PASSAGES: Bush to Honor Liz Taylor
NAMED: Actors Elizabeth Taylor, 71, and James Earl Jones, 62, Broadway star Chita Rivera, 69, and musicians Paul McCartney, 60, and James Levine, 59, will receive the 25th annual honors of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from the President and First Lady Laura Bush at the White House on Dec. 8, before attending a gala performance and supper dance at the Kennedy Center, reports The Washington Post. Secretary of State Colin Powell will present the honors at a dinner fthe night before. . . . SELECTED: "Farewell My Concubine" actress Gong Li, 36, has been selected to head the jury at this year's Venice Film Festival, set to run Aug. 29 to Sept. 8, reports the Associated Press, which goes on to say that international screen legend Sophia Loren, 67, will also attend the fest, to support her son, director Edoardo Ponti, 29. Loren stars in Ponti's "Between Strangers," which tells the story of three women recalling their pasts. Mira Sorvino also stars. . . . SANG: Barry Manilow, 59, delivered a few of his songs, including "Can't Smile Without You," for about 2,000 people at an outdoor concert in New York City's Bryant Park on Tuesday (when temperatures pushed close to 100), so his performance could be taped for airing on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday, says the AP. "This is above and beyond the call of duty," he told fans in the sweltering heat, according to the news service. "My Jewish guilt is kicking in, having these people stand in the sun."