movies, including The Birds, celebrated with her daughter Melanie Griffith and gorgeous son in law Antonio Banderas.
The Genesis Awards were founded by Gretchen Wyler, former Broadway headliner and animal activist, who is VP of the Hollywood Office of the Humane Society of the U.S. They protect all animals through education, investigation and legislation. As techno guitarist Moby stated: "If you are a public figure, I think one of the only decent exercises of fame is to draw attention to good causes." Right on Moby - Animals Rule!
Melanie Griffin with her Mom
Tippi Hedren at 75th Birthday party
Another animal lover, and arguably the most talented young actress today, Dakota Fanning, will be honored by Starlight Starbright Children's foundation on March 31st at the Beverly Hilton. Ms. Fanning has received a ton of awards, including The Broadcast Critics Association, and the Bronze Leopard from the Lucarno Film Festival. For her recent Birthday, she even received 33 dozen roses from Tom Cruise, with whom she co-starred in War of the Worlds. Not bad for a 12 year old kid.
She is being recognized for her enthusiastic dedication to helping others at such an early age, and the kid-focused theme will feature teen sensation Kristy Frank and inspiring R&B vocalist Bo Benton. Elisabeth Shue, Fanning's co-star in her latest flick, Dreamer will present the award. Other celebs expected to attend include Teri Hatcher (who seems to be at every event these days) and John Stamos as well as teen stars Ricky Ullman and Devon Werkheiser. For ticket info, please call 310-479-1212. Another star studded evening on the Hollywood Beat.