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Motion picture academy to sing Bing Crosby's praises

November 16, 2003

Singer Michael Feinstein is the host of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences centennial tribute to Bing Crosby, set for Friday at the academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Though Crosby is best known these days for his ba-ba-ba-boo crooning of such tunes as "White Christmas" and "Swinging on a Star," his golf game and his popular "Road" pictures with Bob Hope, Der Bingle was an accomplished, versatile film star.

He appeared in more than 60 shorts and features between 1930 and 1972 and was the No. 1 box office star from 1944 through 1948. He won an Oscar for 1944's "Going My Way," and was nominated for the Academy Award for 1945's sequel "Bells of St. Mary's" and 1954's "The Country Girl" with Grace Kelly.

Ellen Harrington, the academy's exhibitions curator and special events programmer, admits that because Crosby died 26 years ago, people forget about his large contribution to cinema. "He had such an impact on film culture," she says. There will be upward of 20 film clips highlighting Crosby's musical and dramatic moments on celluloid and appearances by his widow, Kathryn Crosby, and former co-stars Nancy Olson, Marge Champion, Edith Fellows and Mitzi Gaynor.

Feinstein won't be performing any Crosby tunes that evening. "We talked about him performing and decided Bing Crosby's voice is so unique and special, we wanted that to be the only music that is heard that night. And we are able to represent so many of the good songs with clips."

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`A Centennial Tribute to Bing Crosby'

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Where: Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills

Price: $5 for the general public

Contact: (310) 247-3600

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