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A French honor ...
France has honored Bruce Willis, making him an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, one of the country's top awards for cultural achievement.

"France pays homage to an actor who represents the force of American cinema and the power of emotions that he invites us to share on screens throughout the world," Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said as he presented the award this week.

Willis, 50, thanked both France and the culture minister for a "great, great honor." He was in Paris to promote his new movie, "Hostage," directed by France's Florent Emilio Siri.

The star of "Sixth Sense" and the "Die Hard" franchise does not speak French and read from a script during his brief speech. "I'm nervous. Bonjour, Paris," Willis said. "I am extremely touched by this medal. ... We all belong to the same artistic community." He concluded by saying, "Vive la France!"

Mommy dearest ...
Joan Kennedy has dealt a blow to her children, Patrick, Kara and Edward Jr. by trying to sell the family's $3 million Cape Cod estate.

It's a move one son says is meant as revenge for her children taking charge of her life after her most recent bout with alcoholism. "She's not happy with the fact we have sought guardianship," Ted Jr. told the Boston Globe. "She's basically trying to retaliate against her own children by taking one of the things we love the most, which is Cape Cod."

Joan Kennedy was found last month with a concussion and broken shoulder, intoxicated, on a Boston sidewalk. Last year, her children were granted temporary guardianship over her and recently filed for permanent guardianship. As her guardians, the Kennedy children are taking legal action to block any sale.

Another movie for Depp ...
Johnny Depp has just optioned the film rights to "The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind."

Published by Wiley in 2004 and written by Iraq's top nuclear scientist Mahdi Obeidi and journalist Kurt Pitzer, it is considered the definitive account of Saddam Hussein's attempt to create a nuclear bomb to use against Israel and America.

Depp, nominated for an Oscar for "Finding Neverland," has no fewer than seven films in production or post-production, among them, "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," which opens in July.

Sommers this summer ...
Watch out, world! Suzanne Sommers has reinvented herself. Again. The "Three's Company" blond ditz turned ThighMaster guru is about to storm Broadway.

Beginning July 8, Sommers will star in "The Blonde in the Thunderbird" at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, a one-woman show written by Ken and Mitzie Welch about the actress' troubled childhood and her conflict-ridden travails as a performer.

Prom shopping? ...
The blue and white gingham "Wizard of Oz" dress worn by Judy Garland when she played Dorothy in the 1939 movie classic is due to be auctioned April 26 in London, where it is expected to fetch between $50,000 and $70,000.

"This dress represents the quintessential magic of childhood in the most beloved film of the 20th century," said Jon Baddeley, a representative of the Bonhams auction house. Garland's name is on an inside hem label.

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