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Pitt Makes Appearance After Illness

Brad Pitt (search), diagnosed with a mild case of viral meningitis (search) and released from the hospital last week, accepted a $250,000 check on behalf of the Film Foundation Inc. at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif.

A still-blond Pitt, wearing a white jacket and shirt, pretended to pocket the check after the presentation.

The HFPA's annual installation luncheon honoring its 2005-2006 slate of officers was held Wednesday at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Pitt, 41, checked himself into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on July 11, complaining of flu-like symptoms. He went home two days later.

The actor was in Ethiopia recently with his "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" co-star Angelina Jolie (search) to pick up the actress' newly adopted baby girl, Zahara. Pitt's publicist, Cindy Guagenti, has declined to say if he contracted the illness while in Africa.

Pitt separated from "Friends" actress Jennifer Aniston (search) in January after 4 1/2 years of marriage. She filed for divorce in March citing irreconcilable differences.

The HFPA, which presents the annual Golden Globe Awards, announced more than $1 million in financial grants to film schools and non-profit organizations.

Other stars attending the event included Kevin Bacon, Jesse Bradford, Peter Falk, America Ferrera, Sally Field, Emmy Rossum and Ziyi Zhang.