The Spanish love Woody, too

Oviedo, Spain � Woody Allen was named winner of the Prince of Asturias arts prize Tuesday, with the jury citing the "great creative talent" that made the 66-year-old filmmaker a key figure in the history of cinema.

It was only the second time that the $47,080 award has gone to an American. Two years ago, Arkansas-born soprano Barbara Hendricks won it.

The 21-member panel noted the Oscar-winning filmmaker's "independence and his sharp critical sense" in a variety of artistic endeavors.

The Prince of Asturias prizes, named after Crown Prince Felipe, are given annually in eight fields of endeavor � literature, science, sports, arts, humanities, international cooperation, peace and communications.

Aniston lawsuit proceeds

Los Angeles � A federal judge ruled that Jennifer Aniston's lawsuit may go forward against the publishers of two magazines who ran a photo of her sunbathing topless in her back yard.

U.S. District Judge Ronald S. Lew set a trial date for July 2 after allowing Aniston's claims on common law misappropriation of the right of publicity, constructive trust and punitive damages.

However, Lew rejected Aniston's claim of publication of private information because the photograph appeared in European magazines before being circulated in 1999 in Celebrity Skin and High Society.

The 33-year-old "Friends" co-star sued Man's World Publications Inc. and Crescent Publishing Group in August 2000, claiming that a "stalkerazzi" with a telephoto lens scaled a neighbor's wall to take shots of her.

In the line of duty

Santa Monica, Calif. � Mel Gibson, who played a police officer in the "Lethal Weapon" movies, gave a $10,000 college savings bond to the stepdaughter of a sheriff's deputy slain in the line of duty.

Gibson recently became a celebrity representative for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Star Organization, a nonprofit relief group formed last year by Sheriff Lee Baca.

Gibson and Baca presented Kayla March, 13, with a $10,000 Series E "Patriot" college savings bond in honor of her stepfather, Deputy David March.

March, 33, was shot to death April 29 during a traffic stop. Sheriff's detectives believe an alleged drug runner killed him.

Acting on students' behalf

Oakland, Calif. � Tom Hanks never had it this good when he started acting at Skyline High School.

Hanks dedicated a renovated theater � complete with high-end lighting and sound equipment and a new grand piano and stage floor � in front of 1,000 cheering students, teachers and fellow alumni. At Hanks' urging, the theater was named after retired drama teacher Rawley T. Farnsworth, whom Hanks credited as an early influence when he accepted the best actor Oscar for "Philadelphia" in 1993.

Hanks gave at least $100,000 for the $465,000 project, the Oakland Tribune reported.


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