March 17, 1997 12:00 PM

Tom Cruise, who earned an Oscar nomination for his romantic comedy Jerry Maguire, took a backseat breather with wife Nicole Kidman in London. The couple, who live, work and stay together, are there shooting Stanley Kubrick’s next thriller, Eyes Wide Shut.

Carolyn Bessette Kennedy flashed her pearly-whites at New York’s Municipal Art Society gala, where her husband, John (left), presented Robert De Niro, his Tribeca neighbor, with the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal for his work in preserving city neighborhoods.

Bull Durham veteran Kevin Costner hummed one in during batting practice-with the Colorado Rockies in Tucson. Costner was in town to start directing The Postman, an adventure in which he’ll also star.

It was hats off for Princess Caroline, who tressed up for a literary awards ceremony in Paris. Caroline, who lost her locks following a bout with the skin disorder alopecia last fall, had previously worn turbans and scarves in public.

Pretty in pink, New York City’s Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (right) was the talk of the gown when he bended genders with a tuxedo-clad Julie Andrews and her castmates from the hit Broadway musical Victor/Victoria at the Inner Circle press dinner, an annual political spoof in Manhattan. When Andrews challenged Hizzoner onstage, asking, “Can you play a woman playing a man playing a woman?” Giuliani didn’t skirt the issue, replying that he is already “a Republican pretending to be a Democrat pretending to be a Republican.” The mayor, who is running for a second term, showed plenty of show-womanship, even warbling a rendition of Marilyn Monroe’s infamous serenade to John F. Kennedy, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”

Ellen’s, Ellen DeGeneres (right), whose TV persona is set to come out of the closet April 30, sized up k.d. lang in Beverly Hills, where she presented the gay chanteuse with the Creative Integrity Award at a benefit that raised over $200,000 for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s women’s programs.

Former Today show host Bryant Gumbel, soon to announce his next career course, swung into action for charity at the Bryant Gumbel-Walt Disney World Celebrity Golf Tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The event raised $650,000 for the United Negro College Fund.

Jerry Maguire’s Cuba Gooding Jr. (near right), who has also been nominated for an Academy Award, made some smoking room for Jack Nicholson when they buddied up in Las Vegas for ShoWest ’97, an annual preview event for the movie industry. Greg Kinnear (above left) and Mad About You’s Helen Hunt, on a blond date, also appeared. All four actors are in Old Friends, a comedy due in December.

General Hospital cleaned up with six trophies at the Soap Opera Digest Awards in L.A., including outstanding lead actress for the six-months-pregnant Genie Francis (left). Also causing a lather were The Young and the Restless’s Kristoff St. John (above, top left) and Shemar Moore, Days of Our Lives’ Kristian Alfonso (above) and All My Children’s Eva LaRue Callahan (far left).

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