April 16, 2007

TV Land Honored Lucille Ball at Awards

Eighteen years after her death, Lucille Ball, star of the landmark sitcom 'I Love Lucy', was honoured with the Legacy of Laughter Award at the 5th Annual TV Land Awards which are designed to honour classic stars and shows on Saturday, April 14th. The gala premieres on TV Land at 9 p.m. Sunday, April 22, and will be rebroadcast on TV Land’s sister network, Nick at Nite, at 11 p.m. April 22.

Lucille Ball's children Desi Arnaz Jr. and Lucie Arnaz accepted the Legacy of Laughter Award on their mother's behalf, which was presented by Carol Burnett. Read more about the event from Digital as well as from Inside Social.

As president of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center, Lucie Arnaz created a Legacy of Laughter seminars to explore and celebrate the healing powers of laughter. The Award honored Lucille Ball for her groundbreaking career and enduring sitcom, I Love Lucy and was presented to honor her awe-inspiring work which continues to serve as an inspiration and a guiding force. Her comedy always delivered, from the broadest slapstick to the most nuanced verbal reaction. Her gift is indeed a legacy. It serves as both an ideal for those who have followed her, and also in and of itself - timelessly providing the invigorating, healing power of laughter.

Named by TV Guide as the "Greatest TV Star of All Time," Lucille Ball's groundbreaking work in film and television continues to touch the funny bone of viewers all over the world. Lucille Ball was born in Jamestown, N.Y. in 1911 and always wanted to make her mark in entertainment. She entered a New York City drama school and later landed a coveted RKO contract which brought her roles in "Top Hat," "The Big Street" and "Too Many Girls" — the motion picture where she met and fell in love with her husband and "I Love Lucy" co-star Desi Arnaz. Today, I Love Lucy is one of the most successful and longest running programs in television syndication.

Lucy was not only a comedy genius but a power to be reckoned with behind the camera. With her business prowess she laid the groundwork for many of today’s innovative television production methods. In 1951, she became the first woman to run her own production company — Desilu — that produced such television hits as 'Star Trek,' 'The Andy Griffith Show,' 'Mission Impossible' and 'Mannix.' From shooting I Love Lucy on film with three cameras to the creation of re-runs during her real-life pregnancy to starting a successful syndication model, she was truly one of television's first major players.

Celebrities from television, music and film bestowed special tribute awards to some of television's most iconic series and stars at the award ceremony.

Other honourees of the award ceremony were the TV shows 'The Brady Bunch', 'Taxi' and 1970s miniseries Roots.

The Brady Bunch received the Pop Culture Award, while John Amos, Todd Bridges, LeVar Burton, Cicely Tyson, Leslie Uggams and Ben Vereen took to the stage to claim the Anniversary Award, which was presented to the cast of Roots.

Danny DeVito, Judd Hirsch, Tony Danza and Jeff Conaway were on hand to claim the Medallion Award for American sitcom Taxi, the series which focused on the everyday lives of a handful of New York City taxi drivers working for the Sunshine Cab Company.

The science fiction drama television series Heroes which was first premiered in 2006, received the Future Classic Award.

The mother/daughter country music duo of Naomi Judd and her daughter, Wynonna, reunited to perform to pay tribute to 'Hee Haw', the television variety show hosted by musicians Buck Owens and Roy Clark. Outlaw music singer Willie Nelson also performed a tribute to the program

The Lucy-Desi Center's Legacy of Laughter events fulfill the center’s mission to enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter. These panel discussions, with audience interaction, explore and celebrate the inestimable value of laughter. These are moderated by Lucie Arnaz, and panelists include those who create or perform comedy, who use it in their work, or who have been healed by it. The next LOL will be held in Jamestown during Lucy-Desi Days Memorial Day Weekend Festival on Saturday, May 26. The following evening Ms. Arnaz will perform "Lucie Arnaz in Concert: A Daughter's Tribute."

For more information about the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center and Lucy-Desi Days, visit www.lucy-desi.com or call 484-0800.

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