As president of the board of directors of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in her mother’s hometown, Jamestown, New York, Lucie Arnaz shared some personal reflections on being asked to host the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Beverly Hills this week.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to television: on-camera legends and pioneering talent that include directors, producers, costume designers, writers, animators, executives, reporters and explorers. Since the first ceremony in 1984, more than 100 of television’s notables have been inducted. Past honorees include Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, David Sarnoff, Walter Cronkite, Milton Berle, Walt Disney, Bob Hope, Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara Walters, Angela Lansbury, Oprah Winfrey and Carl Reiner.
In addition to hosting, Ms. Arnaz will also be the presenter for the induction of talk show host Regis Philbin. California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver, will induct Tom Brokaw; Viacom Chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone will induct television and film producer Leonard Goldberg (Charlie's Angels, Starsky and Hutch, Brian's Song); former Chairman and CEO of NBC and co-founder of MTM Enterprises, Grant Tinker, will induct award-winning producer/director, James Burrows (Will and Grace, Cheers, Frasier, Friends), and equestrian Elizabeth Shatner will induct Emmy-Award winning actor William Shatner (Boston Legal).
In sharing her anticipation of Thursday’s event, actress and producer Lucie Arnaz related that she was asked to host it by the ceremony’s producer, Sam Haskell, whom she described as “a great friend and mentor. I was thrilled to be invited. And, as a special favor to Sam, I will also be singing a little number towards the end of the show, just because he asked!”
Ms. Arnaz added, “I have appeared on the show twice, once in the early 80’s when my mother was inducted. I sang a wonderful touching piece of special material written by Larry Grossman, ‘My Mother, The Star’. Again, after my father passed away, both Desi (Jr.) and I were there to accept for him when he was inducted.”