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Damon honored for his humanitarian work

Matt Damon poses with members of the Teen Leadership Council at an award ceremony in Greenwich, Conn. Matt Damon poses with members of the Teen Leadership Council at an award ceremony in Greenwich, Conn. (Douglas Healey/Getty Images)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / May 22, 2010

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Matt Damon couldn’t watch himself on the season finale of “30 Rock’’ because the “Bourne’’ star was busy receiving Save the Children’s Leadership Award at the group’s annual fund-raiser in Greenwich, Conn., Thursday night. The Cambridge-bred actor was feted for his work to improve the lives of mothers and children in poor regions of the world, notably in the African country of Zimbabwe. The benefit was hosted by “Today’’ show anchor Ann Curry, and guests included Brian Williams, Meredith Vieira, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, and Jenna Bush Hager. On “30 Rock,’’ Damon played a pilot who strikes up a romance with Liz Lemon, the character played by Tina Fey.

Tax troubles for Cook?
Comedian Dane Cook is a tax delinquent? So says TMZ.com, which reports that California has issued a tax lien against the Arlington native for unpaid taxes in the amount of $515,430. The comedian told the website the lien was “erroneously filed.’’ We called Cook’s lawyer, Debbie Klein, but she didn’t get back to us yesterday. Between his budding movie career and sold-out concerts, Cook makes a mountain of dough. But then there’s the matter of his half-brother, Darryl McCauley, who’s awaiting trial on charges of stealing more than $11 million from Cook. Whether or not he’s got tax troubles, it’s clear Cook is still unpopular with some of his colleagues. In a recent interview with Pitchfork.com, Emerson alum David Cross had this to say about Dane: “What I find distasteful is his constant self-promotion, which just smacks of a wounded little kid, like, ‘Look at me! You guys think I’m funny, right? Hey, I’ve got a million Facebook friends! That makes me good, right?’ That’s what I don’t like.’’

Stylist to the stars
It’s been a hectic week for hair stylist Patrice Vinci, who traveled with a crew from her Newbury Street salon to coif actors before their close-ups at the NBC Upfronts in New York. Vinci and her gang — Desi, Dean Mellen and Roberto Echevarria — tended to the tresses of Nasim Pedrad and Abby Elliott from “SNL,’’ Nick Offerman from “Parks and Recreation,’’ “The Office’’ actor/writer B.J. Novak, Jessica Parker Kennedy of “Undercovers,’’ “Outsourced’’ stars Anisha Nagarajan, Rebecca Hazelwood, Parvesh Cheena, “The Cape’’ casties Summer Glau and David Lyons, and Sarah Roemer from “The Event.’’

Dishing with Democrats
Friend of President Obama, Greenberg Traurig partner Bob Sherman and his wife, Kim Sawyer, hosted a dinner at their South End home last night for DNC chairman Tim Kaine, and guests included former US Senate candidate Alan Khazei and his wife, Vanessa Kirsch, City Council president Mike Ross, venture capitalists Mark Schwartz and Robert Knapp, Internet entrepreneur Dan Saul and his wife, Dr. Ranella Hirsch Saul, and attorney Rob Barber.

North Shore casting call
The North Shore Music Theatre is back with a roster of stars. Today, the reopened theater is hosting an open call for children to play small roles in the July run of “Gypsy,’’ starring Vicki Lewis of “News Radio’’ fame, and the August run of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,’’ featuring Anthony Fedorov, who finished in the Top 5 of season four of “American Idol.’’

‘Boston’s Finest’ is DOA
In the end, “Boston’s Finest’’ wasn’t. ABC has decided not to pick up the TV pilot shot here a few months ago. The cast of the cop drama included Treat Williams, Goran Visnjic of “ER,’’ Katee Sackhoff of “Battlestar Galactica,’’ Jason Wiles of “Third Watch,’’ and Nia Long of “Are We There Yet?’’ Producer Richard Hatem posted the unhappy news yesterday on Facebook. “It’s dead,’’ he wrote. “Which is really too bad; a lot of people did a lot of great work doing everything they could to make it happen.’’

Up to the Challenge
Add Pats coach Bill Belichick, players Wes Welker, Dan Koppen, and Pierre Woods, actress Maureen McCormick, Mini-Me Verne Troyer, and sports broadcasters Andrea Kremer and Wendi Nix to the list of VIPs expected at the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, the annual walk, run, and ride benefiting the charity founded by Anthony Shriver and chaired by his buddy Tom Brady June 4-5 . . . Ted Kennedy’s widow, Vicki Kennedy, will speak at the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center’s annual Celebration of Women in Health Care, honoring the contributions of women in the health care industry.

History shines on Goodwin
Celebrated historian Doris Kearns Goodwin received the 2010 Ken Burns Lifetime Achievement Award, and the documentary filmmaker himself presented it during a ceremony at Old Sturbridge Village. Last year’s winner was Laura Linney, who played Abigail Adams in the HBO series “John Adams.’’ Goodwin won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1995 book, “No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.’’

New Kid turns 40
Boy, do we feel old. New Kid Jordan Knight turned the big 40 this week and celebrated with a party with his boy band buddies at Kings Dedham. Joining Jordan were his wife, Evelyn, and fellow NKOTB Jonathan Knight and Joey McIntyre. In addition to bowling, the crew played air hockey and shuffleboard, and chowed on gourmet pizza, chicken satay, pulled-pork sandwiches, New England crab cakes and baked shrimp wrapped in prosciutto. . . . Meanwhile, Neil Young was having his fill at Legal Sea Foods in Park Square. The “Heart of Gold’’ singer had the popcorn shrimp, a half-dozen Cape Cod oysters, shrimp and garlic pasta, and a slice of Boston cream pie.

Friends of fashion
John Kerry’s daughter Vanessa was at the Liberty Hotel the other night to co-host the launch of Sybylla Smith’s GoTo Design Studio. Also present were former “America’s Next Top Model’’ contestant Fatima Siad and Dynasty Models CEO Joe Freeman.

Read the Names blog at www.boston.com/namesblog. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.