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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Glee' gives back | Tonys a no-go for Conan O'Brien | 'Avatar' rules Empire awards | 'Lost' finale finds big bucks

March 30, 2010 |  7:00 am

Glee_logo • "Glee" fans who can't wait for the return of the freshman hit to Fox on April 13 can see the show a few days early at "Glee" charity screenings in nine cities nationwide. Monies raised from the preview of the 14th episode of the Golden Globe-winning musical comedy series will support the school music program run by the Grammys foundation.

• Oscars co-host Steve Martin told Sandy Cohen he wasn't nervous the second time around on the stage of the Kodak Theater because he has been performing live so much as of late. The musical Martin has been strumming the banjo out on tour with the Steep Canyon Rangers. AP

• Add comic-book star to the list of achievements for daytime and prime-time Emmy champ Ellen DeGeneres. The one-time Oscar host is featured in a series of comics from Bluewater Productions that salute women of power. Previous installments of the series have spotlighted politicos Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi as well as TV legends Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey.

• Reporting on Sunday's American Cinematheque fete for Matt Damon, Josh Duboff notes, "It was more like a Comedy Central roast than a stuffy Hollywood ceremony." Among those skewering Damon were his best bud and Oscar-winning screenplay collaborator Ben Affleck ("Good Will Hunting"), that film's acting Oscar champ,  Robin Williams, and Oscar winners George Clooney, Clint Eastwood and Charlize Theron. The ceremony will air on ABC sometime in the coming months. NEW YORK

Tony Award • CBS offered Conan O'Brien the hosting gig at the upcoming Tony Awards, but the onetime NBC star declined. Reports are that O'Brien had agreed to forego appearing on TV until Sept. 1 when the peacock net paid him nearly $45 million after he was yanked from "The Tonight Show" just seven months into his contract. However, O'Brien is still going legit as he hits the road beginning April 12 with the 30-city tour of the aptly titled "The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour." GOSSIP COP

• Two contenders for this year's Tony Awards are shuttering on Sunday, well in advance of the June 13 ceremony. The first rialto revival of the 1960 Tony-winning play "The Miracle Worker," starring Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine") and Tony nominee Alison Pill ("The Lieutenant of Inishmore), opened to mixed reviews March 3. And the musical melange "All About Me" with Tony champ Dame Edna Everage ("The Royal Tour") and cabaret darling Michael Feinstein never found its footing after debuting March 18 to middling notices. These unexpected theater vacancies may well be filled by other shows rushing into town before the April 29 cutoff for Tony eligibility.

• Investing in a Broadway show is not for the fainthearted so the news that the musical "Next to Normal" has recouped its $4-million budget is indeed welcome. The tuner, about a woman battling bipolar disorder, won star Alice Ripley the lead actress award at last year's Tonys, bested "Billy Elliot" for score and tied with that show for orchestrations as well. Composer Tom Kitt credits the performance by the cast on the kudoscast with making the difference between profit and loss. "It seemed that our performance in a national forum that night created a new interest in the show." NEW YORK TIMES

Avatar Poster • On Sunday, "Avatar" picked up three awards, including best picture, from the U.K. film magazine Empire. James Cameron, who took the best director prize, attended the ceremony at London's Grosvenor House and said in his acceptance speech (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) that, "clearly the Empire magazine readership is more discerning than the British or American academies." No doubt Cameron was especially pleased that the film's performance-capture star Zoe Saldana won best actress. Supporting actor Oscar champ Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") went home with the best actor award. EMPIRE

• 1996 supporting actress Oscar champ Juliette Binoche ("The English Patient") has a starring role on the official poster of the Cannes film festival, set to unspool for the 63rd time beginning May 12 for a dozen days along the Croisette.

Rachel Weisz -- the 2005 supporting actress Oscar winner for "The Constant Gardener" -- may be battling James Bond in the 23rd installment of the long-running movie franchise. Weisz, who appears opposite Bond star Daniel Craig in the upcoming "Dream House," has joked in the past about being a Bond girl. But the plan is to have her star as the head of Quantum, the evil organization that has beset Bond in the last two movies. CINEMA BLEND

• Last year, Tim Allen reunited with the cast of "Home Improvement" to receive the Fan Favorite prize at the TV Land Awards. On April 17, he will host the eighth edition of these kudos at Sony Studios, with the festivities airing on the cable net on April 25. Among the already announced recipients are "Everybody Loves Raymond" (Impact award), "Glee" (Future Classic award) and, appropriately enough, the Legend award to both Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. And Farrah Fawcett -- who was left out of the "In Memoriam" segment of the Oscars -- will be paid tribute by her "Charlie's Angels" costars.

Lost_Logo • The 2005 Emmy-winning best drama series "Lost" signs off for good on May 23, and the alphabet net is reportedly looking for $900,000 -- that is four times the usual rate -- for a 30-second spot on the two-hour finale. Although that would make it the most expensive ad buy for a series this season, it is a real bargain next to the $2.3 million that some advertisers paid to NBC for spots on the finale of "Friends" in 2004. No word yet on what Fox will charge for the two-hour series finale of the 2006 Emmy-winning best drama series -- "24" -- when it airs the following night. AD AGE

• Add Adam Lambert to the list of bold-faced names topped by Tom Ford appearing at the L.A. celebration of the 21st annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 17. Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teenager whose high school canceled the prom rather than allow Constance and her girlfriend to attend, will present the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Wanda Sykes. GLAAD

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First photo: "Glee" logo. Credit: Fox

Second photo: Tony Award statue. Credit: American Theater Wing

Third photo: "Avatar" poster. Credit: Fox

Fourth photo: "Lost" logo. Credit: ABC

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Oscars have always welcomed the world

March 10, 2010 | 10:19 am

This year's Oscars numbered only one foreign-born winner -- Austria's Christoph Waltz ("Inglorious Basterds") -- among the four acting champs. However, that does not mean the Oscars are guilty of any homegrown bias. After all, six of the 20 acting nominees were from other countries, including "Nine" supporting actress contender Penelope Cruz, who is from Spain. She won that same category last year for her performance in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

Indeed, at last year's Oscars, Cruz was one of just three foreign-born folk among the acting nominees but they all won, including lead actress Kate Winslet ("The Reader") and supporting actor Heath Ledger ("The Dark Knight"). Winslet was the latest of 37 English actors to win Oscars, Ledger was the sixth champ from Down Under and Cruz was the second winner in a row for Spain.

Two years ago, all four acting winners came from foreign shores: Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") and Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton") from England, Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") -- who made Oscars history by giving the first French-language performance to be so honored -- from France, and Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men"), who was the first Spanish performer to win an Oscar.

That marked the second time in Oscars history that all four acting champs hailed from outside the United States. The first was back in 1964 when the winners were three Brits -- Rex Harrison ("My Fair Lady"), Julie Andrews ("Mary Poppins"), and Peter Ustinov ("Topkapi") -- and Russian born Lila Kedrova ("Zorba the Greek").

Foreign_oscars

The Oscars rolled out the welcome mat at the very first ceremony in 1929 when Swiss-born Emil Jannings won lead actor for his performances in "The Last Command" and "The Way of All Flesh." And three of the first four lead actresses came from Canada -- Mary Pickford ("Coquette"), Norma Shearer ("The Divorcee"), and Marie Dressler ("Min and Bill").

One of our most prolific forum posters, the aptly named Academy Awards Guru, has compiled a list of the nationalities of all 273 Oscar winners for acting. During the course of 82 ceremonies, they have won 314 Oscars (there has been one tie in each of lead actor and lead actress). Of these, 81 winners came from outside the U.S. to take home 91 Oscars. While 22 other countries have produced Oscar winners, it is not surprising that England leads with 37 of her citizens winning 43 Oscars.

Over the last 82 years at the Oscars, lead actor has gone to a non-American 24 times and lead actress 26 times while in the 73-year history of the supporting awards, non-Americans won supporting actor 22 times and supporting actress 19 times.

In the following list, the Oscar-winning performers are listed under the country with which they are most associated and their birthplace is given when it differs. In addition, those actors who were born elsewhere but raised primarily in the U.S. are not included, such as Elizabeth Taylor, born in England, Claudette Colbert in France, sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia DeHavilland in Japan, Anthony Quinn in Mexico, and Paul Muni in the Ukraine.

Australia
Cate Blanchett
Russell Crowe (born in New Zealand; family emigrated when he was 4)
Peter Finch (born in England; family returned to Australia when he was 7)
Nicole Kidman (born in the U.S.; family returned to Australia when she was 4)
Heath Ledger
Geoffrey Rush

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