This year’s choices for the Hasty Pudding Man and Woman of the Year awards join the stellar company of a constellation of talent that includes Ella Fitzgerald, Katharine Hepburn, Jack Lemmon, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The 2008 recipients of the coveted honor are Christopher Walken and Charlize Theron.
The Woman of the Year festivities will be held Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m., when the Woman of the Year will lead a parade through the streets of Cambridge. Following the parade, the president of the theatricals, Evan Eachus ’08, and the vice president of the cast, David Andersson ’09, will roast the celebrity and present her with her Pudding Pot at 3:15 p.m. in the newly renovated New College Theatre, the Hasty Pudding’s historic home in the heart of Harvard Square since 1889. After the roast, several numbers from the Hasty Pudding Theatrical’s 160th production “Fable Attraction” will be previewed at 3:40 p.m. and a press conference will be held at 4:10 p.m.
On Feb. 15, the Man of the Year event will take place. The producers of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, William Teslik ’08 and Joshua Lachter ’09, will roast the honoree and present him with his Pudding Pot at 8:10 p.m. in the New College Theatre, prior to the start of the opening night performance of “Fable Attraction.” A press conference will be held immediately after the roast at 8:30 p.m.
The Man and Woman of the Year awards are presented annually to performers who have made a “lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment.” Established in 1951, the Woman of the Year award has been granted to many notable and talented entertainers, including Shirley MacLaine, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Drew Barrymore, and, most recently, Scarlett Johansson. The Man of the Year award was established in 1963. Its past recipients include Bob Hope, James Stewart, Anthony Hopkins, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, and, in 2007, Ben Stiller.
Woman of the Year
Charlize Theron won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her remarkable performance as Aileen Wuornos in Patty Jenkin’s “Monster,” a role that also won her the 2004 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama. Theron also received 2006 Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for for “North Country.”
Moviegoers were first introduced to Theron in her feature film debut in “2 Days in the Valley,” starring with Jeff Daniels, James Spader, and Eric Stoltz. Since then Theron has been one of the most active and highly sought-after actresses in motion pictures, having appeared in over 25 feature films including Tom Hank’s “That Thing You Do,” the critically ,acclaimed “Cider House Rules,” and the 2003 re-make of “The Italian Job.”
Theron got her start in entertainment back in her native South Africa where she both danced and modeled, her work eventually taking her to Europe and finally New York where she worked for the Joffrey Ballet. From there she made her way to Los Angeles at the age of 18, landing her first part some eight months after arriving in the city. In 2005, Theron appeared as Rita in “Arrested Development,” and will soon be seen alongside her co-star from that appearance, Jason Bateman, and Will Smith in “Hancock,” to be released in July 2008. Theron recently returned from the Sundance Film Festival where she received rave reviews for her new film “Sleepwalking,” to be released March 14, in which she both produces and co-stars alongside Dennis Hopper, Woody Harrelson, Nick Stahl, and AnnaSophia Robb.
Theron is currently filming and executive producing Guillermo Arriaga’s directorial debut “The Burning Plan.”
Man of the Year
Christopher Walken won the 1978 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Michael Cimino’s “The Deer Hunter,” a role that also earned him the New York Film Critic’s Circle Award, and a Golden Globe nomination. Walken also received a 2002 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and won BAFTA and SAG awards for his role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can.”
Walken’s film career skyrocketed after his unforgettable role as “Duane Hall,” brother to Diane Keaton’s title character in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall.” Since then, Walken has appeared in more than 50 feature films including Herbert Ross’ Oscar-nominated “Pennies From Heaven,” Abel Ferrara’s crime-drama “King of New York,” and the hit comedy “Wedding Crashers.” Walken can currently be seen starring with John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer in New Line’s hit musical comedy, “Hairspray.”
Walken began acting and dancing as a boy. He trained to be a dancer at the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan, and eventually went on to appear in numerous stage plays and musicals.
On television, Walken has memorably hosted “Saturday Night Live” a total of six times since 1990 and contributed a mesmerizing dance performance to the Spike Jonze-directed music video for Fat Boy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice.”
Walken is currently in production opposite Alessandro Nivola on Nigel Cole’s “Five Dollars a Day,” a road movie that pits a con artist against his more conservative son.
For more information about the event, call (202) 465-1311 or e-mail email@example.com.
To purchase tickets to “Fable Attraction,” which will be performed at the New College Theatre, 12 Holyoke St., call (617) 495-5205 or visit http://www.hastypudding.org.