NEW YORK, NY January 9, 2006 – HBO and The U.S. Comedy Arts Festival (USCAF) announced today that Goldie Hawn and James Burrows will be honored at the 12th anniversary of the prestigious comedy festival, to be held March 8th -12th in Aspen, Colorado.
Academy Award winning actress and producer Goldie Hawn will receive the 2006 AFI Star Award. The award, presented annually at the USCAF, recognizes artists whose work represents excellence in film and television. Past recipients include Albert Brooks, Jim Carrey, Billy Crystal, Diane Keaton, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, Mike Myers, Rob Reiner, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, Monty Python and Robin Williams.
"I’m thrilled to have my AFI star in the same constellation as the previous recipients of this award,” said Goldie Hawn. “It is a true honor to be recognized by American Film Institute and the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, especially in one of my favorite places in the world."
“Goldie Hawn is one of the very few people on a first name basis with the world,” said Jean Picker Firstenberg, CEO of the American Film Institute. “A gifted actor and a proud producer of both films and family, Goldie makes us smile, and there is no greater gift in the world today.”
James Burrows, director of the most critically and commercially successful sitcoms in television history, will be honored with the USCAF Career Tribute in a special event that traces his career from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show to Cheers, Friends and Will & Grace. HBO Chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht will present the award.
“Jimmy is the master of the modern sitcom,” said Pat Tourk Lee, Executive Producer of the USCAF. “For many years, the television audience rarely knew the names of comedy directors –his brilliance behind the camera changed that.”
AFI Star Award: Goldie Hawn
While common today for actors to also executive produce their projects, Goldie Hawn is one of the first female comedy stars to take creative control of her own film as the executive producer of the hit Private Benjamin, (1980) for which she also received a Best Actress Oscarâ nomination..
Hawn broke into the nationally consciousness on Dan Rowan and Dick Martin’s Laugh-In (1968-1970), the top rated comedy on television. Cast originally as a dancer on the show, and known for wearing bikinis and having her body painted with jokes, she quickly proved herself a talented comedienne and actress. Hawn made a successful jump to the big screen and won an Academy Awardâ for Best Supporting Actress for her acting debut in Cactus Flower (1969) with Walter Matthau.
Immensely popular as a comedy star— she has twice co-hosted the Academy Awards â— Hawn has been able to shift seamlessly to drama. In addition to starring in such notable comedies as Foul Play (1978) and Seems Like Old Times (1982) with Chevy Chase, The First Wives Club (1996), in which she co-starred with Diane Keaton and Bette Midler, Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You (1996) and The Banger Sisters (2002), she also starred in Steven Spielberg’s directorial debut The Sugarland Express (1973) and Hal Ashby’s Shampoo (1975) with Warren Beatty. As a producer, she has chosen to do television projects with a social importance including When Billie Beat Bobby (ABC 2001) and The Matthew Shepard Story (NBC 2001). In 2005, Goldie published her memoir, “A Lotus Grows in the Mud,” which immediately became a New York Times bestseller and will be released in paperback March 1." She is currently a part-time resident of Aspen.
USCAF Career Tribute: James Burrows
Emmy-winning director and producer James Burrows is almost universally the first choice to help launch new sitcoms. Burrows has been nominated for 41 Emmy Awards, including one every year since 1980, winning 10 (5 for directing and 5 for producing) and has been nominated for Directors Guild of America awards 20 times, winning 4.
From directing episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show to co-creating Cheers and currently producing and directing Will & Grace, Burrows has been a driving creative force behind some of the most popular comedies of the past 30 years including Friends, Frasier, Taxi and NewsRadio.
Damon Wayan’s “Behind the Smile”
The USCAF will present the world premiere of Damon Wayan’s new film Behind the Smile, a drama set in the world of stand-up comedy. This film is a labor of love for Damon – a truly independent film fully financed, written, directed, produced and starring Damon Wayans. The film co-stars Marlon Wayans, Jim Belushi, Camryn Manheim, Terry Crews, Mike Binder and Katt Williams. In addition to Behind the Smile, Wayans writing credits include the films Major Payne, Mo’ Money, Blankman as well as several HBO comedy specials and the critically acclaimed TV series 413 Hope Street for Fox.
Previously announced programming for the upcoming USCAF includes salutes to The Larry Sanders Show with creator and star Garry Shandling and co-star Jeffery Tambor and the 15th anniversary of a Def Comedy Jam with Russell Simmons, Stan Lathan and Sandy Wernick, a special live presentation of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio show, with regular cast members Sue Scott, Tim Russell, Fred Newman and Rich Dworksy,
as well as a special screening of Robert Altman’s feature film based on the show, and Jim Henson’s Puppet Improv.
Ticket packages for the 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen are on sale now through the USCAF box office at 1-866-350-3369 or online at www.hbocomedyfestival.com. The USCAF Aspen is sponsored by HBO, HBO Comedy, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, the American Film Institute and Stay Aspen Snowmass.
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television-programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour premium television services, HBO and Cinemax. Together, both networks reach approximately 39 million subscribers in the United States via cable and satellite delivery. Home Box Office’s international joint ventures bring HBO branded services to more than 50 countries around the globe.
Since its inception in 1995, the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen has become known as a primary launching pad for comedic talent and for hosting one-of-a-kind events such as reunions of Monty Python, SCTV, Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Saturday Night Live, as well as of the casts of Cheers, Animal House, Waiting for Guffman and In Living Color; The AFI Star Awards to Jim Carrey, Diane Keaton, Mike Myers, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Albert Brooks, Rob Reiner, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg; the original The Simpsons Live, and the Freedom of Speech Awards which have honored George Carlin, Bill Maher, Dick Gregory, The Smothers Brothers, Michael Moore, August Wilson and Garry Trudeau.
In the past, strong USCAF performances by Ray Romano, Camryn Manheim, Jack Black, Eddie Izzard, Anthony Clark, Candy Ford, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Jason Kravitz, Loni Love and The Hollow Men among others, helped attract or solidify network deals.
The 2005 USCAF featured appearances by Jim Carrey, Conan O’Brien, cast of “Waiting for Guffman,” Garry Trudeau, Aaron McGruder; Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong and World Premiers of features films Sarah Silverman’s “Jesus Is Magic” and Scott Marshall’s “Lucky 13.”