Malibu Seen

Jamie Lee Curtis and husband Christopher Guest attend the ACLU annual awards dinner with award winning filmmakers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. Photo courtesy of ACLU of Southern California


It was a celebration of civil rights at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel as the ACLU held its annual awards dinner. Scream queen turned baroness Jamie Lee Curtis emceed the event along with her royal rocker hubby Christopher Guest. Jamie-or rather Lady Guest-looked regal in her glittering steel gray evening dress and matching coat. I believe she expected me to curtsy, but since I went to high school with her, I thought that would be a bit silly.

The actress/author took the stage to introduce the ACLU’s executive director, Isabelle Gunning. Ms. Gunning presented the evening’s first award to progressive radio station KTLK and “Air America.” The outlet provides alternative points of view from the likes of political wit Al Franken. ACLU pal Al had words of praise for the organization and its campaign for civil rights, “like the right not to be tortured,” he quipped, “that’s a good right.”

John Quinlan accepted the Freedom of the Press Award on behalf of KTLK, but was not one to take all the credit. Quinlan called the current crop of politicians and pundits in Washington “a blessing,” saying, “they have given us so much to talk about. They’re making it so easy.”

Wally and Suzy Marks received the Courageous Advocate Award. Wally has served on the board of directors of the Liberty Hill organization for the past 15 years while Suzy has been active in state politics and was recently appointed to Liberty Hill’s endowment committee.

Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher, the fine folks who brought us “Erin Brockovich,” were given the Bill of Rights Award, which was presented by actress Maria Bello. Also honored, Don Mackinnon, the founder of Hear Music.

Exec Director Isabelle had words of praise for ACLU allies, saying their support has never been more important. “Our rights are being systematically attacked by an unrelenting force,” she said. “Our goal is to protect the Constitution, free speech, due process, individual liberty and equal protection. We will continue to fight every battle, even when it is not popular.” The evening raised a quarter-million dollars for the ACLU.


Congrats to Malibu producer Brian Grazer, who was the man of the hour at the Fulfillment Fund Stars 2005 gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. High profile pals like Ron Howard, Brad Grey and Chris Rock turned out to show their support for the Academy Award-winning producer. Brian has a whopping 85 movie and television credits to his name, including mega-hits “A Beautiful Mind,” “Backdraft,” “The Doors” and “Apollo 13,” not to mention the upcoming “The Da Vinci Code.” But it was Brian’s commitment to education that earned him the evening’s accolades.