A 'Pretty Woman' Of the Year

Roberts Accepts Pudding Prize

After following a group of men in drag and a team of Siberian Huskies down Mass. Ave. yesterday afternoon, guest of honor Julia Roberts showed off her knowledge of the "three lies" and pulled an acceptance speech out of her left sock.

Roberts was the center of attention in one of Harvard's best-publicized traditions, as the recipient of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals' 1997 Woman of the Year award.

The star of "Pretty Woman" and "Steel Magnolias" rode in a parade to the Pudding building between Pudding officers Andrew A. Burlinson '97, wearing a "Carmen Miranda outfit," and Danton S. Char '98, in a wedding gown.

The parade, which also included other cross-dressed Pudding members, a team of sled dogs flying the banner "Your Zoos," and a bagpiper belting the theme from "Star Wars," attracted a large crowd and the attention of the national media.

Inside the theater, Roberts stood up out of her seat to perform an impromptu dance as the Pudding orchestra played "Pretty Woman." Burlinson and Char then delivered the traditional roast of the winner, which began with a promise not to touch on Roberts' well-publicized personal life.

"We'll just Lovett--I'm sorry, leave it alone," Char quipped, in a reference to Robert's brief marriage to country singer Lyle Lovett.

Burlinson and Roberts then teamed up to read a dialogue from one of Roberts' earliest movies, "Mystic Pizza." The Pudding crowd roared in response to Roberts' line, "I'm not going to Yale, thank God."

Roberts accepted the group's Pudding Pot award with a short speech that she had kept in her sock.

"I don't have any pockets," she explained to the audience, which laughed as she unzipped her boot. "Oh, stop. I could have put it worse places."

While dealing with an overflowing toilet in her apartment Wednesday, Roberts explained in the speech, she had become concerned with the meaning of the award.

"I looked up 'hasty' in the dictionary, and the first definition was 'done with excessive speed,' and I thought that meant Sandra Bullock should be getting the award," she said.

After a serenade by the Krokodiloes in front of the John Harvard statue yesterday morning, Roberts said at a press conference that her impression of Harvard had been good so far.

"If men come out and serenade you often, then that's great. It must be a real honor to come to school here," she said. "But you know," she added conspiratorially, "that's not really John Harvard."

Calling her Pudding Pot "the shiniest award I've ever received," Roberts joked with reporters about its future use.

"I'll put hash in here," she said. "I'm completely kidding. That's probably the only quote that you guys will print from me."

While Roberts said that she had spoken with Susan Sarandon, the 1996 Woman of the Year, she admitted that Sarandon had not fully prepared her for the ceremony.

"I got no warning. I didn't know what it would be like," she said. "No one's ever thrown me an entire day before.