BERLIN — Glitz and glamour have always been hot commodities at the Berlinale and it’s not surprising the fest goes out of its way to lure star wattage to the frigid event.
The fest has in the past shared high-profile guests with the Goldene Kamera Awards show, presented by Axel Springer’s TV guide magazine Horzu and traditionally held on the eve of the Berlinale.
Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson were all recent Berlinale attendees and Goldene Kamera recipients.
Yet this year the Goldene Kamera broke with tradition in an attempt to sharpen the show’s profile. Moving back a week to Feb. 2, it honored a slew of local and international stars unaffiliated with this year’s Berlinale.
Charlize Theron and Bob Geldof were on hand to accept awards, but in the end, it was Jerry Lewis who stole the limelight.
Honored last year with a Goldene Kamera lifetime achievement award, Lewis was back to present it to this year’s pick, Larry King. Yet the CNN talker and Lewis pal was forced to back out at the last minute due to CNN’s coverage of George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address.
While Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were in town on private business, attempts to entice them with a special charity prize came to naught.
In the end, a fit-looking Lewis cracked up the crowd with a rendition of his “chairman of the board” routine from his 1961 hit “The Errand Boy.”
The following day, Lewis recorded a TV show at the Goya, one of Berlin’s hottest nightclubs, for an upcoming special on pubcaster ZDF celebrating the star’s 80th birthday.
On his last day in town, Lewis discussed his relationship and career with Dean Martin and plugged his new book, “Dean & Me,” in Berlin’s prestigious American Academy.