THE GERE is here.
Silver fox Richard Gere will shoot his new film, "Franny," in Philadelphia. Production starts in October. Gere will play "a hedonistic philanthropist who ingratiates himself into the lives of a newlywed couple in order to re-create the life he once had," according to a statement about the indie drama.
Gere will reunite with the team that produced his well-received financial film "Arbitrage" for the movie written and directed by Andrew Renzi.
Gere is no stranger to Philly. He was born here in 1949, although he soon left our area. In 2007, Gere received the Marian Anderson Award for his work as a philanthropist and social activist, focusing on AIDS research and on independence for Tibet.
"We are very excited that 'Franny' will be shooting in Philadelphia and the region. . . . I know that everyone in the region will be very excited to have the very talented and much-beloved actor here filming a movie," Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, told me. "And let's not forget that our local crew members, actors and production-support companies are truly excited to welcome the first new movie of the fiscal year. It's been a long dry spell, but I'm confident that business is heating up."
Oprah Winfrey was spotted on the Wildwood boardwalk Friday. Winfrey, who enjoyed Wildwood's rides, was joined by bestie Gayle King, "CBS This Morning" anchor and editor of O Magazine.
King tweeted that she and O hit up the boardwalk because they had never been before. People were so excited about Winfrey (and King) that they needed a police escort to leave. Although Oprah did ride some rides (Zoom Phloom anyone?), no word yet on whether she bought a "Twerk Captain" T-shirt from one of Wildwood's many vendors.
Whoopi Goldberg can add another accolade to her already-full awards shelf. Temple's School of Media and Communication will bestow the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award on Goldberg on Oct. 17. Previous honorees include Matt Lauer, Robin Roberts and Anderson Cooper.
Joining Goldberg on the dais will be alumni award winners including: E. Steven Collins, director of urban marketing/external relations at Radio One; 6ABC reporter David Henry; ESPN anchor Kevin Negandhi; and Deborah Veney Robinson, senior communications officer for external communications for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Kanye West's producer and engineer, Noah Goldstein, will receive the Rising Star award.
As part of the final event for 17 Days of Fashion, hairstylist Anthony Henderson gave 200 boys free haircuts to mark the new school year. But no kid will look flyer than the boy who got the visage of Mike Jerrick of "Good Day Philadelphia" shaved into the back of his head.
Joining Henderson and the "Good Day Philadelphia" crew were celeb barber Kenny Duncan and Chaz Shepherd of "The Game."
Congrats to NBC10's Monique Braxton and KYW's Cheri Gregg, who both were awarded Journalist of the Year by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.
The most fun event I attended this weekend? The wedding of Philly Gossip's own beloved big bro, Benjamin Eichel, who married the fabulous Yoninah Orenstein. The bride may be from Montreal, but she proved herself a true Philadelphian when, in the wee hours of the morning and still clad in her gown, she led the wedding party through Center City in search of a cheesesteak.
On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN