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Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
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'Dolphin Tale' gets Hollywood red-carpet premiere

TAMPA - "Dolphin Tale," the family film made in Clearwater last year, had a gala Hollywood premiere on Saturday. Among those walking the red carpet were actor Harry Connick Jr., his wife, Jill Goodacre, and daughters Georgia, Kate, and Charlotte. Connick stars as a marine life veterinarian and manager of a Clearwater marine hospital that takes in Winter, a dolphin with an injured tail. Connick is hitting the talk-show circuit this week to promote the film. On Thursday morning, he is scheduled to be a guest on NBC's "Today" show. Co-star Morgan Freeman visits "Today" on Friday. Other cast members making a splash at the premiere included Freeman, who plays a doctor that develops an artificial tail for Winter; co-stars Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorf, who play kids that befriend the dolphin; Austin Stowell, an injured Army veteran who is inspired by the dolphin; Frances Sternhagen, who plays a marine hospital board member; and actors with supporting roles such as Austin Highsmith, Betsy Landin and Michael Roark.
Other stars who were in the film brought their children to the premiere. Ashley Judd is in Europe filming an upcoming ABC mystery/action series. Director Charles Martin Smith also attended the screening at a theater in the Westwood area of Los Angeles. A local premiere gala for the 3-D movie is planned for Wednesday night at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. It is not certain if any of the major stars of the film will attend. Tickets are still available. "Dolphin Tale" opens nationwide Friday.

wbelcher@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7654

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