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A simple twist of fete

Casual gathering attracts a super-sized celeb crowd

Hollywood loves sequels, and the second edition of the Night Before proved more boffo than the first. Call it “The Return of the Fling.”

The dress was casual, the mood was upbeat and the cause was terrific: For the second year, the event benefited the Motion Picture & Television Fund and raised more than $3.5 million — a nice jump from last year’s $2.5 mil.

The pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel was covered, so guests at Saturday’s soiree were figuratively walking on water as they dined on sushi, prime rib, the new Diet Coke with lime and Krispy Kreme doughnut sundaes.

No press members were allowed inside and invitations read “no cameras please,” to ensure the guests’ privacy. Guests had raw elbows from rubbing them with celebs. The turnout included Oscar nominees Shohreh Aghdashloo, Alec Baldwin, Patricia Clarkson, Clint Eastwood, Marcia Gay Harden, Djimon Hounsou, Holly Hunter, Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, Bill Murray and Renee Zellweger.

And guests Hank Aaron, Tom Arnold, Kate Beckinsale, Maria Bello, Thora Birch, Jack Black, Kate Bosworth, Adrien Brody, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Michael Chiklis, Kristen Davis, Laura and Bruce Dern, Roma Downey with Mark Burnett, Aaron Eckhardt, Cedric the Entertainer, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, Sean Hayes, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Bonnie Hunt, Elton John, Nick Lachey, Michael Mann, Camryn Manheim, Debi Mazar, Isaac Mizrahi, Carrie-Anne Moss, Megan Mullally, Dermot Mulroney, Gary Ross, Alicia Silverstone, Molly Sims, Sylvester Stallone, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, Martin Short, David Spade, Ben Stiller, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Ted Turner, Donald Trump, Nia Vardalos, Jack Valenti, Peter Weir, Luke Wilson and Oprah Winfrey.

The fete’s host committee in attendance were Jennifer Aniston, Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas.

Hollywood’s studio chiefs and execs were equally plentiful with the likes of Sherry Lansing, Amy Pascal, Jeff Blake, Dan Feldman, Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis, Chris McGurk, Frank Mancuso, Sumner Redstone, Richard Parsons, Alex Yemenidjian, Harvey Weinstein, Howard Stringer and Tom Sherak.

Presenting sponsors were Coca-Cola, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg, Krispy Kreme and Reed Elsevier. Music was provided by Andy Marx and Marty Greenberg.

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