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NAMES

Hottest suburban dad alive

(People via associated press)
Email|Print| Text size + By Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / November 15, 2007

Sounding a bit like LBJ, Matt Damon swears he did not seek and will not accept the mantle of "Sexiest Man Alive," which the discriminating editors at People foist on the Cambridge-bred actor in the new issue. "You gave an aging suburban dad the ego boost of a lifetime," Damon writes of the overdue honor. "My 9-year-old stepdaughter now thinks I'm cool - well, cooler." Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, the "Bourne" actor had previously lost the "Sexiest Man" competition to the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Jude Law, Ben Affleck, and last year's pin-up, George Clooney, who told People he was rooting for Damon in '07. "He's the Susan Lucci of 'Sexiest Man,' " said Clooney, Damon's co-star in "Ocean's Thirteen." "I told (Matt) this is the next step for him because after a while movies get old. How much money and how many accolades do you need? What you really want is this sash and this tiara." (Clooney says he was first struck by Damon's undeniable sex appeal in "The Talented Mr. Ripley," in which he wears a green Speedo: "Not since Halle Berry coming out of the water in the Bond film has there been such sexiness.") Likewise, Affleck baits his boyhood buddy, recalling their early days in Cambridge. "Of course, a lot of guys in the neighborhood used to poke fun at Matty "Spark Plug" when he would ride around on his Huffy telling some of the littler kids that he was really sexy and only getting sexier." Humbler than your average A-list Hollywood hero, Damon says he'd cast his vote for another lad with local ties: Tom Brady. "He's like a taller, better-looking version of me," says Damon. "Plus, he's the best quarterback in the history of football. Plus, he does terrific work in Africa with the folks I work with at DATA and ONE. Plus, he might be the most genuine kind person in the public eye. Plus, he dates Gisele Bundchen, who, needless to say, looks almost as hot as my wife in Victoria's Secret."

This Sox fan the 'Sexiest,' too
He's no Matt Damon, but Chris Piela's one good-looking guy. Just ask the 300,000 folks who voted in Major League Baseball's first "Sexiest Fan Alive" contest, the results of which run in the new issue of People. Piela, a Boston native who now lives in Georgia, was the winner, judged the most attractive of the 2,000 fans who competed. Described by his wife, Kristine, as "extremely fit and the best father," Piela is an insurance executive and enormous Sox fan. "It's a riot that I won," he said. "The best part was connecting with old friends."

PSA: Public-service animation
Regardless of whether you believe climate change is a crisis, you have to be rooting for David Schlafman. A local animation director, the Massachusetts College of Art alum is one of 20 finalists in a major global-warming public-service announcement contest called, dramatically enough, "60 Seconds to Save the Earth." The bad news is that the deadline for voting has passed. The good news is that George Clooney and Cameron Diaz are the celebrity judges, and both have cartoons in their backgrounds - Clooney in "South Park" and Diaz in "Shrek." The winner, who'll be announced next week, gets a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Of course.

O'Malley sings anthem for Celts
Kerry O'Malley, the New Hampshire native and star of "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" at the Citi Wang Theatre, sang the national anthem before last night's Celtics game. Based on the 1954 movie musical, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" runs from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23.

Kennedy's tell-all?
Hoping, apparently, that he'll write an honest account of his fascinating life, the publishing industry's all in a dither over Senator Ted Kennedy's autobiography. Writing in the New York Post yesterday, Keith Kelly says a bidding war has erupted over the rights to the book, and the winning bid could be "well into the mid-seven figure range." Not bad for a guy whose last book was called "My Senator and Me: A Dog's-eye View of Washington, D.C." Of course, publishers have never been shy about spending big money for books by Washington power brokers. Former Fed chair Alan Greenspan got an $8.5 million advance for his book and Bill Clinton's memoir, "My Life," fetched $10 million.

Schillings' happy home
Shonda Schilling says it's a huge relief to know that she and her hubby will be back next year. Now, instead of fretting about free-agency, she can put the finishing touches on "Holiday Bubbles and Bites," the Dec. 12 fund-raiser for the SHADE Foundation of America. "It's so nice to have [the contract] done and over with it," Curt's consort told us yesterday. "This is our home. Do you know I've had more people say 'We're glad you're staying' than 'Congratulations on winning the World Series.' " Hosted by Shonda and Schill, the event at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel will include champagne, hors d'oeuvres prepared by a bevy of Boston chefs, a performance by Sinatra soundalike Michael Dutra, and an auction. Asked if her newly weight-conscious righty will be allowed near the buffet table, Shonda laughed. "Absolutely," she said. "There'll be nothing but skinny food."

To the 'Rescue'
Emerson alum Denis Leary (below) was joined by his "Rescue Me" castmates Callie Thorne (left) and Tatum O'Neal at the annual BASH for New York's Bravest, a benefit the Leary Firefighters Foundation held the other night in the Big Apple.

Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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