Hollywood in the Spotlight at the Charlie Awards

Photo by Margie Barron

At the Charlie Awards, Chaplin’s wax figure, emcee George Pennacchio, and Robert Forster.

The Charlie Awards are named for Hollywood icon Charlie Chaplin. And thanks to Madame Tussauds Hollywood, Chaplin himself (albeit a wax figure) was able to attend the awards named in his honor. The Hollywood Arts Council’s 27th Annual Charlie Awards celebrated the Council’s 35th anniversary, and the event benefited Project S.O.A.R. (Students Overcoming All Risks), the Council’s great Arts Programs for underserved community kids.

ABC-7’s entertainment guru George Pennacchio is an enthusiastic supporter of the event which he emcees every year. Pennacchio loves the idea that the awards honor those who have cast a positive light on the arts in Hollywood. He took time to pay tribute to the late Roger Ebert who was an inspiration for him to report on the entertainment arts.

This year the Charlie Award honorees included Christopher Barton accepting for Hudson Pacific Properties. They received the Preservation Arts Award from Oscar nominated Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, The Descendents). Forster praised Hudson Pacific Properties for its restoration of the historic original Warner Bros. headquarters now Sunset & Bronson Studios. “That’s where the first talking picture was made,” noted Forster, who is currently seen on the big screen in Olympus Has Fallen.

It was perfect to have beautiful actress Lee Purcell, a two-time Emmy nominee, present the Los Angeles Beautification Team with the Environmental Arts Award, “for creating its new environmentally innovative home.” Sharyn Romano, the Team’s CEO, accepted.

Also honored was Capitol Records receiving the Public Art Award for commissioning artist Richard Wyatt, Jr. to redo his iconic LA Jazz Mural. Singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester presented.

Comic Tom Dreesen talked about Hollywood’s Renaissance and Los Angeles Fire Department Fire Station 82, which was honored with the Architectural Award. Dreesen said, “The new, state-of-the-art firehouse is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the safety of the community.” Fire Chief Brian Cummings accepted and invited everyone to visit. Joanna Cassidy presented the Visual Arts Award to Couturier Gallery’s Darrel Couturier “who is a leader in promoting artists.”

Ben Hill from the Hollywood Fringe Festival accepted the Theatre Arts Award from actress Angel Parker. Hill said the Fringe Festival showcases live performance throughout Hollywood’s small theatre community at his annual live theatre potpourri, “and it’s one of the many success stories connected with the Hollywood Arts Council. Meeting Nyla and Oscar Arslanian became a milestone in our development.”

The Hollywood Arts Council was recognized by ArtsPlace. President of the Hollywood Arts Council, Nyla Arslanian said, “It’s a culmination of 35 years of our involvement in the community.”

A highlight of the event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was a Beatles medley sung by kids from Selma Elementary School, under the direction of music teacher Melissa Berman. She works on behalf of the Hollywood Arts Council to bring music into local schools.

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