Cruise, Roberts Join Oscar Presenters

02/20/2004 10:15AM

"Mona Lisa Smile" star Julia Roberts and "Last Samurai" actor Tom Cruise are the latest Hollywood heavyweights set to be presenters at the Oscars on Feb. 29, a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Thursday.

The pair join a list that already includes Renee Zellweger, Charlize Theron, Julianne Moore and Jack Black, among others. Roberts, 36, won an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in 2001's "Erin Brockovich." She also was nominated for her roles in "Pretty Woman" and "Steel Magnolias."

Fan-favorite Cruise, 41, has yet to win an Academy Award, although he has been nominated three times, most recently for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 1999's "Magnolia."

Cruise, Roberts and the other presenters will be recipients of the Academy's gift bags, which the stars receive instead of payment for their roles in the show. But film fans looking for the inside scoop on these bags -- which have become a hot topic in recent years -- were left in the cold.

"We do not talk about gift bags," a spokesperson for the Academy told Reuters. The Academy reportedly sent an e-mail threatening to fire anyone who revealed the contents of the bags prior to Feb. 23.

In the past few years, the contents of these bags have grown to mammoth proportions, including such things as vacations, jewelry, clothing and electronic goods, Reuters reports, and each bag may be valued at close to $25,000.

Of course, the real question (aside from, "What is everyone wearing?") is "Who will win?" For a hint of what might happen on Oscar night, two other industry award shows this weekend could give some clues: the Screen Actors Guild awards on Sunday and the Writers Guild of America honors on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in other last-minute business in the final weekend before the 76th annual awards show, news organization AFP reports that the Oscar statuettes have safely landed in Hollywood after departing Chicago, where they were cast.

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