By Marci Weiner
HOLLYWOOD(Hollywood Today)12/12/13/–The 31st Annual Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors Awards, honoring the top behind the scenes talent, kicked off the Awards Season in Hollywood. Actor Bruce Boxleitner star of the upcoming holiday film Silver Bells, hosted the program, produced by Vin Di Bona, Lee Miller and Chuck Fries, President of the Caucus Foundation.
Among the presenters and celebs attending were Robert Wagner, Peter Gallagher (Covert Affairs), Sadie Calvano of Mom and actress Julie Alexander (J. Edgar).
Jeff Wachtel, President of NBC/Cable Entertainment, received the prestigious Executive of the Year Award; while Arnold Shapiro, Oscar and Emmy Award winning TV producer, was given the Caucus Chair’s Award. Others honored included Robert Papazian, Emmy Award winner for Inherit the Wind on NBC. He has produced over 80 TV movies and series during the last 40 years, and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Seven student filmmakers from colleges around the country also received the Gold Circle Awards. These generous grants will help them finish their student film projects. The aim of the Caucus is to elevate program quality, and to help mentor young prospective producers, directors and writers to succeed with their efforts.
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard, Los Angeles City Councilman, Joe Buscaino, and Shlomo Rechnitz, who founded one of the largest medical supply distributor firms in the U.S., were among those honored at the 12th Annual Eagle & Badge Gala. Hosted by Mary Hart, the show featured a special performance by singer Colbie Caillat, and the Queen Latifah show’s favorite girl group, Identity 4Pop, who performed the National Anthem.
The Eagle & Badge Foundation was founded 12 years ago by the Los Angeles Police Protective League to help members of law enforcement & their families with expenses affected by health or other critical issues. This organization continues to assist many thousands of individuals. Who better to receive help from us than the Police Officers, whose entire life is spent protecting us all?
Among the more than 1,000 business, entertainment, political and community leaders in attendance were LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Gabrielle Carteris (90210), Mamie Van Doren (who still looks fab at age 80), Aaron Quinton (The Blind Side), and the cast members of police TV shows – CSI, Hill Street Blues, Adam 12 and Police Woman.
We were amused to spy soap star, Brenda Dickson (Century City Resident) who is seen posing with two Police Officers. The plucky beauty had her own problems with being arrested, and jailed (illegally) in Hawaii – so this scene was particularly interesting to witness. You have to read her memoir, My True Hidden Hollywood Story to learn the details!