Taking a turn on the dark side

By Mark Shanahan & Paysha Rhone
Globe Staff / October 21, 2008
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Blair Brown plays against type in J.J. Abrams's noisy new sci-fi series "Fringe." The star of the '80s comedy "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd" suddenly has a sinister side. "I like that you don't know if I'm a force for good or for evil," says Brown, who was in Boston to promote the show. ("Fringe" airs tonight at 9 on Fox.) Brown is a big fan of Abrams and the feeling is apparently mutual. "J.J. has seen 'Altered States,' " said the actress, who costarred in Ken Russell's sci-fi classic with William Hurt. "And that's the sort of thing he wants to do on TV." (His previous hits include "Lost" and "Alias.") "Fringe" is set in Boston, but filmed in New York. "Fortunately, there are parts of Queens and Brooklyn that look a lot like Needham," said Brown, who's an occasional instructor at MIT and a good friend of former Huntington Theatre artistic director Nicky Martin. In the miniseries "Kennedy," Brown also played Jackie O, a role she regrets doing. "I saw her at Bergdorf's and I dove into a rack of robes so she wouldn't see me," said Brown. "I felt a total fraud."

Season for giving never ends

If the Red Sox season's over, why is Kevin Youkilis smiling? Simple. The All-Star's charity, Hits for Kids, is celebrating its first anniversary. Youk and his fiancee, Enza Sambataro, marked the occasion last night with a well-attended party at Steve DiFillippo's Back Bay restaurant Avila. The guest list for the Gold Glover's get-together included Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner, teammates David Ortiz, Julio Lugo, Jason Varitek, Sean Casey, and Mike Timlin, and others, including Doug Flutie and chef Ming Tsai. In its first year, Hits for Kids has raised over $825,000 for community-based children's charities and medical research programs in New England. "The season ended sooner than we thought, so this is a good way for the guys to say goodbye," said Sambataro, who told us she and Youk intend to tie the knot during the off-season. "I told Kev, you can't have it all every year, but [the loss] is still very hard."

Born to be Bourne
Matt Damon will be "Bourne" again. The Cambridge-bred actor has agreed to do a fourth installment of the wildly popular "Bourne Identity" franchise. Variety reports that Damon will reprise the role of superspy Jason Bourne, and Paul Greengrass, who directed both "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "The Bourne Supremacy," is on board for the fourth film. The previous three "Bourne" films have been based on Robert Ludlum novels, but the latest chapter will be an original story. George Nolfi, who co-wrote "The Bourne Ultimatum," will write the new script. "The Bourne Ultimatum" grossed a gaudy $227 million at the US box office.

Something to bark about
The JFK Library has gone to the dogs. The place was crawling with pooches the other night when Emmylou Harris received the George T. Angell Humanitarian Award from the MSPCA. (The silver-haired country singer founded Bonaparte's Retreat, a shelter in Nashville that finds permanent homes for hard-to-place animals.) Developer Ron Druker and wife Julie chaired the event, and guests included Alan and Susan Solomont, self-described "power chick" Geri Denterlein, Boston public health commissioner Barbara Ferrer, architect David Manfredi, and developers Bob Beal and Steve Karp. . . . Famous French chef Daniel Boulud dined at Ken Oringer's Clio the other night with his family and a few friends. Oringer prepared blood sausage and first-of-the-season white truffles. . . . Republican pundit Pat Buchanan and his wife dined at Miel at the InterContinental Boston.

Wedding bells?
Citing "sources," the New York Post reported yesterday that Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are "ready to take the plunge." According to the tabloid, the Pats QB and his glamorous girlfriend are planning a wedding reception at New York's Tavern on the Green. We'll believe it when we see it. Asked about the Post report, our source said: "Absolutely not. No wedding plans for these two." . . . While Manny Ramirez wasn't with the Sox for Game 7 of the ALCS, his hair stylist LMontro was. Sort of. Slugger David Ortiz was wearing an T-shirt beneath his jersey. So where was Manny for Game 7? tracked him down late Sunday night in LA, walking with a friend. Asked if he watched the game, Manny replied, "No." Told that they lost, Manny said, "Good."

A healthy turnout
A bevy of Boston big shots turned out to honor former Hill Holiday honcho Jack Connors and wife Eileen for their longtime support of Partners in Health. Pats owner Robert Kraft, Highland Capital kingpin Bob Davis, Boston Culinary kahuna Joe O'Donnell, and Partners founder Dr. Paul Farmer were just a few of the 130 or so people at Rialto Sunday. The event raised over $1 million.

Tomlin's busy days
Tony Award winner Lily Tomlin was all over town yesterday. The celebrated smart aleck started her day at the National Braille Press, where she met with students from the O'Hearn School in Dorchester. Tomlin read to the tykes from "Edith Ann: My Life, So Far," her book with Jane Wagner. Tomlin, who performed Sunday night in Worcester, will be in Boston for a while. She's the featured speaker at this weekend's fund-raising gala for the National Braille Press. (O'Hearn student Mikaella Besson, who's blind and learning to read braille, will also be at Friday's Hands On! Books for Blind Children benefit.) Later yesterday, the "Nine to Five" star stopped by the offices of Horizons for Homeless Children, where she met with a crew of kids who are served by the agency. Today, Tomlin will talk at Horizons for Homeless Children's annual women's breakfast.

Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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