People: Met gala no ordinary red carpet appearance

Beyonce arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit.

Photo by Charles Sykes, Associated Press

Beyonce arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit.

The red carpet is the main show at the annual gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, and ascending the famous stairs is not something that seasoned style veteran Sarah Jessica Parker takes lightly.

"Well, I think there's something unique about these particular steps. Nothing more terrifying than these particular steps," she said Monday night. "But I think there's a focus that's different than a movie premiere. It's about celebrating discipline and skill and celebrating this important museum."

Her gown was, of course, Valentino: a long-sleeve, high-neck metallic floral gown worn with a belt.

Sofia Vergara said she was "very happy" to be invited back to the gala, which is largely organized by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

"I have a dress from Marchesa and jewels from Harry Winston," Vergara said. "I'm enjoying it."

Model Karolina Kurkova collaborated with Rachel Zoe to create a gown. "So this is really special to me that it's my own creation and that she let me co-design it with her and I get to wear it tonight to the Met Ball and no one else has it. No one's seen it. This is really one of a kind."

Hoffman saved life, man says

A man who had a cardiac arrest while jogging in London's Hyde Park says his life was saved with help from a famous passer-by -- Dustin Hoffman.

Sam Dempster said Tuesday that the actor waited with him after he collapsed on April 27 until paramedics arrived.

On his recovery blog, 27-year-old Dempster thanked medical staff and "my newfound favorite celebrity, Dustin Hoffman."

Swedish prize honors Ma, Simon

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon and cellist Yo-Yo Ma have won the 2012 Polar Music Prize, Sweden's most prestigious award for musicians.

Simon and Ma will receive 1 million kronor ($166,000) each and an invitation to the prize ceremony Aug. 28 in Stockholm.

The award was founded by the late Stig Anderson, the manager of Swedish pop group ABBA, and has been handed out since 1992. It is typically shared by a pop artist and a classical musician.

-- From Our Press Services

Today's birthdays

Guitarist Nokie Edwards of The Ventures, 77; actor Albert Finney, 76; actress Candice Bergen, 66; singer Billy Joel, 63; bassist Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, 62; actor John Corbett ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding"), 51; actress Rosario Dawson ("Grindhouse," "Josie and the Pussycats"), 33.

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