Category Archives: Los Angeles Life and Style

From the Office of Nancy Reagan, Sunday, March 6, 2016: Nancy Davis Reagan has passed away: STATEMENT BY JOANNE DRAKE, SPOKESPERSON

Office of Nancy Reagan, Sunday, March 6, 2016

First Lady Nancy Reagan in 1983.
First Lady Nancy Reagan in 1983.

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ON THE DEATH OF FORMER FIRST LADY NANCY REAGAN

 

Los Angeles, Calif. - Nancy Davis Reagan, former First Lady of the United States, died this morning at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 94. The cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Mrs. Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004.  Prior to the funeral service, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to pay their respects at the Library.  Details will be announced shortly.

In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Reagan requested that contributions be made to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Foundation at www.reaganlibrary.com

For continuous information on the week’s events, please visit the Reagan Library’s web site atwww.reaganlibrary.com.

A biography of Nancy Reagan is below.

Office of Nancy Reagan

Nancy Davis Reagan

July 6, 1921 - March 6, 2016

Nancy Davis Reagan was born on July 6, 1921, in New York City. Raised in Chicago, she graduated from Girls’ Latin School and went on to Smith College, Northampton, Mass., where she graduated in 1943.

In her early career, Nancy Davis worked as an actress in stage, film and television productions. In 1949, she signed a seven-year contract with MGM. During this time, she met Ronald Reagan and they were married on March 4, 1952. She made eleven films in all, including three after her marriage. Her last film, at Columbia in 1956, was Hellcats of the Navy, the only film in which she and her husband appeared together.

Shortly after Ronald Reagan became Governor of California in 1967, Mrs. Reagan began visiting wounded Vietnam veterans and became active in projects concerning POWs and servicemen missing in action.  While First Lady of California, she made regular visits to hospitals and homes for the elderly, as well as schools for physically and emotionally handicapped children. During one of these hospital visits in 1967, she observed participants in the Foster Grandparent Program, a program which brings together senior citizens and handicapped children, and she soon became its champion. Later, as First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Reagan continued to help expand the program on a national level and promote private funding in local communities.

Upon becoming First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Reagan’s primary focus was fighting drug and alcohol abuse among youth. To spotlight the problem, she traveled nearly 250,000 miles throughout the United States and abroad in conjunction with her campaign to fight substance abuse. She appeared on television talk shows, taped public service announcements, wrote guest articles, and visited prevention programs and rehabilitation centers to talk with young people and their parents.

After leaving the White House on January 20, 1989, Mrs. Reagan established the Nancy Reagan Foundation to continue her campaign to educate people about the serious dangers of substance abuse. In 1994, the Nancy Reagan Foundation joined forces with the BEST Foundation For A Drug-Free Tomorrow and developed the Nancy Reagan After-school Program, a drug prevention and life-skills program for youth.

For ten years, Mrs. Reagan’s priority was caring for her husband at home as he battled Alzheimer’s Disease. Following his death in 2004, she was devoted to projects related to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, where she served on the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, and promoted her husband’s legacy of leadership and freedom.

Nancy Davis Reagan was the only daughter of Dr. Loyal Davis and Edith Davis of Chicago and Phoenix.  She is survived by her brother, Dr. Richard Davis, and two children with Ronald Reagan – Patti Davis and Ronald Prescott Reagan, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

 

THE ILLUSIONISTS – Live From Broadway Now through March 13, 2016

Hollywood, Calif. - “The Illusionists” celebrated a red carpet premiere at the Pantages on Feb. 23. There is still time to be amazed and enjoy the mind-blowing spectacular now through March 13.  The jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth enthralled audiences with hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder, THE ILLUSIONISTS – Live From Broadway has dazzled audiences of all ages.

Red carpet guests included William Shatner, Merit Leighton,  Jacob Hopkins, Loretta Devine and Russ Tamblyn.

Having shattered box office records around the world, THE ILLUSIONISTS  made its U.S. debut on Broadway at New York City’s Marquis Theatre in Times Square on November 26, 2014 where it celebrated a highly-successful holiday engagement.

There’s still time to get in on the fun! For more information visit http://hollywoodpantages.com/theillusionists.

William Shatner, Jeff Hobson, Andrew Basso, Kevin James, Yu Ho-Jin, Ben Blaque, James More, Dan Sperry. Adam Trent at the premiere of "The Illusionists." Photos by Chelsea Lauren
William Shatner, Jeff Hobson, Andrew Basso, Kevin James, Yu Ho-Jin, Ben Blaque, James More, Dan Sperry. Adam Trent at the premiere of “The Illusionists.” Photos by Chelsea Lauren

Mayor Garcetti Announces New Fund for Art and Culture in Public Spaces

Los Angeles, Calif. –  The Arts Activation Fund, which will award $200,000 in grants to support the creation and installation of art and cultural projects throughout Los Angeles.

Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the launch of a $200,000 grant program that will support the work of local artists and bring new vibrancy to public spaces across L.A.

The Arts Activation Fund, a partnership between Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), will provide funding to artists with inspiring ideas for public art projects and cultural events in their neighborhoods.

“Art has the power to transform our perception, attitude and behavior — and is especially impactful when it lives in places that are accessible to everyone,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The Arts Activation Fund will support the creative genius that thrives in our city, and give Angelenos an opportunity to reimagine public spaces in their neighborhoods as vibrant, exciting, and creative places.”

The $200,000 fund, established with the support of the L.A. City Council, will be allocated to between eight and 15 projects, with each project eligible to receive as much as $15,000. The program is designed to fund a range of projects across the City that complement the unique character of their neighborhoods. In this spirit, the fund will prioritize artists with proposals for their own neighborhoods, and whose projects have strong support from their local communities.

The projects can take the form of temporary objects, installations, or experiences that are free to the community and situated in public places or within public view anywhere in the City. They will be conceived, developed, and presented within a two- to three-month timeline. Individual artists, collectives, limited partnerships, nonprofit organizations, and commercial businesses across the City are all eligible to apply.

“Through the work in my committee, we reactivated the Mural Ordinance, revived the Arts Development Fee resulting in millions of dollars for new public art, and guided the new Arts Activation Fund, which will contribute to Los Angeles as a city that values its arts and culture,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Chair of the City’s Arts, Parks, and Los Angeles River Committee. “I want to thank DCA General Manager Danielle Brazell and her staff for their work to identify even more opportunities for artists to shine in the City of Los Angeles.”

The Arts Activation Fund propels Mayor Garcetti’s effort to improve public spaces across the City through community place-making and public art. Last year, the City launched a $200,000 Great Streets Challenge Grant Program that funded eight community projects to reimagine their Great Streets as public spaces.

“Public spaces in our neighborhoods and along our City’s Great Streets provide an open canvas for us to use our creative strength to animate and activate our communities through arts and culture,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. “The Arts Activation Fund connects local artists to these spaces and the people indigenous to them to reinforce neighborhood identities and celebrate L.A.’s diversity.”

For more information, and to submit a proposal for funding through the Arts Activation Fund, visitdcaredesign.org/artsactivate. To find out more about Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets initiative, visitwww.lamayor.org/greatstreets.

 

DAVID DUCHOVNY HONORED WITH STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME

Hollywood, Calif. – The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored actor David Duchovny  with the 2,572nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, January 25.  The star in the category of Television was dedicated at 6508 Hollywood Boulevard in front of the FOX Theatre.
Hollywood Chamber to Honor David Duchovny with Walk of Fame Star

Helping Emcee and Hollywood Chamber President/CEO Leron Gubler to unveil the star was “X-Files” creator/director/executive producer Chris Carter and comedian Garry Shandling. “Fans were thrilled that their favorite actor David Duchovny was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“He is beloved by audiences worldwide for his television and film work,” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.

Born and raised in New York City, Duchovny attended Princeton University where he played one season as shooting guard on the school’s basketball team. He received his Master’s Degree in English Literature from Yale and was on the road to earning his Ph.D. when he caught the acting bug.

Subsequently, Duchovny emerged to become one of the most highly acclaimed actors in Hollywood. The star of 20th Century Fox Television’s international monster hit  “The X-Files,” he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, he was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his highly acclaimed and some say risqué appearances on “The Larry Sanders Show.” In January 1997, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He has been nominated for a total of three Golden Globes, three Screen Actors Guild and a TV Critic’s Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. The press and the public both agree that Duchovny brings a fierce intellect, a quiet intensity and an acerbic wit to his roles on both the small screen and the silver screen.

Fans were happy to know that thirteen years after the original series run, the next mind-bending chapter of “The X-Files” returned  with a thrilling, six-episode event series from creator/executive producer Chris Carter, with stars Duchovny and Gillian Anderson re-inhabiting their roles as iconic FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.  This marks the momentous return of the Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning pop culture phenomenon, which remains one of the longest-running sci-fi series in network television history.

The two-Night Season Premiere aired Sunday, January 24 and Monday, January 25 and the series will air in its Monday 8 PM timeslot.

Since “The X-Files” debuted, millions and millions of self-proclaimed “X-Philes” spent their Sunday nights wide-eyed in anticipation as their hero, the brilliant and sullen FBI agent Fox Mulder, explored cases deemed unbelievable or unsolvable by the Bureau. Duchovny’s remarkable performance on   “The X-Files” earned him the title of “Zeitgeist Icon” by Laura Jacobs in The New Republic, and “the first Internet sex symbol with hair” by Maureen Dowd in The New York Times.

Duchovny added the role of director to his already extensive list of accomplishments when he wrote, directed and starred in three critically acclaimed episodes of “The X-Files,” titled “The Unnatural,” which starred Jessie Martin; and “Hollywood A.D.”, starring Garry Shandling and actress Tea Leoni, and “William”. Other directing credits include the Fox hit series “Bones,” as well as, six episodes of “Californication.”

Duchovny’s passion for renegade films has brought him critical acclaim for his performances in the feature films “Kalifornia,” in which he co-starred opposite Brad Pitt; “The Rapture,” the controversial film directed by Michael Tolkin in which Duchovny starred opposite Mimi Rogers; and “Julia Has Two Lovers,” in which he turned in a much heralded performance as a telephone hustler. Duchovny played Roland “Rollie” Totheroh, Charlie Chaplin’s longtime confidante and cameraman in the Sir Richard Attenborough directed  “Chaplin,” which starred Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role; and starred in the smash hit “Beethoven,” opposite Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt. Feature credits include the Dreamworks action-comedy “Evolution,” opposite Julianne Moore and directed by Ivan Reitman, the MGM romantic-comedy “Return To Me,” opposite Minnie Driver, directed by Bonnie Hunt. “The X-Files” movie, and “Playing God,” with Timothy Hutton and Angelina Jolie. David went on to appear in a hilariously funny cameo in Ben Stiller’s film “Zoolander.”

David is still recognized for his role as Dennis/Denise Bryson, the transvestite detective in David Lynch’s breakthrough television series “Twin Peaks.”  Duchovny also spent four seasons as the impassioned narrator of Zalman King’s erotic anthology series Red Shoe Diaries,” which began as a feature length telefilm for Showtime.

In 2002, he starred in the Miramax ensemble comedy “Full Frontal,” for director Steven Soderbergh, co-starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney. David made brief returns to television, first appearing in good friend Bonnie Hunt’s show “Life With Bonnie,” in which he guest starred as over-the-top weatherman Johnny Volcano, for which he was nominated for an Emmy in 2003. Following that, he made a memorable appearance on “Sex And The City,” as an ex-flame of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw character.

He made his feature directorial debut in 2005 with “House Of D” which he also wrote and appeared in. The film, which starred Robin Williams and Anton Yelchin, vividly captured the spirit of youth in all its joy and heartbreak.

Other feature credits include “Trust The Man,” “The TV Set,” “Things We Lost In The Fire,” “The Secret,” “The X-Files: I Want To Believe,” and “The Joneses.”

Duchovny ventured onto the stage starring off Broadway in Neil LaBute’s play “The Break Of Noon” in which he reunited with his “X-Files: I Want To Believe” co-star Amanda Peet.

Next, he worked on the independent features “Goats” opposite Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell, Graham Phillips and Dakota Johnson; “Phantom” opposite Ed Harris and the independent feature “Louder Than Words” opposite Hope Davis and Timothy Hutton.

His other long-running series “Californication” ended its 7-year run in Summer of 2015 for Showtime. Hank Moody marked another seminal character portrayed by Duchovny that has made it’s its way into our pop culture lexicon, and for whose portrayal he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy series.

Duchovny recently released his first studio album for ThinkSay Records which is being distributed by Caroline, and is available for download on iTunes.

His first novel Holy Cow was released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in February 2015 and hit The New York Times® Best Sellers list. Hisnext book called Bucky Fu##ing Dent will be published on April 5th.

Earlier this year he was seen in the Tomorrow Studios /NBC series “Aquarius,” which he executive produced and in which he stars. The complete series was released on premiere day on NBC.com, the NBC app and VOD.  He is currently shooting the 2nd Season of “Aquarius” for NBC.

Duchovny supports several charities including his recent hosting of “Red Nose Charity Day” to raise money for impoverished children in the U.S.

Story by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

 

 

HOLLYWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND WALK OF FAMER DAVE KOZ ANNOUNCE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME HONOREES FOR CLASS OF 2016

Hollywood, Calif.A new group of entertainment professionals in Motion Pictures, Television, Live Theatre, Radio and Recording have been selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominations to the committee at a meeting held back in June and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber’s Board of Directors.  Musician and Walk of Famer Dave Koz announced the new honorees alongside Leron Gubler, President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and Maureen Schultz, Chair of the Walk of Fame Selection Committee. The new selections were revealed to the world via live stream exclusively on the official website www.walkoffame.com.

“The Walk of Fame Selection Committee is excited to announce our newest honorees to the Walk of Fame. After much deliberation, we feel that we have selected a great group of talent for this coveted award. Fans from around the world will be thrilled to hear that their favorite celebrities will be honored on our world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame,” stated Schultz. “We look forward to welcoming these great talents to our Walk of Fame family.”

The Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2016 are:

In the category of MOTION PICTURES:
Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Ashley Judd, Michael Keaton, Kurt Russell, Quentin Tarantino, and Toshiro Mifune (posthumous)

In the category of TELEVISION:
Barbara Bain, Kathy Bates, Roma Downey, David Duchovny, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Debra Messing, Tracy Morgan, Gary Sinise, and William S. Paley (posthumous)

In the category of RECORDING:
Shirley Caesar, LL Cool J, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Levine, Bruno Mars, Joseph B. ‘Joe’ Smith, Itzhak Perlman, ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot (posthumous)

In the category of RADIO: Ralph Lawler

In the category of LIVE THEATRE/LIVE PERFORMANCE:
Angélica María, Harvey Fierstein, and Kevin Hart

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and its Walk of Fame Selection Committee congratulate all the honorees. Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire. Upcoming star ceremonies are normally announced ten days prior to dedication on the official website www.walkoffame.com.

LL COOL J
TO BE HONORED WITH
STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME

WHO:        Honoree: LL COOL J

Emcee:      Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
Guest speakers: Queen Latifah and Sean “Diddy” Combs

WHAT:      Dedication of the 2,571st star on the Walk of Fame
                   in the category of Recording

WHERE:    6901 Hollywood Boulevard 
                   in front of the Hard Rock Cafe

WHEN:      Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. PST

Event will be live-streamed exclusively on www.walkoffame.com

Hollywood Chamber to Honor LL Cool J with Walk of Fame Star

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that LL COOL J will be honored with the 2,571st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 21, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. PST. The star in the category of Recording will be dedicated at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard in front of Hollywood’s Hard Rock Cafe. “LL COOL J is one of the most popular recording artists. He has a huge following and we are proud to honor him on the Walk of Fame.” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.

Helping Emcee and Hollywood Chamber President/CEO Leron Gubler to unveil the star will be Queen Latifah and Sean “Diddy” Combs.

LL COOL J is an entertainment icon who has found great success crossing into multiple mediums. A two-time Grammy® Award winner, recording artist, talented actor, NAACP Image Award winner, entrepreneur and philanthropist, LL continues to display his wide range of talents with every project.

Celebrating 30 years since he first burst onto the scene, LL COOL J continues his vibrant, trailblazing career. LL COOL J began in the nascent, burgeoning rap and hip hop scene of the 80s, which developed into the musical and cultural phenomenon that is today’s hip hop. All the while, LL COOL J has remained a musical and cultural force, a living icon and a significant, relevant artist still churning out the hits.

First introduced to the world in 1984 as a Def Jam Records flagship artist, LL is the first rap artist to amass ten consecutive platinum-plus selling albums, in addition to 2004’s “THE DEFINITION” and 2006’s “TODD SMITH” which both went Gold.  The multi-platinum artist and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee is currently tied for third place for mostBillboard chart debuts by a rapper. In 2008, LL released his critically acclaimed album “EXIT 13,” his appropriately titled 13th and last album for the only label he has called home – Def Jam Recordings. USA Today put it best when they said, “He may be hitting the Exit, but he is not easing up on the gas.” Continuing his musical expedition three decades after he first released music, LL most recently released his critically-acclaimed 14th studio album, “AUTHENTIC.”With this album, the multi-platinum artist returned to the studio and kicked the volume up to create a powerful album that came from his true passion for music and would speak to his fans. LL scored his 13th Top-10 Album on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart with AUTHENTIC.

As an actor, LL COOL J has successfully transitioned to one of the consistently highest rated shows on television. He currently stars in the CBS hit primetime drama series, “NCIS: LOS ANGELES,” which is in its seventh season. Lauded as one of the most successful show launches ever, and sold into syndication after only seven episodes, his performance on the show has garnered him a NAACP Image Award four years in a row, from 2011 to 2014, for his role of ‘Special Agent Sam Hanna.’ The show is licensed in more than 200 territories around the world and translated or dubbed into dozens of languages. He previously won an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Male Artist” in 2003 and hosted the show in 2007.

Previously, LL had a dramatic and critically acclaimed performance on the second season premiere of FOX’s hit drama “House.” He also guest starred on the NBC comedy “30 Rock” in a memorable performance as hip hop mogul ‘Ridiculous’.

LL can currently be seen hosting and producing the Jimmy Fallon-executive produced new show Lip Sync Battle on Spike TV, which premiered in April 2015 as Spike TV’s most-watched original program ever. The series was renewed for a second season just weeks after its premiere and returned on January 7, 2016.

LL has hosted the GRAMMY® Awards for the past four years in a row, for which he has earned rave reviews. He returns as the host of the 2016 Awards on February 15, 2016 on CBS and has also hosted and produced the GRAMMY® Nominations Concert Live Special for the past seven years and has also been a presenter at the Emmy®, Golden Globe®, and SAG Awards.

Over the years, LL has appeared in more than 30 films and starred opposite acclaimed actors such as Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell in Sony Pictures blockbuster “S.W.A.T.;” Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz in Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday;” and Gabrielle Union in Focus Features’ “Deliver Us from Eva.” Other film credits include “Rollerball,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Kingdom Come,” “In Too Deep,” “Toys,” “Slow Burn” with Ray Liotta and “Eddison” with Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey. He also received a Blockbuster Award for best comedic performance as the ‘Chef’ in Renny Harlin’s blockbuster action film “Deep Blue Sea.” He also starred in Paramount Pictures’ “Last Holiday,” opposite Queen Latifah, which was lauded by fans and critics alike and proved to be a box office draw. He was most recently seen starring opposite Academy Award®-winner Robert De Niro in “Grudge Match.”

LL has always been an avid philanthropist involved in numerous causes including literacy for kids as well as music and arts programs in schools. Celebrating its 12th Anniversary this year, his charity “Jump & Ball” – which takes place every August in his hometown of Queens, New York – aims to give back to his local community by offering a five-week athletic and team building program dedicated to bringing wholesome fun to young people.

 

Christmas In Our Time

By Margie Anne Clark

“God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I look forward to the advent of another Christmas season spent with my ever growing  family, I am reminded that life with its challenges is always renewing itself. Even in the face of triumphs and tragedies, I know this to be true.  Okay, so I’m an optimist.  Always have been. But even I know that time marches on. We grow up, our kids grow up, neighbors come and go, close friends move away …

But there are some things I hope will remain constant in life, like love of family, dear friends, cherished memories, and of course, Christmas. In these modern times, it seems that the season of Christmas has managed to transcend religious beliefs to include a universal celebration of the human spirit and good will.

I was raised with basic Christian tenets, but I have always believed in the importance and commonality of all religions which espouse the concept of good will towards all people. A great world leader, Pope John Paul II addressed this issue in his 1994 book, “Crossing the Threshold of Hope.” In it, Pope John Paul II cites in his excerpts a church document entitled, “Nostra Aetate,” (In Our Time).

“From the beginning, Christian Revelation has viewed the spiritual history of man as including, in some way all religions, thereby demonstrating the unity of all human kind with regard to the eternal and ultimate destiny of man … There is only one community and it consists of all peoples. They have only one origin, since God inhabited the earth with the whole human race …” (Nostra Aetate I-2).

Pope John Paul II wrote: “Thus instead of marveling at the fact that Providence allows such a great variety ofreligions, we should be amazed at the number common elements found within them.”

In this day and age of post-9/11, the War in Iraq and conflicts around the world , it’s easy for us to forget the common bonds of humanity that bind us.  Pope John Paul II cites another expert from the Nostra Aetate states:

“Even if over the course of centuries Christians and Muslims have had more than a few dissensions and quarrels, this sacred Council now urges all to forget the past and to work toward mutual understanding as well as toward the preservation and promotion of social justice, moral welfare, peace and freedom for the benefit of all mankind (Nostra Aetate 3).”

But the world is a complicated place.

When you look at difficulties and suffering that sometimes arise within families, communities and between friends, one wonders how in the world the many diverse people of the world can ever get along in peace and harmony.

And one wonders if there are those who are not deserving of any respect.

But as it says in Galations, all of us are “children of promise.”

Christ himself addressed this issue when he said to the apostles: “Take courage, I have conquered the world (John 16:33). But he also cautioned:

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke, 18:8).

Life is a paradox. In Christian faith, we are taught that Christ was born to save mankind from sin. Yet, in sin comes the opportunity for grace. The birth of Christ in a lowly manger was honored in grace and profound respect by wise men and kings who brought gifts to herald in His sojourn on Earth.

Because of this, gift-giving seems to be a big part of the Christmas celebration. It’s a way to take time out and give tokens of thanks to those who have touched our lives. In this sense, gift giving takes on a universal spirit. But in the hustle and bustle of finding just the perfect gift, or being stressed out, it’s important to take time out to simply be a friend.

A kind word, an act of thoughtfulness and courtesy can mean just as much or even more than an expensive gift. Ralph Waldo Emerson eloquently pointed this out in his essays on spiritual laws:

“Let us lie low in the Lord’s power and learn that truth alone makes rich and great. For it is only the finite that has wrought and suffered: the infinite lies stretched in smiling repose.”

Emerson goes on to write: “If you visit your friend, why need you apologize for not having visited him, and waste his time and deface your own act? Visit him now. Let him feel the highest love has come to see him … be a giftof benediction. Shine with real light and not with the borrowed reflection of gifts …”

While gifts are an important part of the holiday season, friendship, love and respect for our fellow human beings are by far the greatest gifts of all.

Margie Anne Clark is a writer based in Los Angeles.  All rights reserved.

Harry Potter Icon, Daniel Radcliffe to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood, Calif. – The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Daniel Radcliffe will be honored with the 2,565th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday, November 12th at 11:30 a.m. PST. The star in the category of Motion Pictures will be dedicated in front of The Dolby Theatre at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard. “Fans of all ages have been waiting in anticipation of Daniel’s star ceremony. They are constantly asking when it will happen. Finally, we have him here in Hollywood, and we are proud to dedicate his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” stated Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies.

Helping emcee and Hollywood Chamber President/CEO Leron Gubler to unveil the star will be Chris Columbus and Chris Hardwick.

Hollywood Chamber to Honor Daniel Radcliffe with Walk of Fame Star

Daniel Radcliffe was born in London, England and began his career at age nine as the young David Copperfield in the BBC/PBS presentation of the classic Charles Dickens novel.

Radcliffe’s current film is the 20th Century Fox thrilling adventure “Victor Frankenstein” which will be released worldwide on November 25th. His next feature is “Now You See Me: The Second Act” in June 2016 for Lionsgate. This year he wrapped two independent films, “Swiss Army Man” and “Imperium.” He was most recently seen in the BBC telefilm “The Gamechangers.” In 2014, he starred in the horror-thriller “Horns,” and the romantic comedy “What If.” His other films include Sony Pictures Classics’ “Kill Your Darlings,” He starred last year as Billy in  Martin McDonagh’s comic masterpiece “The Cripple of Inishmaan.” The play made its way to Broadway from London’s West End, where it debuted in 2013.

Since completing the final installment in the series of eight “Harry Potter” films in 2010, Radcliffe has become a diverse and acclaimed talent. In 2011, he starred in a ten-month sell-out run of the Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” In 2012, Radcliffe starred in “The Woman in Black,” which has become the most successful British horror film of all time. In 2013, Ovation aired Radcliffe’s four-part TV mini-series, “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” a wildly original comedy drama based on a collection of short stories by celebrated Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov. Radcliffe portrayed the younger doctor, who has exchanges with his older self, played by Jon Hamm. Season two aired in 2014.

In 2012, Radcliffe hosted “Saturday Night Live” and was voted “Entertainer of the Year” by Entertainment Weekly, as the most talented and original performer of 2011. He also won two Teen Choice Awards and a Scream Award, as well as two nominations for the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor and Favorite Movie Star Under 25.

Radcliffe starred as Alan Strang, in both the 2007 West End and 2008 Broadway productions of Peter Shaffer’s “Equus,” winning the award for Best Leading Actor at the Annual Theatre Fan Choice Awards, organized by Broadway World, as well as Best Leading Actor and Breakthrough Performance Awards at the Broadway.com Audience Awards. He also garnered Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for his performance in the play. The London and Broadway productions of “Equus” were directed by Thea Sharrock and also starred Richard Griffiths.

A lifelong fan of “The Simpsons,” Radcliffe has lent his voice twice to the show. First, to the character of a brooding vampire named Edmund for the show’s “Treehouse of Horror XXI” special, entitled “Tweenlight,” which aired in 2010. He then voiced the character Diggs, a new transfer student whom Bart befriends. Previously, Radcliffe made a guest appearance as himself in the award-winning HBO/BBC series “Extras” starring Ricky Gervais. He recently lent his voice to “Robot Chicken” and “BoJack Horseman.”

Radcliffe is a spokesperson for The Trevor Project which awarded him the Trevor Hero Award. He recorded several PSAs and met with their volunteers and participated in training with the Trevor Youth Advisory Council. He is actively vocal about equality and suicide prevention in LGBT youth.

Watch LIVE as the Hollywood Chamber honors Daniel Radcliffe on www.walkoffame.com.

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Opens at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre November 13 – 22, 2015

Hollywood, Calif. – The Award-winning worldwide smash hit Broadway musical Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST returns by popular demand to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre for a limited engagement; November 13 – 22, 2015. This production, produced by NETworks Presentations, launched in February 2010 and has been seen nearly 3 million people while playing over 1,500 performances in all 50 United States and 8 Canadian Provinces.

Brooke Quintana as Belle and the cast of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Brooke Quintana as Belle and the cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Matthew MurphHollywood, Calif. – The Award-winning worldwide smash hit Broadway musical Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST returns by popular demand to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre for a limited engagement; November 13 – 22, 2015. This production, produced by NETworks Presentations, launched in February 2010 and has been seen nearly 3 million people while playing over 1,500 performances in all 50 United States and 8 Canadian Provinces.


Sam Hartley stars as The Beast with Brooke Quintana as Belle in Disney's Beauty and The Beast. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Sam Hartley stars as The Beast with Brooke Quintana as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and The Beast. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The original creators of the Broadway production are together again for this new touring production.  The play is directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West, with Costume Design by Ann Hould-Ward (Tony Award® winner for her work on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), Lighting Design by Natasha Katz, Scenic Design by Stanley A. Meyer, Sound Design by John Petrafesa Jr. and Music Supervision by Michael Kosarin.

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress.  If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has become an international sensation that has played to over 35 million people worldwide in 21 countries.

For more information, visit www.BeautyAndTheBeastOnTour.com.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Deliver Extra Dazzle with the Diamond Celebration, Nov. 13 Through Jan. 6

 ‘Paint the Night’ Parade, ‘Disneyland Forever’ Fireworks and ‘World of Color: Celebrate!’ Bring More Merriment to Holidays 2015 at the Disneyland Resort   

 ANAHEIM, Calif.  – Disneyland Resort will deliver the Holidays with a shimmering sprinkle of Diamond Celebration pixie dust this year beginning Friday, Nov. 13, as holiday festivities are added to the ongoing 60th anniversary celebration. The holiday season will offer unforgettable entertainment, attractions, food and gift items day and night at the Disneyland Resort through Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016.

IT’S A SMALL WORLD” HOLIDAY (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Guests will discover how the spirit of the season unites cultures across the globe as they sail through “it’s a small world” Holiday, just one of the many festive features at the Disneyland park during the holidays. The Holidays are a magical time to create unforgettable memories with loved ones at the Disneyland Resort. This merry season runs Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016, as Disneyland park becomes a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season – “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!,” “Paint the Night” nighttime parade and the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)
IT’S A SMALL WORLD” HOLIDAY (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Guests will discover how the spirit of the season unites cultures across the globe as they sail through “it’s a small world” Holiday, just one of the many festive features at the Disneyland park during the holidays. The Holidays are a magical time to create unforgettable memories with loved ones at the Disneyland Resort. This merry season runs Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016, as Disneyland park becomes a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season – “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!,” “Paint the Night” nighttime parade and the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

 

 

 

 

MAJESTIC CHRISTMAS TREE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Just for the Holidays, a towering Christmas tree stands 60 feet tall at Town Square at Disneyland Park, fully adorned with nearly 2,000 ornaments and 800 handmade bows. The Holidays are a magical time to create unforgettable memories with loved ones at the Disneyland Resort. This merry season runs Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016, as Disneyland Park becomes a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season – “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!,” “Paint the Night” nighttime parade and the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)
MAJESTIC CHRISTMAS TREE (ANAHEIM, Calif.) – Just for the Holidays, a towering Christmas tree stands 60 feet tall at Town Square at Disneyland Park, fully adorned with nearly 2,000 ornaments and 800 handmade bows. The Holidays are a magical time to create unforgettable memories with loved ones at the Disneyland Resort. This merry season runs Nov. 13 through Jan. 6, 2016, as Disneyland Park becomes a dazzling winter wonderland with festive décor, holiday-themed treats and attractions transformed for the season – “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday. This year, the Diamond Celebration adds even more sparkle to the exciting entertainment, which includes “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!,” “Paint the Night” nighttime parade and the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

In addition to traditional Disneyland Resort holiday attractions like “it’s a small world” HolidayHaunted Mansion Holiday“Disney ¡Viva Navidad!”  and “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, guests at the Disneyland Resort will enjoy all of the spectacular new nighttime Diamond Celebration spectaculars: “Paint the Night” parade  and “Disneyland Forever” fireworks in Disneyland Park, plus “World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” in Disney California Adventure Park, which will be presented most nights along with the popular holiday version, “World of Color – Winter Dreams.”

 

 

Holiday time at the Disneyland Resort has become an annual tradition for many guests, filled with the merriment and magical memories of the season. This year, the sparkling excitement of Diamond Celebration décor and entertainment adds to the holiday excitement throughout the resort. Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland and Carthay Circle Theatre in Disney California Adventure bring extra glitter to the season with diamond highlights on their facades.

The Disneyland Resort holiday traditions include soaring Christmas trees in Town Square, Disneyland, and Buena Vista Street, Disney California Adventure, along with visits by Santa Claus to both parks, and holiday food and merchandise items. Additional highlights include:

In Disneyland:

  • “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a Disneyland holiday treasure, presents Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and an array of Disney characters celebrating the holiday season. The daytime parade features 100-plus performers including Santa Claus, who brings jolly holiday wishes from the North Pole. After dark, the Diamond Celebration “Paint the Night” parade will bring its own brand of glittering magic to Disneyland, with dazzling special effects, unforgettable music, energetic performances and spectacular floats. The luminescent parade creates a river of color flowing down Main Street, U.S.A., with an array of Disney characters and more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights,
  • “Disneyland Forever” – The dazzling, new fireworks spectacular “Disneyland Forever” is a street-to-sky, immersive experience like nothing seen before at the Disneyland Resort, with pyrotechnics, original music and viewing locations throughout Disneyland Park. Guests will be surrounded by the worlds of timeless Disney tales, from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, thanks to the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park and surprising special effects.
  • it’s a small world” Holiday offers a worldwide celebration of the season, with more than 300.000 twinkling lights on the attraction’s façade. Inside, animated dolls representing children of many nations are dressed in holiday attire, singing holiday songs as well as the classic “It’s a Small World After All.”
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday presents a spooky but lighthearted mashup of the Halloween and Christmas holidays as imagined by Jack Skellington from the Walt Disney Pictures animated classic Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Continuing an annual tradition, a new gingerbread house is created each year for the Mansion, adding a humorous touch to the ballroom scene. This year, the gingerbread house design features gingerbread men constructing a teetering “house of cards.”
  • Jingle Cruise, an instantly popular addition in 2014, returns to take adventurous guests on a fun-filled expedition. They discover a cargo of holiday gifts and decorations that have been jettisoned over the jungles of the celebrated Jungle Cruise attraction in Adventureland.

In Disney California Adventure:

  • For the first time, two splendid versions of the “World of Color” spectacular will be presented most nights during the Holiday season, on Paradise BayThe nighttime water show with animation, film, music, fountains and special effects is fully programmable, allowing guests to enjoy different experiences. The holiday-themed show, “World of Color − Winter Dreams,” features Olaf the snowman along with classic winter scenes from beloved Disney and Disney●Pixar films such as “Bambi,” “Toy Story” and “Frozen,” the blockbuster Disney film. For the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, “World of Color – Celebrate” pays a fun, colorful, surprise-filled tribute to Walt Disney, whose fertile imagination led to the creation of Disneyland and so many beloved characters. Guests may check the park schedule for show times.
  • “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” is a daily celebration of Latino culture and holiday traditions with music, dancing, vibrant colors and delicious food. Disney characters join the fun in the lively “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party.”
  • “Olaf’s Snow Fest” celebrates its return to Hollywood Land with Olaf, the comical snowman from “Frozen.” Stage 17 is transformed into a charming castle courtyard inspired by the “Frozen” kingdom of Arendelle. Kids of all ages have fun in a giant wintry play area with real snow where they are encouraged to build snow creations and zip down a snow slide. Guests who wish to observe the icy fun will have a nearby viewing area. Music and storytelling entertainment will be presented throughout the day.
  • The residents of Radiator Springs will welcome guests with a “snowcar” at the entrance of Cars Land. Each address along the roadway into the land – Flo’s V8 Café, Fillmore’s Taste-In, Cozy Cone Motel and more – will feature holiday decorations reflecting the personalities of the “Cars” character who lives there.
  • Flik and his buddies decorate “a bug’s land” with giant Christmas lights and holiday ornaments, adding to the festive spirit.

In the Downtown Disney District, guests may take a break from their holiday shopping and dining to go skating on “Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink.” The Downtown Disney Winter Village around the ice rink will offer shoppers holiday gift items sold from the windows of the charming village houses.

For more information about Disneyland Resort, see www.Disneyland.com or visit www.DisneyParksBlog.com. These sites are updated regularly.