April 02, 2002 03:00 PM

The mood was festive at the 13th annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation (GLAAD) media awards Monday night in Manhattan, reports PEOPLE. Glenn Close, Barbara Walters, Kelly Ripa, Kristen Johnston, Cynthia Nixon, Ann Curry and “Golden Girls” Bea Arthur and Rue McLanahan were among those who came to show their support. GLAAD honored Close and Walters, among others, for their work in representing homosexuals in the media. In accepting her award, Walters, 70, joining in the spirit of the occasion, told the crowd, “We hope that we’ve opened some minds. And if they’re still not open, we just don’t care anymore!” Before the formal dinner, the “Today” show’s newscaster, Ann Curry, 45, who was being honored for outstanding news coverage, told PEOPLE, “I’m the kind of person who, if I’m at a party and I hear a homophobic remark, I will ruin the moment for anyone laughing.” Clips of Diane Sawyer’s recent interview with Rosie O’Donnell received an overwhelmingly positive response from the audience, as did a performance from Steven Weber and the Broadway cast of “The Producers.” Weber, 40, told PEOPLE about recently taking over Matthew Broderick’s role in the show: “Matthew didn’t pull any pranks, like leaving bologna in my slippers. He just said, ‘So long, sucker!’ No really, he wished me well.” Broderick’s costar, Nathan Lane, who has also left that Broadway smash, was given a GLAAD award but could not attend the ceremony.

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