A Magical Evening with the stars

by ChessBase
11/27/2005 – Who are the two people in our picture? Well, one is Susan Polgar, winner of multiple women's world chess championship title, who paid a visit to gala benefit reception in New York, given to support the Christopher Reeve Foundation. The other is one of the numerous Hollywood actors who were present for the occasion. Find out who else was there.

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A Magical Evening with the stars

Glenn Close, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep and Robin Williams hosted a "Magical Evening" in support of the Christopher Reeve Foundation, with a gala reception on November 17, with dinner and entertainment, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.

Special guests were Glenn Close, Paul Newman, Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, Meryl Streep and Robin Williams. The honorees were Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones for the Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award; Robert Halmi, Jr., President & CEO, Hallmark Entertainment, for the Visionary Leadership Award; and Sheila Johnson, CEO, Salamander Hospitality, Visionary Leadership Award.

Prices for attendees were:

  • Champion Tables(s) for 10 at $100,000
  • Leadership Table(s) for 10 at $50,000
  • Underwriter Table(s) for 10 at $25,000
  • Sponsor Table(s) for 10 at $15,000
  • Patron Table(s) for 10 at $10,000
  • Underwriter Ticket(s) at $2,500 each
  • Patron Ticket(s) at $1,000 each

Proceeds from the Magical Evening gala will be used to assist CRF in fulfilling its goals, which is cure spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.

Actress and singer Dana Reeve has an honorary Doctorate from Middlebury College, and has pursued graduate studies in acting at the California Institute of the Arts. In 1995 she became the supporter and caretaker for her husband, Christopher Reve, who was paralyzed in a horse-riding accident. After his death on October 10, 2004, she assumed the role of chairperson of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, which funds research on paralysis and works to improve the lives of the disabled. To date, it has awarded $55 million in research grants and $7.5 million in quality-of-life grants.

Actress Uma Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and received a Buddhist upbringing (her father, Robert Thurman, is a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies). Uma is the name of a Hindu goddess. She left high school at the age of 15 to pursue an acting career in New York, married actor Gary Oldman in 1990, then actor Ethan Hawke in 1998, with whom she had two children. She is six feet tall and suffers from body dysmorphia (excessive dissatisfaction with her own body – a feeling nobody shares with her).

Meryl Streep, above with Susan Polgar

Meryl Louise Streep is one of America's greatest actresses, receiving numerous awards for her work in movies and television. She majored in drama at Vassar College and earned a Master's degree from the Yale School of Drama. In 1978 she received an Academy Award nomination for her second major film role, in The Deer Hunter. There followed twelve more nominations, ten for best actress and three for best supporting actress, making Meryl Streep the most-nominated actor of all time. She won Academy Awards for her roles in Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice.

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas receive a special award from the CRF

Michael Kirk Douglas, 61, is the son of actor Kirk Douglas. He gained fame in the TV series Streets of San Francisco, which ran from 1972 to 1976. He acted in a number of movies before receiving an Academy Award as producer for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975, and then one for the leading role in Wall Street in 1988. His most famous appearance was opposite Glenn Close, with whom he went to school together, in Fatal Attraction. Douglas was married for 23 years, was devorced in 2000 and married actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, 36 (both she and Michael were born on September 25) is a Welsch actress who in fluent in English, Welsh, Spanish and French. She was singing and dancing as part of a Catholic troupe before she was 10, and at 18 she appeared in a West End play. Catherine made her TV debut as Mariette in 1991, in The Darling Buds of May, and became internationally known through leading roles in The Mask of Zorro (1998) Entrapment (1999). She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Chicago in 2003. She is married to Michael Douglas, with whom she has two children.

Susan Polgar chatting with Basic Instinct star Michael Douglas

The founder of Lifestyles Magazine, Gabe Erem, Susan and Michael Douglas

Oh, Mr Newman, I am so delighted to meet you...

...and no, I don't want to slug it out with Butch Cassidy

Paul Newman, 80, was a Navy WW II veteran in the Pacific theater. He attended graduate school at Yale and went on to become a Broadway actor and then a movie star. He has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning one in 1986 for The Color of Money. He has also received a special award for "many and memorable and compelling screen performances."

What a surprise: the great standup improvisor Robin Williams

Robin McLaurin Williams, 54, is an alltime great American actor and comedian who first achieved notice for his stand-up routines. He became the star of Mork and Mindy (1978 to 1982), moving on to Hollywood and the Big Cinema. His most memorable roles are in the comedies Good Morning Vietnam, The Birdcage and Mrs. Doubtfire, but he was also superb in dramatic films like Dead Poets Society, Awakenings and What Dreams May Come. Robin is know for is extraordinary improvisations and impersonations.

The band – a beautiful, lively performance

A lovely finish to a wonderful evening

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