Goldie is Comedy Fest’s golden girl
Part-time Old Snowmass resident Goldie Hawn will receive the AFI Star Award at the 2006 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, festival producers announced Monday. In addition, the USCAF will honor television director and producer James Burrows, who has directed “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show,” and who co-created “Cheers,” with a USCAF Career Tribute. The festival will also feature the world premiere of Damon Wayans’ “Behind the Smile,” a drama set in the world of stand-up comedy.The 12th annual USCAF is set for March 8-12 with events at various Aspen venues.
Hawn, 60, first came to prominence as a regular performer on the late-’60s TV sketch comedy show “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” She made a successful jump to film with the 1969 comedy “Cactus Flower,” for which she earned a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, playing the kooky free-spirit Toni.The role in “Cactus Flower” would map out a course for Hawn, who would go on to play the blonde airhead in such comedies as “Foul Play,” “Seems Like Old Times,” “Protocol” and “Private Benjamin,” for which she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Hawn’s more recent films include Woody Allen’s “Everyone Says I Love You,” “The First Wives Club” and “The Banger Sisters.” Outside the comedy realm, Hawn appeared in the crime drama “The Sugarland Express,” the 1974 debut by Steven Spielberg; and the 1991 thriller “Deceived.” Hawn has also served as executive producer for several of her films, including “Private Benjamin” and “Protocol,” and for the TV dramas “When Billie Beat Bobby” and “The Matthew Shepard Story.”Last year, Hawn published the memoir “A Lotus Grows in the Mud,” which became a New York Times best seller.
“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, in a prepared statement. “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.”Hawn, who will receive the award in a March 11 event, joins past AFI Star Award honorees Albert Brooks, Diane Keaton, Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal and others.Burrows has been nominated for 41 Emmy Awards, including one every year since 1980, and has won 10 – five for directing, five for producing. His most current hit show is “Will & Grace”; he was also a creative force behind “Friends,” “Frasier” and “NewsRadio.” Chris Albrecht, chairman and CEO of HBO, which produces the USCAF, will present the Career Tribute Award to Burrows.
“Behind the Smile” is an independent film that was financed, written, directed and produced by, and starring, Damon Wayans. Wayans stars as Danny Styles, a comic who has quick success in Los Angeles but is soon brought down by the fast-lane lifestyle. Co-stars include Jim Belushi, Marlon Wayans, Camryn Manheim and Mike Binder. Wayans’ other writing credits include the films “Major Payne” and “Mo’ Money,” as well as several HBO comedy specials and the TV series “413 Hope Street.”Previously announced events scheduled for the 2006 USCAF include a salute to “The Larry Sanders Show,” with creator and star Garry Shandling and co-star Jeffrey Tambor; a 15th anniversary celebration of “Def Comedy Jam” with Russell Simmons; “Jim Henson’s Puppet Improv”; and a special live presentation of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” along with a special screening of Robert Altman’s feature film based on Keillor’s show.Ticket packages for the 2006 USCAF are available by calling (866) 350-3369, or at http://www.hbocomedyfestival.com.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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A ski season surrounded with uncertainty kicks off on Wednesday. The six inches of new snowfall Tuesday will allow opening of an additional 62 acres on Aspen Mountain, bringing opening-day total to about 160 acres.