Icon Awards for Longevity

From l, Timothy Noonan and Don Johnson.

From l, Timothy Noonan and Don Johnson.

“Maturity and I don’t come together often,” Don Johnson admitted with a big grin in front of a crowd that really knows something about maturing gracefully. It was a gathering for the UCLA Longevity Center’s Icon Awards which celebrated remarkable individuals who are role models for the center’s mission of “living better longer.”

Johnson joked that he wasn’t one of the role models, but he was there to present an award to his friend who is — Timothy J. Noonan, president and CEO of Lockton Insurance Brokers. Noonan was honored with the Icon Award for Visionary Leadership in Business and Philanthropy. An advocate of public service and community involvement, Noonan said, “I do believe that a life worth lived is a life that gives back.” Those are great words to live by according to comedy star Paul Reiser, who was the host for the evening. Reiser did a funny routine on aging, acknowledging that “married people live longer because you have a built in backup system.” Of course, every woman knows that!

Oscar-winning actress Eva Marie Saint (On The Waterfront) received an Icon Award for Artistic Excellence from her friend Peter Samuelson, producer and co-founder of the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Saint happily told the crowd that she and her husband Jeffrey Hayden have been married for 62 years, and the secret to a long successful relationship is marrying someone younger. He’s 87, she’s 89.

You can bet that Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning composer Randy Newman has a happy wife too, because his father-in-law, director Michael Preece presented Randy with his Icon Award for Artistic Excellence.

Husband and wife Albert and Robin Carnesale were honored with their Icon for Visionary Leadership in Healthcare. Albert served as chancellor of UCLA and is currently a professor. Robin Gerber Carnesale shared her husband’s vision and actively participated in university life, while also serving as CEO of RGA, Inc. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block proudly made the presentation.

Award-winning jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell performed, and Dr. Louise Horvitz and Patricia Dunn Grey co-chaired the event at the Montage in Beverly Hills.

Dr. Gary Small, director of the UCLA Longevity Center, said, “The Icon Awards were created to recognize individuals who have become legends in their fields and serve as role models for healthy and active living.”

Greek Film Festival in LA

The annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) showcases new films from Greece and Cyprus, and includes works by international filmmakers of Greek descent, explained Alex Kalognomos, executive producer of the festival. The festival director is Aris Katopodis. Along with screening of features and shorts, the festival also offers the opportunity for the film community to share ideas. Producer-director Stelana Kliris held a very helpful workshop on micro-budgets and crowdfunding. She said, “The best advice I can give filmmakers is to be prepared, and storyboard.” Another highlight was the Consul General of Greece, Elisabeth Fortiadou hosting a brunch for the filmmakers that presented a great lineup of movies last weekend. On hand was actress Patricia Kara, a past host of the LAGFF. A Mediterranean buffet spread was enjoyed by all.

LA Zoo Fare

At the LA Zoo’s Rainforest of the Americas pavilion, with a critter named Harry Otter barking for attention, chefs from twelve LA restaurants catered a feast for the media. The chefs presented dishes inspired by their favorite animal at a menu preview for GLAZA’s (Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association) 44th Annual Beastly Ball, fundraiser set for Saturday, June 14. Connie Morgan, president of GLAZA welcomed True Blood actress Carolyn Hennessy to help with the tastings and put the spotlight on the restaurants who are participating. The Federal Bar in North Hollywood, Pasadena’s Jersey Mike’s, Hollywood Hard Rock Café, Glendale’s Canele, the El Coyote, El Cholo, Maison Akira, Sam’s By the Beach, Celestino, Taix French Restaurant, Glorious Gourmet & Garnish Café, and Burbank’s Yummy Cupcakes are among the generous businesses offering delicious food at the Beastly Ball.