EXCLUSIVE: Colin Powell Makes Surprise Appearance At "Precious" Party

Nov. 9 2009, Published 4:40 a.m. ET

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell made a surprising guest appearance at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City this weekend for a Precious screening afterparty.

The four-star General turned heads when walking into the Cinema Society fete, where stars including Gabourey Sidibe (the lead actress), Paula Patton (also in the film), Krya Sedgwick, Terrence Howard and more were already congratulating director Lee Daniels on the stunning film about an obese, illiterate teenager from Harlem with an awful and abusive family.

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"He looked very dapper in his tux," one eyewitness told "Yet he had this light, breezy demeanor about him which made him totally approachable."

Powell grabbed a drink, skipping the 1800 Tequila on hand and opting for "just a club soda, please," before chatting for "some time with Gabourey. He told her how proud he was of her for taking on such a challenging role and even introduced her to his lovely wife, Linda," our spywitness said.

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Making his way around the room, Powell was laughing with Quincy Jones one minute and shaking hands with a random fan the next. "He was delighted to talk to anyone. One guy even asked him if he'd pose for a picture, which he obliged and stood there smiling while the guy fumbled with his iPhone, trying to get the shot just right," our source said.

Powell and the Mrs. stayed for about an hour before quietly slipping out, causing one distraught woman to remark, "He left?! I just got my camera from coat check. Damn!"



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