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Cruise to introduce Pat Tillman tribute  

ESPN release

Three-time Academy Award nominee Tom Cruise, one of Hollywood's most beloved actors, will introduce a special tribute to last year's Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipient Pat Tillman. The 12th annual ESPY Awards, which gathers athletes and entertainment celebrities to recognize top achievements in sports, will be televised from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on ESPN Sunday, July 18 at 9 p.m. ET (four days after taking place Wed., July 14).

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award, the most prestigious part of the ESPY Awards, is given annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports. Brothers Pat and Kevin Tillman, who in the midst of professional sports careers chose to serve their country by enlisting in the army, were the 2003 recipients. In April 2004, Pat was killed during combat in Afghanistan. He played four seasons for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals as a safety after starring at Arizona State University. Members of the Tillman family will be in attendance during the 2004 ESPY Awards for the tribute.

"I am honored to take part in remembering and celebrating the life of Pat Tillman, someone whose courage and integrity I respect and admire," Cruise said.

Actor Denzel Washington will present the 2004 Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Liberian-born UNICEF Ambassador George Weah, Africa's all-time greatest soccer star who has, at great risk, worked tirelessly to help his war-torn country.

Cruise is a three-time Academy Award nominee and six-time Golden Globe nominee, capturing the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama in 2000 for Magnolia, Best Actor in a Comedy in 1997 for Jerry Maguire and for Best Actor in a Drama in 1990 for Born on the Fourth of July. Other notable films have included The Last Samurai, Minority Report, Mission Impossible, Vanilla Sky, A Few Good Men and Risky Business. Cruise will next be seen alongside ESPY Awards host Jamie Foxx in this summer's Collateral directed by Michael Mann.

Hollywood celebrities Samuel L. Jackson, Sharon Stone, Christina Applegate, Brooke Burke, Michael Chiklis, Rob Lowe, Tracy Morgan, Bridget Moynahan, Roselyn Sanchez and Vince Vaughn are scheduled to be ESPY Award presenters, in addition to athlete presenters Tom Brady, LeBron James, Serena Williams, Gary Payton and Terrell Owens.

The ESPY Awards
The 2004 ESPY Awards Presented by GMC and Under Armour will bring together athletes and entertainment celebrities to recognize top achievements in sports, relive the memorable moments and salute the best performers and performances. Overall, there are 36 award categories, including both sport-specific honors and awards that cross over all sports (cross-cutters), a unique ESPY Awards hallmark. Actor/comedian Jamie Foxx will host.




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