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Kidman voted fashion icon

New York -- Actress Nicole Kidman has been selected as the recipient of the 2003 Fashion Icon Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Kidman will receive the award June 2 at the CFDA's awards gala at The New York Public Library.

The Oscar-winning actress was selected by a vote of the CFDA and a nominating committee of more than 450 fashion designers, retailers and members of the media.

"Nicole Kidman's style, both on and off the screen, has had an undeniable impact on fashion," Peter Arnold, CFDA executive director, said this week. "As an actress, she has developed her many memorable characters with an innate understanding of the artistry of clothes."

Timing is everything

Las Vegas -- Emmy award-winning comedian Ray Romano is hinting next season, the ninth, may be the last for his "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Answering a question on how he keeps the TV series fresh and original, Romano joked: "You stop after one more year."

Romano, attending a concert Saturday to benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation, indicated he wanted the popular CBS show to end on a high note.

"The trick is to get out when you're still wanted," said Romano, 45. "Not too soon, but not too late."

Sticking up for firefighters

New York -- Before he made it in Hollywood, Steve Buscemi was a New York City firefighter from 1980 to 1984 -- and he continues to be a vocal and high-profile supporter.

The actor joined about 50 demonstrators Saturday to protest a cost-cutting proposal to close eight firehouses.

"I think it's a slap in the face, after all that they've done and all that they continue to do. They're just starting to come back," Buscemi said, referring to the 343 firefighters killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "This is just terrible -- a terrible message to firefighters because they want to save $10 million or $11 million a year."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, seeking to close a $3.4 billion budget deficit, has proposed eliminating eight firehouses and said last week at least 30 more may have to be closed if the city does not receive state or federal financial assistance.

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