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DREAMING OF A CURE
Patrick Swayze on Stand Up to Cancer
At the Stand Up to Cancer telethon, a thinner but composed Patrick Swayze, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last February, surprised and warmed the hearts of the event’s A-list volunteers by opening the live show. “I dream that the word ‘cure’ will no longer be followed by the words ‘it’s impossible,'” the 56-year-old actor said as Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Garner rose for a standing ovation. “Together we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse.”
Televised by ABC, CBS and NBC and airing in over 170 countries, the telethon raised more than $100 million for cancer research. During the finale, Swayze danced in the wings with wife Lisa. He played air guitar to closing act Melissa Etheridge and Sugarland and chatted with former NBA star Charles Barkley, proudly letting him know he had “gone back to work.” After the show ended, Swayze lingered onstage, talking with other cancer survivors. “He said a beautiful thing: ‘I’m just an individual living with cancer.’ That’s how he wants to be thought of,” says executive producer Laura Ziskin. “He’s in a fight, but he’s a fighter.”
Beyoncé Knowles‘S RING REVEALED!
Beyoncé finally debuted her whopping $5 million 18-carat-diamond wedding ring during N.Y.C.’s Fashion Rocks concert Sept. 5. Although it’s been five months since the singer, 27, married rapper Jay-Z, she had kept the Lorraine Schwartz-designed sparkler under wraps.
Despite the obvious, she has yet to confirm she’s carrying Baby No. 2 with Liev Schrieber.
EVA LONGORIA PARKER
Her rep says she’s not, but a Sept. 7 photo has people wondering.
Reports say she ordered the dress (for her wedding to Arki Busson) two sizes bigger. Reps deny.
WEEKEND IN VEGAS!
During his weekend trip to Sin City, Michael Phelps, 23, was “basking in the limelight,” says a source. On Sept. 4 the swimmer hit the Playboy Club; the next night he whetted his Olympic appetite at N9NE Steakhouse and partied at club Moon. On Sept. 6, after visiting a tanning salon, he flirted with female fans at club Rain. The next day he flew to L.A. for the VMAs. He finished his whirlwind weekend at the House of Hype afterparty, where he hung out with Ryan Phillippe. “Ryan was excited to meet him,” a source says.
Ashton Kutcher‘s new role? Assistant coach for the freshman Wolverines football team at L.A.’s Harvard-Westlake School. “[Kutcher] said he’s always wanted to coach,” says Audrius Barzdukas, head of athletics. “He’s put in the time to learn our schemes. He’s a great communicator.”
HE’S A REAL FOOTBALL COACH
MATT DAMON: CAUTIOUS DAD
“At my house they have a nickname for me,” said Matt Damon at the OneXOne gala in Toronto Sept. 8. “They call me Red Alert. If any of the kids go near anything dangerous, I quickly say, ‘Is she touching that? Watch out for that!'” With 1-month-old baby Gia (with wife Luciana), Damon says he “knew what to expect with the third girl, but I’m still on high alert all the time.”
“If you don’t register and vote, you are muzzling yourself,” says Jessica Alba, which is the message behind her bondage-inspired campaign for the voter group Declare Yourself. When not speaking out on behalf of voting, Alba, 27, had plenty to say about her 3-month-old baby Honor: “She is getting chubby and she fully holds her head up.”
ROMEO TURNS 6
Celebrating with the usual flair, David and Victoria Beckham‘s middle son Romeo celebrated his 6th birthday with a party at Universal City Walk Sept. 4 with superhero costumes and famous friends—including Heidi Klum with Henry and Leni, and Kingston Rossdale. Romeo “was hopping up and down,” clutching his mom’s hand as they walked to the Hard Rock Cafe. Adds an onlooker: “Everyone was smiling and happy.”
STEVIE’S SON’S B-DAY BASH
Stevie Wonder’s son Kailand Morris rang in his 7th birthday with a surprise serenade by the Jonas Brothers (they sang “Happy Birthday” a cappella) and a heap of gifts—including Sprinkles cupcakes from Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and a digital camera from Denzel Washington. Salma Hayek brought baby Valentina Paloma—and ex-fiancé François-Henri Pinault. “Salma stayed by his side almost the whole time; they looked really close,” says a partygoer. “They looked like any other couple out with their child for the day.”
• 9/6 Hayden Panettiere sitting on Milo Ventimiglia‘s lap during the talenthouse.com party at Chateau Marmont. Nearby Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen had a parents’ night out, dancing in a corner together.
• 9/6 Rob Lowe rushing through the crowds to catch the Black Eyed Peas perform after the 100-mile Audi Best Buddies Challenge bike ride at Hearst Castle. “My buddy and I came in second place in the race!” Lowe gushed.
• 9/7 The new 90210 cast having a mini-reunion at the Verizon Wireless Samsung Style Villa. Says an onlooker: “The girls were all laughing about not knowing each other was coming. It was cute.”
The original Office cocreator, 47, sees dead people in Ghost Town. But what really gets his spirit up?
After you created The Office, people called you a comic genius. What’s that like?
I’ll never forget the first time someone called me a genius. I said, “Yep, the world of science just lost another one to TV.”
Did all that praise go to your head?
No, because I was 39 the first time I discovered I was a genius. I immediately put on a cravat and started smoking a pipe.
What’s the most important thing to remember when trying to be funny?
There’s no room for ego or vanity in comedy. Comedians that want to be cool or want to be rock stars immediately, they are not funny.
You specialize in cringe-inducing moments. What makes you cringe?
Reality shows. When I see two people on Big Brother flirting, I can’t stand it. I have to watch through my fingers. I tend to get much more embarrassed about other people than I do about myself.
Your movie Ghost Town is a romantic comedy, but you don’t get to kiss the girl. Did you feel gypped?
No, because it was my idea. I worry about films when the couple run together and they kiss, and we are meant to go, ‘They live happily ever after.’ That is a ludicrous thing to say. What we are saying is that they are soul mates at the moment and that something is going to happen tomorrow. I’d rather leave you with a taste in your mouth.