LOS ANGELES – David Beckham attracts Hollywood stars the same way he draws defenders on the soccer field. In large numbers.
A glittery array of actors and entertainment world luminaries turned out Sunday for what was billed as an official welcome-to-Los Angeles party for the international soccer icon and his wife, Victoria Beckham.
With Tom Cruise and Will Smith playing co-hosts for the invitation-only bash at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary gallery, the guest list was long and deep.
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Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer were among the first to arrive. Brooke Shields was there. Eva Longoria showed up, followed by "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller, who managed the Spice Girls pop group that made Victoria Beckham famous.
Wesley Snipes and Quincy Jones came to welcome the soccer star, as did Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy stopped to pose for the throng of international paparazzi.
The Beckhams arrived with Cruise, accompanied by his wife, Katie Holmes, and Smith, with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Cruise flew in from Germany, where he is shooting his newest film, "Valkyrie."
For the British Beckhams, it was a taste of classic Hollywood. A red carpet was rolled out at the entrance. A small army of police patrolled streets for blocks, keeping gawkers at a distance. There were limousines and TV cameras by the dozen. Helicopters thumped overhead.
Inside, the warehouselike venue was transformed with couches, elaborate lighting and floral arrangements into a glittery nightclub. Music blared.
Beckham, hindered by a nagging ankle injury, played only 12 minutes in his debut Saturday as a Los Angeles Galaxy player. The Galaxy lost to Chelsea 1-0, but that didn't dampen the spirits of the sold-out crowd, whose cheers were so loud Beckham admitted to being "a little bit embarrassed at times."