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Kerry Washington honored at Harvard University as her 39th birthday looms

Actress Kerry Washington celebrated her 39th birthday a few days early on Thursday (28Jan16) as she was honored at Harvard University.

The Scandal star, who hits the final year of her 30s on Sunday (31Jan16), was named the college's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year.

Washington was paraded around the university in an open-topped Bentley by members of the theatrical society, dressed in drag.

The honor wasn't all fun and games for the African-American actress, who took a moment during the festivities to talk to reporters about the hot button diversity issue in Hollywood following the recent 'white-out' at the Oscar nominations announcement.

"What's great about what is happening this year with the Oscars is it's giving us an opportunity to talk about these things in a way that's a little bit more honest than I think we've talked about them in the past," she told Entertainment Tonight.

Next week (05Feb15), Inception star Joseph Gordon-Levitt will receive the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year award, and be feted with a similar ceremony.

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