Stars, studio heads and even sports stars joined forces for a good cause at Saturday’s eigth annual Night Before party.
Close to $6 million was raised for the Motion Picture and Television Fund.
Inside the Beverly Hills Hotel, U.S. Olympic speedskater Apolo Ohno and figure skater Evan Lysacek were surrounded by a sea of Oscar nominees including Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Carey Mulligan, Gabourey Sidibe, Penelope Cruz and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Also on hand was, DreawWorks Animation topper and MPTF chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg who played gracious host welcoming guests such as Tom Hanks, Reese Witherspoon, Ben Stiller, Taylor Lautner and Tom Cruise. Several studio toppers could also be found mingling amongst the crowd including Steven Spielberg, Howard Stringer, Rupert Murdoch, Ron Meyer and Brad Grey.
As in past years, the party allowed guests a chance to celebrate Oscars weekend in a relaxed atmosphere where they could dine on food from XIV restaurant chef Michael Mina, peruse sponsor goodies such as a Swarovski-crystallized HP notebook PCs, Zac Posen dresses for Target and beauty products from L’Oreal Paris and do what Hollywood does best… sip champagne and schmooze. Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx powwowed with Michael Mann, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony talked shop with Les Moonves and Oprah Winfrey made friends with Bullseye the Target dog saying, “that is one well behaved dog.”
Outside the hotel, a group of demonstrators braved the rain to protest the MPTF Fund’s decision to close the org’s acute care hospital and long-term care facility, but it didn’t seem to put a damper on the festivities inside as the party continued in full swing late into the night.