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<h3>Famous Faces</h3>

More than ever before, 2007's Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January and February brought actors of high critical acclaim to town, not to mention global heroes.

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Leading the royal acting brigade was the State Street-posing Forest Whitaker-who later won the Oscar for his role as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland.

Published on December 20, 2007

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The smiling Helen Mirren, who also won an Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.

Published on December 20, 2007

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Perhaps Santa Barbarans were proudest to welcome former vice president and current global warming icon Al Gore, who was awarded for his work on the film An Inconvenient Truth.

Published on December 20, 2007

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Paparazzi-wise, no one turned more heads than the surprise appearances of the friendly Jennifer Aniston.

Published on December 20, 2007

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Even though we're close to Hollywood, fame's not just confined to the big screen. It's also onstage at UCSB, where fans welcomed the literary world's most sought-after speakers. That list includes the hilarious David Sedaris, who laughed it up with fellow author Sarah Vowell (pictured right).

Published on December 20, 2007

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Novelist Amy Tan, discussed her work with essayist-and sometime Santa Barbaran-Pico Iyer.

Published on December 20, 2007

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Then there are such lovable faces as legendary surfer and shaper Greg Noll, who came to town to celebrate the release of a book about him, subtitled The Art of the Surfboard, and help open the new Dan Merkel Gallery on State Street.

Published on December 20, 2007

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