Special to The Tolucan Times
By HARRISON HELD
I attended the very classy and elegant 3rd annual Roger Neal Style Hollywood Oscar Viewing Dinner and Oscar Suite with actress/singer Kassandra Carroll (a good friend of The Tolucan) and we had a great time.
The hot-ticket event took place at the beautiful Hollywood Museum at Hollywood and Highland kitty korner to The Dolby Theatre on Oscar night where the 90th Academy Awards were being held.
Our delicious gourmet dinner was presented by Chef Paul Shoemaker of Montresor and The Flats, the brainchild of Lisa Long and Ann Booth Luly. Each year dinner chairs Roger Neal and wife Lynn Briggs Neal honor Hollywood luminaries with a prestigious Icon Award and this year’s very deserving honorees included Ed Asner, Renee Taylor, Marion Ross, Karen Sharpe Kramer, Burt Ward and The Pointer Sisters. Suzan Hughes’ S.H.E. Foundation presented the beautiful evening and this year’s charities were The Thalians and Life and Hope.org.
Before the viewing dinner began, VIP guests and celebrities walked the red carpet and toured the Hollywood Museum owned by my friend Donelle Dadigan which houses the world’s largest collection of entertainment memorabilia, with a special Academy Awards display. The newest collections are tributes to Annette Funicello and Batman ’66.
Icon Award recipient producer/actress Karen Sharpe Kramer, a Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee has been a good friend of mine for many years and was presented her prestigious award by her daughter, actress and Tolucan Times columnist Kat Kramer and Oscar-winning actor Lou Gossett Jr. The widow of the late, great Stanley Kramer, whose films were nominated for over 85 Academy Awards, she oversees his legacy and takes great pride in their daughters Kat and Jennifer. The Kramers wore their “Time’s Up” pins that have been a symbol of this year’s Awards season.
Joining in the Oscar night festivities were Lou Ferrigno and Lee Meriwether who presented Renee Taylor with her Icon Award, Loretta Switt who presented to Ed Asner plus songstress Carol Connors who presented to The Pointer Sisters. Video tributes to Marion Ross came from Happy Days co-stars Anson Williams and Don Most and from Fran Drescher to her Nanny co-star Renee Taylor.
Guests included “Love Goddess” Judy Tenuta, Marla Gibbs, Kym Whitley, Margaret Avery, columnist Marci Weiner, attorney Gloria Allred, Allison Arngrim, Hillary Atkin, George Blodwell, Nyla and Oscar Arslanian, Renee Lawless, Anna Rin, Christian Ganiere, Claudia Lee, Dawn Wells, Kelly Hu, Sean Kanan, Rebecca Holden, Ro Brooks, Jody Hamilton and Lonny Paul, Christy Oldham, Joyce Chow, Christine Devine and Sean McNabb, Ilya Salkind, Victoria Summer, Mara and Ron New, Jack Maxwell, Courtney Stodden, Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino, Sofia Milos, Kira Lorsch, Charlene Tilton, Patrika Darbo, Brenda Dickson, Carolyn Hennesy, BarBara Luna, Kate Linder, Jeraldine Saunders, James Dumont, Leyna Nguyen, Dee Wallace, Shadoe and Beverly Stevens, Hal Linden, Bernie Kopell, Randal Malone, Margaret O’Brien, Todd Sherry, Vincent Du Paul and Danny Arroyo.
Harrison Held is a writer, actor and producer currently hosting “Memories of Marilyn” produced by Kassandra Carroll.