at Friars ClubThe Dalai Lama at the Friars Club? The Special “Jewel of Light” award was given in honor of His Holiness for his continued devotion to world peace. Unfortunately, as often happens at these events, the honoree was unable to attend, and a supernumerary was on hand to accept the award. In this case, it was spiritual leader Rinpoche, a legend in his homeland in India, who personifies compassion and wisdom.

Sacred Awards Gala A slew of celebs of a similar persuasion were in attendance, including Steven Segal, dressed all in black, who presented the award to Rinpoche. Gorgeous Carre Otis, who has been through some ugly times (drug addiction, and a turbulent marriage to Mickey Rourke) hosted the event which was a celebration dedicated to world peace. Carre, who is known as a plus size model, certainly didn’t look obese to us. I guess a size 12 is considered corpulent these days.

Another beauty who has certainly changed her image is Elizabeth Berkley, whose appearance in Showgirls caused such censure. Berkley, who is a vegetarian, once donned a gown made entirely of collard greens for the “Lettuce Be Lean” campaign sponsored by PETA. And while on the subject of beautiful women, Julia Ormond was also honored for her spiritual contributions. Did you know that the star of Sabrina with Harrison Ford, is now a Good Will Ambassador of the United Nations, and that she is battling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia?

But speaking of returns to the Biz, David Gest, the award winning producer is back on the scene and announced the formation of his L.A. based international production company, Extreme Entertainment Enterprises. Their first project is Dionne Warwick: 45th Anniversary Spectacular,” a TV special that will be filmed at the Kodak Theatre on January 26 & 27th, 2006, More than 100 stars will participate in the salute to Warwick, who has had over 60 top records in her 45 year career.

We note that Guest will also present “Jane Russell: 85th Birthday Celebration” with an old time bash for the movie legend, Since Gest produced the highest rated musical special in TV history,” Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration,” we expect something spectacular on the Hollywood Beat.