By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated December 28, 2001 12:11 PM

ACKNOWLEDGED: Clint Eastwood, 71, personally thanked the people who helped his former companion, Frances Fisher, 49, and the couple’s 8-year-old daughter, Francesca, when a Christmas Day fire ravaged Fisher’s rented home outside Vancouver. The cause of the fire, which left Fisher with second-degree burns on her hands and Francesca with minor smoke inhalation injuries, has yet to be determined. “I was just thanking the neighbors, because these people here were the ones who came to their aid,” Eastwood told Canadian TV network BC-CTV during a surprise visit on Wednesday to the fire scene . . . MARKED: Germany celebrated what would have been the 100th birthday of international screen icon Marlene Dietrich on Thursday with a tribute from President Johannes Rau and a formal apology from the city of Berlin for treating the Hollywood star as a traitor for her staunch anti-Nazi stance during World War II. Born in Berlin on Dec. 27, 1901 (she liked to claim it was 1904), the leggy Dietrich died in Paris as a recluse in 1992. She is buried near her mother in Berlin . . . WON: Atlantic City, after a heated competition to woo away the Miss America Pageant after 80 years in the New Jersey seaside resort, will retain the contest for at least one more year, the pageant’s board of directors announced Thursday. Nevada, Florida, California and Connecticut reportedly had put in bids once organizers said they needed heavy local subsidies for the contest to remain where it was . . . CLAIMED: “My Cousin Vinny” Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, 37, says her cat has amazing psychic powers, according to the New York Post. Tomei said that her pet awakened her just in time to hear Tomei’s name read out as a Golden Globe nominee for “In the Bedroom.” The furry companion “was telling me to get up and turn on the TV,” she said. Talk about the cat’s meow.