George Clooney has taken a break from Hollywood glitz to visit a small sandwich cafe that helps homeless people in Edinburgh.

The 54-year-old actor drew a large crowd as he arrived Thursday in a chauffeur-driven car at the establishment, which employs and feeds the homeless. Clooney praised the project, saying, “I like what they’re doing, I think it’s a very important cause. I think the idea that we can all participate in everyone’s difficulties is really important.”

Inside, the star handed over a five pound note — as well as about $1,000 — to buy meals for the needy, and sampled a sandwich and coffee. He was invited to the cafe by its co-founder Josh Littlejohn, who also set up the Scottish Business Awards, which the actor will attend later in the day.

Clooney also had an unlikely lunch date — 32-year-old wedding planner Heather McGowan, who won a competition to dine with the star on Thursday.

Cervantes Prize goes to Mexican author

Mexican author Fernando del Paso has won the 2015 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s highest literary honor, Spanish officials announced. Education Minister Inigo Mendez de Vigo highlighted Del Paso’s mix of tradition with modernity and his recreation of episodes that are fundamental to Mexico’s history in his novels. “I feel very flattered,” said Del Paso, whose works include his highly popular “News from the Empire” and “Palinuro of Mexico.” The 125,000-euro ($133,950) prize generally alternates between Spanish and Latin American writers.

 

In passing: Andy White, a top session drummer in England during the 1960s who stepped in for newcomer Ringo Starr as the Beatles recorded their debut single “Love Me Do,” died at his home in Caldwell, N.J., after suffering a stroke. He was 85. The Scottish-born White was an experienced musician when EMI official Ron Richards called in September 1962 and asked him to help with a session by a new band. That band — the Beatles — was working on the John Lennon-Paul McCartney song “Love Me Do” and producer George Martin was unsatisfied with the work by Starr, who had recently replaced Pete Best. Two versions of the song were released — one with White on drums and Starr on tambourine, and one with Starr on drums.

 

rescinded: Drexel University has joined a number of other schools in rescinding an honorary degree awarded to Bill Cosby amid accusations of sexual assault. Drexel President John A. Fry said the misconduct that came to light in a deposition given by Cosby “stands in clear opposition” to the Philadelphia school’s values. Cosby has never been charged with a crime.

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