Ryan, Cruise Get Pudding Pot
Annual Awards to be Presented in February Extravaganzas
Sleepless actress Meg Ryan and high-flying actor Tom Cruise will be this year's recipients of the Hasty Pudding's coveted "Woman and Man of the Year" awards.
The Hasty Pudding Theatricals presents the annual awards to the two performers who have made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment," said Catherine W. Zipf '94, co-producer of the Pudding's 146th annual production, "A Forum Affair."
"Some years the awards have gone to individuals for their lifetime achievements such as Lucille Ball and Ella Fitzgerald," says Pudding Publicity Manager Bonnie L. Graves '95. In other years the awards have gone to Hollywood's "rising stars, like Robin Williams," she said.
The Pudding has presented the "Woman and Man of the Year" awards since 1951 and 1967 respectively.
The selection committee consists of the Pudding's six executive officers and, Graves said, they "couldn't be more excited with this year's choices."
"The whole company is excited for the day," said Zipf.
Ryan will be honored with a parade through Harvard Square on February 15. The parade will end at the Pudding Theatre and will be followed by the presentation of the traditional "Pudding Pot."
Graves cited Ryan's "real sincerity both as an actor and as a person" as the reason that she was selected. She added that "When Harry Met Sally" and "Sleepless in Seattle," both starring Ryan, are "college favorites worthy of recognition."
Cruise's position as a top actor surely helped make him a contender for the award, but Graves said it was the "Harvard link" in his last two pictures that attracted the Pudding's selection committee. Cruise played a Harvard Law School graduate in the blockbusters "The Firm" and "A Few Good Men."
The Pudding just wanted to make the connection "a little more solid," Graves said.
The Pudding will present Cruise with his "Pudding Pot" at the premiere of "A Forum "Affair," on February 22 at the Pudding Theatre.