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Amber Tamblyn with Norby Walters

at Celeb Poker Game

Poker mania has hit Hollywood, and one of its biggest supporters is super agent Norby Walters, who used to represent Luther Vandross, Dionne Warwick and Will Smith. Norby hosts the biggest poker game in tinseltown. The minimum bet may be just $1 but he draws from a pool of 125 actors who formerly assembled for his weekly Wednesday night game at his Pied a Terre in West Hollywood. His new venue is the venerable Friars club, where his poker pals include such celebs as George Segal, Larry David, Martin Landau, Nicolette Sheridan and Jason Alexander, who incidentally was the biggest loser when he dropped $200 in one night.

We joined the gang the other night and met adorable Amber Tamblyn, who was such a big hit in the TV series Joan of Arcadia. Did you know that she is the second youngest actress to be nominated for an Emmy in the category of Lead Actress in a Series? The 22 year old star is a role model for young women of today. Unlike Brittany Spears, who she acknowledges “has nothing to offer but her T&A.”

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Shirley Jones with Norby Walters

at Oscar Viewing Party

Her latest film, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was an unlikely hit, and to add to her accomplishments, she just completed her first full length book of poetry, “Free Stallion” for Simon and Schuster. And yes folks, she is a hell of a poker player too. That evening she made mince meat out of Lance Bass (N’Sync) and Jesse Metcalfe (Desperate Housewives hunk).

But to get back to the Host with the Most, Norby, we are getting ready for his 16th Annual Oscar Viewing Party on Sunday, March 5th at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Entitled “Night of 100 Stars”, actually over 200 stars who are voting members of the Academy, are scheduled to attend. Some of the invited guests include James Wood (who also has a passion for poker), Keith and David Carradine, Lou Diamond Phillips, Meatloaf, Shirley Jones and David Caruso.

Although this black tie dinner party is mainly for invited celeb guests, there are a limited number of seats available to the public at $1,000. For ticket info only, please call 310-446-5416. Hope to see you there!

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Cameron Diaz and Norman Lloyd (In Her Shoes)

Speaking of the Oscars, will Norman Lloyd at 91, the “Grand Old Gentleman of Hollywood” become the elder statesman of the forthcoming Oscar ceremonies? Twentieth Century Fox thinks so, and is pushing Norman as supporting actor for his eight minute pivotal appearance in In Her Shoes. And why not? Beatrice Straight won the golden statue for her 3 minutes in Network, and Judi Dench for five minutes as Queen Elizabeth. We ran into Lloyd at Fox President Jim Gianapolis’ party at his specious Westside estate. Guests included Shirley MacLaine, Joaquin Phoenix, Diane Ladd and even Presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich. But the biggest party animal was Lloyd, who attributes his energy to still playing tennis three times a week. Tennis anyone? – on the Hollywood Beat.