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January 26, 2002|Elaine Dutka


Redford Tapped

for Honorary Oscar

Robert Redford will receive an honorary Oscar on March 24 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, recognizing his work in support of independent filmmaking.

Redford's creation of the Sundance Institute 20 years ago has created major ripples in the film industry, academy President Frank Pierson noted Friday. "Young filmmakers for years to come will continue to benefit from the training that his institute provides and the world-class showcase that his festival offers," he said.


Fender, Daughter Stable After Kidney Surgeries

Musician Freddy Fender, 64, was in stable condition after a successful kidney transplant on Thursday. He had undergone dialysis for more than a year before receiving the organ from his 21-year-old daughter, Marla Huerta Garcia.

The award-winning singer-songwriter is expected to stay at University Hospital in San Antonio for up to a week. Dr. Ken Washburn, one of the surgeons, said diabetes could be responsible for Fender's kidney failure.

Garcia was reported to be in good condition and was expected to be released this weekend.

Fender, whose real name is Baldemar Huerta, is expected to attend the Grammys on Feb. 27, where he's nominated for best Latin pop album for "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta."

TV Host Wally George

Facing Cancer Surgery

Wally George, who has hosted the late-night "Hot Seat" on Orange County's KDOC-TV for 20 years, is scheduled to undergo surgery for colon cancer on Friday. He'll be treated at USC's Norris Cancer Center, where he underwent prostate cancer surgery in 1994.

George, 70, says the station will air highlights from past shows during his absence. He hopes to return to the six-night-a-week schedule in late February.

Other than brain surgery after a fall five years ago, a serious automobile accident and a dislocated ankle, George quipped, he's "in great health."

Kudos, Kudos ...

and More Kudos

Director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, whose "A Beautiful Mind" tells the story of a schizophrenic mathematician, will receive the first annual award from the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign--a group started in 1999 by Tipper Gore, who will hand them the prize at a Wednesday gala in Washington.... Pixar Animation Studios will receive the first Producers Guild of America Award, honoring outstanding achievement in new media and technology, on March 5 at the Century Plaza.... New Line founder and co-Chief Executive Robert Shaye will receive a lifetime achievement award at the American Film Market on Feb. 21.... Darren Star, creator of HBO's "Sex and the City," will receive the Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay and lesbian political organization, on Feb. 16 at the Century Plaza.


Former boxing manager Bill Cayton has donated more than 70 taped radio broadcasts of classic boxing matches--featuring fighters such as Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali--to the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills.... "Inside Politics With Judy Woodruff" is returning to CNN on Monday after a four-month hiatus following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. It will air weekdays at 1 p.m. .... Antonio Banderas is scheduled to make his Broadway debut next January, playing an Italian movie director undergoing a midlife crisis, in a Roundabout Theater revival of the 1982 hit musical "Nine." ... Dramaturge Shirley Fishman has been appointed associate artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse.

Elaine Dutka

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