Hasty Pudding fetes Bullock

Cambridge, Mass. -- Actress Sandra Bullock had to show off her dating skills Thursday to earn a shiny, brass pudding pot and the title of Harvard's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year.

Bullock, who has acted with some of Hollywood's most charming leading men, sauntered across the stage and, playing with her golden brown hair, tried to woo a Harvard student wearing a costume with bulging padded biceps and leather pants.

"This is the one that always works, whether the man is inebriated, whether he's gay or straight, married or single. I walk up like this, and I do like a little hair thing, and I say this: 'Hi. I have a more than a million dollars in my bank account and I'm single,"' Bullock said to a cheering audience.

Before receiving the award, Bullock, 39, led a parade through Harvard Square with Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe.

Hoffman graduates to new ride

La Verne, Calif. -- Dustin Hoffman is dashing to church again.

The actor reprised his rush to the church in 1967's "The Graduate" for a car commercial in which he stops his daughter's wedding.

The ad is only the second commercial the 66-year-old Hoffman has appeared in, he said Wednesday. It will air in Europe only.

In the final scenes of "The Graduate," Hoffman's breakthrough film, his character, Benjamin Braddock, pulls Katharine Ross' character, Elaine Robinson, from the church as she's getting married. They fight off parents and guests before riding away in a bus.

In the car commercial, Hoffman again rescues the bride, but this time they depart in a 2005 Audi.

Jackson money troubles disputed

Santa Barbara, Calif. -- Michael Jackson's music manager denied a report Thursday that Jackson is in financial trouble and must make a $70 million payment to a lender by Tuesday.

Charles Koppelman said no payment was due in that amount to Bank of America or anyone else.

The New York Times reported Thursday that Jackson, who is facing child-molestation charges in Santa Barbara County, owed $70 million to the bank under a long-standing loan agreement.

Koppelman said Jackson's assets far exceeded his debts but he declined to go into detail about the singer's money. He said Jackson, like most people with large assets, also had large debts and that Jackson routinely renegotiated loans.

He said Jackson would be involved in a significant financial transaction in the next few days but declined to provide details.


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