“I’m looking forward to honoring Sidney Poitier,” said “Black-ish” star Yara Shahidi as she headed into this year’s The Carousel of Hope Ball. “My show…I would not be here without him. It’s pretty instrumental and huge.”
On Saturday night, the gala, which raises funds to find a cure for diabetes, drew stars such as Denzel Washington, Anjelica Huston, Quincy Jones, Regina King, Kristin Cavallari, Diane Warren and Lea Thompson to The Beverly Hilton hotel. The crowd celebrated its peers and Poitier, who took home the Inspirational Lifetime Achievement Award.
Escorted to and from the stage by Washington, the Oscar-winning actor and director garnered a standing ovation, but redirected the attention back to gala chair and Beverly Hills grande dame Barbara Davis, saying, “I have had a wonderful life. I have tried to be a good human being, a good actor, a good director, a good filmmaker. I accomplished that. But I didn’t come close to the wonders of the lady that we gather here tonight to thank.”
The feeling was mutual for Brass Ring Award recipients Jane Fonda, David Foster and Sherry Lansing, who noted, “Barbara Davis is a force of nature. She’s a steel magnolia. When I decided to leave the movie business and started my own foundation, I immediately thought of Barbara. She was my role model.”
The evening continued with performances by Foster, Idina Menzel and Jamie Foxx as well as a live auction by Jay Leno and Sharon Stone. Despite Stone’s quip that the room was full of “cheap bastards,” her prediction was wrong. Up to $185,000 were spent on items like vacations to Dubai and trips to Paris Fashion Week during the live auction.