Photo Flash: Over 300 Stars Gather to Celebrate Life Industry Advocate Dale Olson
Among the over 300 individuals who gathered this week to honor the late PR Icon, Dale Olson, with an exhibit at the Hollywood Museum and former offices of make-up wizard, Max Factor, included Ruta Lee, Valerie Harper, Garry Marshall, George Schlatter, Joanne Worley, Kate Linder, Jackie Joseph, Patricia Barry, Ann Jeffreys, Barbra Van Orden, Theodore Bikel, Ilene Graff, Ben Lanzarone, Leonard Maltin, Renee Taylor, Karen Sharpe-Kramer, Martin Wiviott, Hunter and Stan Frieberg.
Scroll below for photos from the event.
The speakers included B. Harlan Boll, Diane Ladd, John Bowab, Dick Guttman, Charlotte Rae, David Rambo, Doris Roberts, Marion Ross, Maxwell Caulfield, Donelle Dadigan, Kevin Thomas, Keith McNutt, Mitzi Gaynor and Eugene “Gene” Harbin, with musical tributes by Davis Gaines and Broadway legend, Patricia Morison. "He was a mentor to many," said B. Harlan Boll, “But the most important thing he taught us, was about the importance of giving back. He always took the side of the little guy, the underdog, anyone who had fallen on hard times. When he looked at people, he didn't see an actor, a singer, a dancer or a producer … he saw a human being first. For those of us who attempt to follow in his footsteps, we carry on his legacy of compassion for others and his tremendous love, respect and passion for this industry and its history.” Diane Ladd, who immediately followed, remarked, “I am certain that not only is Dale here with us now, but he has brought along numerous friends like Mae West, Gene Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Rock Hudson, who are standing with us at this very moment.” Director John Bowab, who opened and closed the gathering, offered a thought, “Wouldn't Dale love this? It's a sold-out house,” adding “And if Dale heard that he'd say, 'Yeah, but it's all papered.'” Included in the ceremony were letters from both the Olsen archives and present day written by colleagues and clients including Greer Garson, Katharine Hepburn, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Shirley MacLaine, Jerry Lewis and Brian “Stokes” Mitchell.
Dale C. Olson was a renaissance man within his own industry, having been a successful entertainment journalist and drama critic (instrumental in forming The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle), involved in independent film production, heading more than 150 motion picture campaigns, including Rocky, Superman, Rambo and Halloween. His Academy Award activities, involved Oscar campaigns for In the Heat of the Night (five Oscars, including best picture and Rod Steiger as best actor); Fortune Cookie (Best supporting actor Walter Matthau); Give Em Hell, Harry (best actor nomination James Whitemore); Tender Mercies (Best actor Robert Duvall); Terms of Endearment (best actress Shirley MacLaine); Anna (Best actress nomination Sally Kirkland); American Beauty (Best picture and best actor Kevin Spacey); Gladiator (Best Picture and Best Actor Russell Crowe); and Shrek (first Best Animated Feature) and, of course, a public relations executive at Rogers & Cowan, Inc., one the largest independent PR companies of its time, as Senior Vice President and President of the Motion Picture Division. He had served on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Public Relations Coordinating and Executive Committees, for which he received two achievement awards from the Publicists Guild of America; the Golden Key from PR News and the Internationals Press Assn's Golden Satellite for lifetime achievement as well the Entertainment Industries Prism Award for community service, among many humanitarian awards. He was a leader in the efforts to raise awareness and the fight against AIDS, as the spokesman for friend and client, Rock Hudson, during his battle with the disease. He was an advid supporter of Actors & Others for Animals with friends Betty White and Joanne Worley, and took great pride in his position as a Trustee and on the Executive Committee for The Actors Fund, which serves all entertainment professionals in need.
"This is great loss for The Actors Fund. Dale was a staunch advocate for this organization, and I'm personally humbled by his commitment and dedication. When the HIV/AIDS crisis devastated the entertainment community, Dale was among the first to speak out for those suffering and in need. His work led to programs and services that bring comfort and relief for thousands of our clients every year across the country. I speak for everyone at The Fund when I say he will be sorely missed." - Actors-Brian Stokes Mitchell/Actors Fund Chairman
Photo Credit: Scott Appel
John Bowab welcomes guests
Dale Olson Exhibit Centerpiece (Artwork, Actors Fund Medalion and trademark glasses)