Richard Gere Headed Back to Philly For Dalai Lama Award

The Dalai Lama may have canceled his planned visit to Philadelphia later this month, but one famous friend of his will be attending his planned tribute.

Richard Gere will participate in the National Constitution Center's presentation of the Liberty Medal to the Dalai Lama on October 26, the Center announced Wednesday. In addition, the Dalai Lama's primary English translator, Dr. Thupten Jinpa and Dr. Richie Davidson, founder and chair of the Mind and Life Institute, will accept the award on the Dalai Lama's behalf.

The 80-year-old Tibetan Buddhist leader was to accept the award in person as part of a multi-city visit to the United States, but his office announced September 25 that the entire visit was canceled for health reasons. The Constitution Center announced the same day that the ceremony would go on as scheduled.

Gere, who was born in Philadelphia, visited the city last month to promote his new film, Time Out of Mind, and also did work with some local homelessness charities. The Pretty Woman star has been a practicing Buddhist and friend of the Dalai Lama for many years.