At Italian American Gala, A Salute to Signora Robinson

By Darragh Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 22, 2006

Thousands turned out last night to induct Anna Maria Italiano into the Italian American Hall of Fame.

You know her as Anne Bancroft. Or maybe as Mrs. Robinson.

Presenting her, posthumously, with this honor was Alphonso D'Abruzzo -- though you know him as Alan Alda.

But, walking into the VIP room at the National Italian American Foundation's Gala at the Hilton Washington, was the night's glamour quotient: Hollywood starlet Anne Hathaway.

She is not Italian. But her boyfriend, Raffaello Follieri, is. He's the chairman and CEO of Follieri Yucaipa Investments. He looks dashingly young, his hands are noticeably lotion-soft, he's here to receive the Special Achievement Award for Humanitarian Service, and his publicist was very concerned that anyone who interviews the couple will be sure to ask him a question, too -- especially about the award.

So he was asked.

"I'm very proud," Follieri answered in a rolling Italian accent. "I'm glad Annie is here with me."

He looked adoringly at the "Princess Diaries" beauty -- and the "Devil Wears Prada" anti-fashionista -- standing beside him. Hathaway appeared bored: She'd already stopped sucking in her tummy, and her pantyhose now cut a deep stripe across the waist of her beaded gown. She quit fidgeting with the bra straps under her gown long enough to give him a look.

"I'm not supposed to say 'Annie'?" he asked.

"You're not supposed to say the other name," she said quickly.

The other name?

"I'm not?" he asked.

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