Hollywood flocks to PETA’s 30th-anniversary gala


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Much of Hollywood is a sucker for a furry face, so it was only natural that a herd of celebs would turn out for the 30th-anniversary gala of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at the Hollywood Palladium on Saturday night.

The event, hosted by ’30 Rock’s’ Alec Baldwin, brought out an eclectic group joined by their love of animals, including honorees Anjelica Huston, ‘Glee’s’ Lea Michele, Eva Mendes, ‘Twilight’s’ Kellan Lutz and Christian Serratos, Dave Navarro and ‘Inglourious Basterds’ ’ Eli Roth plus presenters Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Abbie Cornish, Pamela Anderson, Iggy Pop, Jena Malone, ‘One Tree Hill’s’ Sophia Bush and a glittery Kelly Osbourne, showing off her new svelte self. (Click the pic of Michele, above, to launch a gallery of red carpet arrivals.)


And Charo. Si, Charo.

The refugee from ‘Laugh In,’ ‘The Love Boat’ and other TV shows of the ‘70s resurfaced last year in ‘The Surreal Life,’ and she’s been busy nudging Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to ban bullfighting. The anti-bullfighting forces claimed their first headline-making victory a month ago, when Barcelona banned it.

PETA honored the Spanish-born entertainer for challenging her country’s deadly cultural tradition by lobbying for the bulls instead of running with them (a pre-bullfight ritual). ‘I love animals,’ said Charo, whose adopted pet bull, Manolo, lives with her in Beverly Hills. ‘In my other life, I was a Chihuahua from Tijuana.’

For honoree Huston, protecting animals is in the blood. She has spoken out against the entertainment industry’s use of apes and chimps. And PETA’s campaign has made strides in exacting pledges from numerous major companies –- including the Gap and Sprint -- not to use them in advertising.

As Huston explained, compassion for animals is a Huston family tradition. She told the black-tie crowd packing the Palladium that her late father, director John Huston, had a pet spider monkey, which he caged when he married his third wife, ‘Gone With the Wind’ actress Evelyn Keyes. When they returned from their honeymoon, he said, ‘What do you say we let her out of the cage?’

Keyes demurred, but Huston insisted, saying, ‘She’s missed me so much.’

The monkey lunged out of the cage, dived into Keyes’ lingerie drawer and destroyed its contents. ‘Then she leapt between them in bed and put her hairy arms around my father and turned her back to Evelyn,’ Huston said. ‘Evelyn said, ‘It’s the monkey or me.’ He said, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to go with the monkey.’ ‘

— Irene Lacher