With the rousing success of Dancing With the Stars, and a renewed interest in the art of the dance, the Professional Dancers Society's annual "Gypsy" Awards was a sellout. More than 600 dancers, choreographers and friends were on hand to honor icons Joel Grey and Rita Moreno, who have won more awards than one can mention.

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Joni Berry, Rita Moreno, Joel Grey, Mitzi Gaynor

at "Gypsy Awards"

Grey, Academy Award and Tony winner for his role in both the Broadway and film productions of Cabaret, and Moreno, who has the distinction of winning having an Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy in her corner, were saluted for their long careers. And lest you think these legends are resting on the laurels, Moreno will star in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams from April 6 - June 4th at the Berkley Rep Theatre, and Gray, is currently performing in the Broadway musical Wicked, playing the part of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. They joined such luminaries as Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, Debbie Reynolds and Shirley Maclaine who were honored in prior years.

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Nancy Reagan, who will be honored by

John Wayne Cancer Clinic

In a lively musical tribute, presided over by PDS Chair, Joni Berry, and President Mitzi Gaynor (who danced her way through South Pacific), Moreno was presented her award by actor Benjamin Bratt. Grey's presentation was made by Carol Burnett, with participation by dancer, Ann Reinking (Chorus Line).

Entertainment featured a special choreographed program from the hit Broadway show, City of Angeles, and ventriloquist Jay Johnson performed a comedy routine from his one man show, The Two and Only, which will soon open on the great white way. But the best news was that the PDS has donated over a million dollars since 1996 to care for dancers in need

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Cowboy Actor Dean Smith
Brokeback Mountain has brought back an interest in the Golden West, and a popular theme this year is "Our Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys". So who was the greatest cowboy hero of our time? John Wayne, of course! Appropriately, Former First Lady, Nancy Reagan (who with her husband, Ronald, enjoyed a decade's long friendship with the Duke) will receive the True Grit Award from the John Wayne Cancer Institute on April 8th. In addition, Stuntman Hall of Fame, and Golden Boot recipient Dean Smith, will also be honored for his contributions to help fight cancer. Smith appeared in 10 movies with Wayne, including The Alamo, Rio Bravo and How the West Was Won. He is also a rodeo champion and Olympic gold medallist, and created a Celebrity Rodeo in Graham, Texas which benefited the American Cancer Society.

Sadly, Smith who lost several good friends, besides Wayne, to cancer, has been diagnosed with the disease himself. Determined it would not slow him down, he still rides, and participates in celebrity events and is working on his autobiography. As we stated above, "our heroes have always been cowboys" on the Hollywood Beat.