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Charlize Theron, Seth McFarlane: Hookup at the Oscars?

HOLLYWOOD CA - FEBRUARY 24:  Actor Channing Tatum host Seth MacFarlane actress Charlize Therdance onstage during Oscars held Dolby

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Actor Channing Tatum, host Seth MacFarlane and actress Charlize Theron dance onstage during the Oscars held at the Dolby Theatre on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 161315061

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Updated: April 1, 2013 6:35AM

Could this year’s Academy Awards have minted more than mere Oscar gold? There’s a lot of chatter coming from Hollywood that a new romance may have been ignited, thanks to a connection made at this year’s awards ceremony and the rehearsals leading up to it.

Translation: Oscar winner Charlize Theron and host Seth MacFarlane apparently really clicked while prepping for Sunday’s big show. Along with dancing in MacFarlane’s opening musical number, Theron also pre-taped one of the reaction shots for his much-discussed “We Saw Your Boobs” bit, spoofing famous actresses’ topless or nude scenes in their films.

According to folks close to Theron, the South African native thinks MacFarlane is funny, cute and charming. “Charlize finds Seth to be a great guy who not only makes her laugh but has so much on the ball,” said a longtime Hollywood insider who has worked with Theron for years.

Reportedly, the duo not only hung out all night after the Oscars but are planning to see each other again. “This is early, but I see a new relationship brewing,” added a second source who attended MacFarlane’s own post-awards bash Sunday.

The timing of all this could work. MacFarlane isn’t dating anyone special, and Theron has been single since she and longtime beau Stuart Townsend ended their nine-year relationship last year.

MOVIE SCHMOOZE: Now that we’ve learned a DreamWorks movie is in the works about the a capella men’s singing group Straight No Chaser — founded by WGN-Channel 9 reporter Dan Ponce — Dan’s dad, “Chicago Tonight” anchor Phil Ponce of WTTW-Channel 11, says it’s got “our family chuckling and wondering who would play Dan if the movie actually gets made.”Current favorites around the Ponce dinner table?

John Leguizamo or Seth MacFarlane.

BEHIND THE CAMERA: Tommy Lee Jones is heading back into the director’s chair. The actor — who snared good reviews for helming the “Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” (2005) — will direct Meryl Streep and her daughter, Grace Gummer, in “The Homesman.” Jones told’s Roger Friedman that Hilary Swank, Miranda Otto and Tim Blake Nelson also will appear in the film the Oscar winner says has plenty of “horses and the fresh air. I guess they’re going to call this movie a Western. It’s more than that.”

TV TALK: Brrrrr! “Chicago Fire” cast members David Eigenberg and Charlie Barnett will be taking the plunge and splashing around in Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach on Sunday — joining the “Chicago Polar Plunge,” which benefits the 5,500 athletes of Special Olympics Chicago.

I told you about a couple of pending TV or big-screen films being prepped about Olympian Oscar Pistorious’ fall from grace in my Feb. 15 column, but NBC News and Investigation Discovery (ID) already have teamed up on the “instamentary” breaking news special, “Beauty & The Blade Runner,” premiering 7 p.m. Sunday on the ID network. The hourlong program will dig into the pending trial for the South African athlete for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, the model, reality show star and attorney Reeva Steenkamp.

TAKE A BOW: Locally-based golf phenom Luke Donald has come up with a wonderful fund-raising initiative to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland, aptly named “Birdies Fore the House.”Here’s how it works: After joining “Luke’s Team” with a $50 donation, participants can pledge an amount (as little as 25 cents) for each birdie Donald makes during the 2013 tournament season. The best part? Donald and his family will match the total donations made by contributors to the fundraiser. To learn more go to

Congrats to Lake Forest resident Keith Jaffee, chairman of Northbrook-based O2 Cool, who will be honored Monday as the Humanitarian of the Year at the International Home & Housewares Show’s charity foundation dinner at the Chicago Hilton — where the culinary entourage preparing the gourmet goodies will include James Beard Award-winners Rick Bayless and Sarah Gruenberg.

Holly Agra, president of Chicago’s First Lady Cruises, was presented the 2013 Tourism Ambassador Award by Mayor Rahm Emanuel — shortly before Agra jetted off to Berlin for a major travel show.

GLASSES RAISED: Just got word about some additional celebs joining the 15th annual “World Wide Toast to Harry Caray” at Harry Caray Tavern Navy Pier. Jim Belushi, comedian Tommy Davidson and Marv Levy will be on hand for the festivities, kicking off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

It all happens one day before what would have been Harry’s 99th birthday — the same age as Wrigley Field. You can bet that Harry Caray Restaurants’ CEO

Grant DePorter already is making big plans for next year’s toast, the 100th birthday for both Harry and the “Friendly Confines” — plus the 10th anniversary of DePorter’s much-hyped blowing-up of that infamous “Bartman’s Ball.”

ON THEIR TOES: A number of Our Town’s more limber broadcasters and personalities are slated to participate in Arthur Murray’s “Dancing With Chicago Celebrities” competition March 8 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Among those helping to raise funds for the Northwestern Memorial Foundation’s fight against breast cancer, plus the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Chicagoland affiliate, are newscasters Stefan Holt, Pam Jones, Frank Holland, Michelle Gallardo, Amara Walker and Christina Filiaggi, plus Miss Illinois Megan Ervin and ex-Bear Anthony Adams.

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