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Kennedy Center honors five performing greats



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WASHINGTON -- Among them, they have 17 Grammys, six Tonys and two Oscars.

Robert Redford, 68; Tina Turner, 66; Tony Bennett, 79; ballerina Suzanne Farrell, 60; and Tony-winning actress Julie Harris, 80, were saluted here Sunday at the 28th annual 2005 Kennedy Center Honors.

The show, which will air Dec. 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, included some teary toasts. Bennett "inspired so many of us for so long," singer k.d. lang said. "The world is a much better place with you in it." Oprah Winfrey gushed that a Turner concert is "a life-enhancing experience. ... I love you. I respect you. And you make me proud to spell my name, w-o-m-a-n."

And there were roaring roasts: "On my 70th birthday, I set fire to my tuxedo. Is Redford really here?" Paul Newman (sans tux) joked, noting his Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid co-star rarely makes it to events on time. "The only reason he made it here tonight is because they told him it was yesterday." (Newman's right hand was bandaged because of surgery.)

Beyonce Knowles, in a dead-on imitation of Turner, right down to the hair-flip and rapid butt jiggle, opened Proud Mary with, "You know, when I think of Tina, I think of two Tinas in my life. My mother, Tina. And the amazing Tina Turner."

With the entire audience on its feet, Knowles' microphone malfunctioned shortly into the song, but a tuxedoed stagehand was able to swap a working mike into the stand before Knowles dived into the second half of the song.

The honorees acknowledged the on-stage tributes without saying a word. Bennett held both hands over his heart. Redford flicked his nose, a la his character in The Sting. And Turner, who said before the show she was grateful she didn't "have to make a speech," blew kisses.

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