TomKat Joins One Big Happy Dan-Family
Landing a superstar for your owner's box? Mission: Possible! Photographers went crazy last night when Redskins owner Dan Snyder escorted new business partner Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes onto FedEx Field before the season opener. Cruise & Co. were surrounded by massive layers of security and spent at least 20 minutes shaking hands with dignitaries. If that weren't enough, another of Snyder's celebrity guests, Jamie Foxx, gave his "Collateral" co-star a huge hug, triggering another round of paparazzi -worthy shots.
Oh, by the way, the Redskins lost.
Not only did Snyder play host at the game to Cruise, his fiancee, daughter Isabella, 13, and son Connor , 11, but even better: The entire family -- including baby Suri -- is staying at Snyder's Potomac home.
Team Cruise arrived in Washington Sunday and paid a surprise visit to Six Flags amusement park (which Snyder also owns), accompanied by Snyder, his wife, Tanya, and their three kids; Redskins veep Vinny Cerrato , with his wife, Rebecca, and their two kids; and Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro. Park reps said a small group of staffers kept the park open after hours for the VIP guests, who arrived at 7 p.m. and spent more than three hours riding the Joker's Jinx, Wild One and Mind Eraser roller coasters, bumper cars and go-carts and eating pizza, chicken fingers, funnel cake and Dippin' Dots ice cream. There was even an informal closing ceremony at end of the night with the park characters and employees, where Cruise and Snyder led the kids in the Electric Slide, hokeypokey and limbo in the park's town square. ( Dying for those pictures to leak.) The group finished Sunday night at FedEx Field, where they threw on the lights and the kids tossed footballs while the adults sat on the 20-yard line and watched the end of the Colts-Giants game on the Jumbotron.
The new best buds bonded after Snyder signed a two-year development deal last month with Cruise and production partner Paula Wagner to pay $3 million or more a year for salaries and other expenses, just days after Viacom head Sumner Redstone dropped Cruise for his off-screen behavior. In exchange, Snyder (with partners Shapiro and Dwight Schar ) gets first dibs at financing Cruise's future film projects.
Last night, ESPN's cameras couldn't resist frequent peeks into the owner's box, which was jam-packed with pals like Peter Berg, also of "Collateral," Cruise's "Days of Thunder" co-star Fred Thompson , new NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace (who slipped out just before President Bush's televised speech), Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff, John Glenn, Jack and Joanne Kemp , Darrell and Jewell Green, Robert Novak, Bernard Shaw and Snyder's mother, Arlette, and sister, Michele. Cruise, in a navy suit and tie, sat in the front row between Snyder and Holmes and spent the entire evening holding hands -- with Holmes.
For Some Characters on 'The Wire,' the Political Debate Is Very Real
If Rushern Baker upsets Jack Johnson for Prince George's County executive, he may have to thank the very familiar Maryland political faces who came out for him last week -- state delegate Odell Watkins and Baltimore City Council contender Marla Daniels .
Well, actually, just the people who play those fictional characters on HBO's "The Wire," which premiered its fourth season Sunday. Local actors Frederick Strother and Maria Broom filmed a TV spot for Baker as a husband and wife debating their choice over the kitchen counter. "Jack does stop by the neighborhood a lot," muses beetle-browed Strother . "Oh, honey, please ! So does the mailman," retorts tart-tongued Broom .
Officially they're not playing their "Wire" characters -- but c'mon, isn't Baker keying into the show's local cult following? Baker's spokesman Alex Krughoff insists not; the ad makers who cast them didn't return calls. But series creator David Simon has no beef. "Actors gotta work," he said. What did offend Simon was the attempt by a different Maryland politician to recruit another of his actors: D.C. go-go star Anwan "Big G" Glover . The statewide candidate -- whom Simon declined to identify -- wanted Glover to appear as his drug-ring enforcer character "Slim Charles" and deliver a line about not leaving the state "out on a wire" or some such. "Anwan, to his great credit, said 'You know what, this is a misuse of this character.' "
Glover, a lanky 6 feet 6 with a memorably raspy voice, was toasted at a viewing party at Georgetown's Blue Gin Sunday celebrating his newly expanded role. "Slim steps up his character" this season, now that his old cronies are in jail, he told us. "He's an independent banger out there."
Anna Nicole Smith's Son Is Found Dead
Daniel Smith , the 20-year-old son of Anna Nicole Smith , died Sunday -- just three days after his mother gave birth to a baby girl in the Bahamas. Smith, who appeared on his 38-year-old mother's reality show, was found sitting up in a chair in her room at Doctor's Hospital in Nassau. Police, still investigating, found no evidence of violence; the Nassau Guardian reports Daniel suffered a massive heart attack. Smith's attorney said he does "not believe that drugs or alcohol were a factor."
HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?
· Maggie Thatcher , fine-dining all over the area in advance of 9/11 commemorations. For Sunday brunch at Alexandria's Indigo Landing, the former British prime minister enjoyed shrimp salad, an omelet, a glass of pinot grigio and a G&T. At Cafe Milano yesterday, they whipped up Dover sole for her and a special dessert of fresh raspberries and ice cream. Chocolate and vanilla!