Hollywood celebrities Tom Hanks and Michelle Pfeiffer will each visit Cambridge this month to receive very special degrees--degrees awarded not by robed administrators but by Harvard men in drag.
Hanks and Pfeiffer have been named, respectively, Man and Woman of the Year by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.
As 1995's Woman of the Year Pfeiffer will receive a parade and "roast" in her honor on February 13. Hanks will be roasted during opening night festivities for the 147th Hasty Pudding Theatricals show, "A Tsar is Born," on February 21.
The Hasty Pudding bestows its Man and Woman of the Year awards annually on performers who, according to officers of the theatrical club, have made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment."
According to President John S. Berman '95, Hanks and Pfeiffer are more than qualified for the honors.
Hanks has achieved stardom in comedy and drama roles which have sometimes been seen as risky career choices.
His portrayal of a gay lawyer pressing an anti-discrimination suit in "Philadelphia," won huge audiences and the 1993 Best Actor Academy Award for Hanks.
The idea for last summer's phenomenal hit"Forrest Gump" seemed to be a recipe for disaster,with Hanks playing the simple-minded but luckyprotagonist.
Instead, the movie grossed more than $200million. The role earned Hanks a Golden Globeaward last month, fueling speculation of anotherOscar nomination.
Hanks has also made use of a variety ofslapstick, stand-up and romantic comedy talents infilms such as "Big," "Punchline," "Sleepless inSeattle" and "Splash."
His first television role, playing a reluctantcross-dresser in the sitcom "Bosom Buddies," addsspecial irony to the Pudding honor. Show ProducerMark R. Roybal '95 said the part was "primematerial for the roast."
The Man of the Year acclamation, awarded to TomCruise in 1994, will bring Hanks into a selectcircle of just 33 recipients including ClintEastwood, Robin Williams and Paul Newman.
Pfeiffer, most recently seen in "Wolf" withJack Nicholson and "The Age of Innocence" withDaniel Day-Lewis, is well-known for a variety ofsultry movie roles. Her performances as a loungesinger in "The Fabulous Baker Boys," Catwoman in"Batman," and a fallen prude in "DangerousLiaisons" have long eclipsed her early work inmovies such as the musical "Grease II."
She follows in the illustrious footsteps ofprevious Woman of the Year recipients LucilleBall, Meryl Streep, Elizabeth Taylor and KatharineHepburn since the award's creation in 1951. MegRyan received the honor last year.
Those seeking to star-gaze may have troublecatching a glimpse of Hanks as he stealthilyenters the Hasty Pudding Theatre on the 21st. ButPfeiffer will be publicly honored in a paradethrough Harvard Square at 1:30 p.m. on February13.