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Photo Flash: Actors Fund Honors Tommy Tune on Tony Night

Held at the popular Skirball Center in Los Angeles, the Actors Fund's 12th annual TONY Award party was completely sold out well in advance and by far the most successful year ever by raising over $125,000, which is a tribute in itself to honoree Tommy Tune and host Florence Henderson, who was on hiatus from her own program on the RLTV network entitled "The Florence Henderson Show."

Among those in attendance to celebrate Tune's 50 years in entertainment were Shari Belafonte, Betty Garrett, Charles Durning, Patrika Darbo, Ilene Graff,Charlotte Rae,Carole Cook, Tom Troupe, Patricia Barry, Vicki Lewis as well as general manager of Broadway/L.A. and the Pantages Theatre Martin Wiviott.

Of particular interest was the ever popular silent auction which included rare opportunities such as a cooking lesson with celebrated French pastry Chef Yves Fournier, a full years membership to GOLD's Gym Hollywood with private sessions by noted LA trainer ANTONIO, a trip to NYC that included the winners choice of tickets to any Broadway show, as well as the traditional signed movie and theatrical memorabilia like Carol Burnett's signed Carol Burnett REUNION jacket, hand written musical quotes from Jerry Herman and Dolly Parton, an original artwork by honoree Tommy Tune and a one of a kind print of Glen Hanson's famous artwork for the Smithsonian Institute's "Tribute to the Legendary Ladies of Stage and Screen" sign by each of the nine inductees (Angela Lansbury,Esther Williams, Rose Marie, Florence Henderson, June Lockhart, Julie Newmar, Tippi Hedren, Phyllis Diller and Carol Channing).

The Julie Harris Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Mr. Tune's "Theatrical God-Mother" Carol Channing after the gala that featured the only approved live feed of the Tony Awards as they happen in New York. During commercial breaks, host Florence Henderson highlighted key auction opportunities, introduced celebrated guests and informed the audience of basketball and golf scores ... while secretly routing for Tiger Woods.

Mr. Tune adds this honor to his already unprecedented nine Tony Awards in four different categories plus, among other accolades, eight Drama Desk Awards, two Obie Awards, two Astaire Awards, the American Dance Award, the Drama League Award, the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement and the nations' highest honor for Artistic Achievement, The National Medal of Arts presented in a private ceremony in the oval office of the White House. For full bio visit: http://www.tommytune.com/bio.htm

Previous recipients of the Julie Harris award have included its namesake Julie Harris,Gwen Verdon,Charles Durning, Carol Channing, Rita Moreno,James Earl Jones, Tyne Daly,Lauren Bacall, Stockard Channing,Liza Minnelli and Jerry Herman.

Tune's "theatrical God-mother," Channing, presented the award recalling "I befriended Tommy's mother, little Mrs. Tune.  Yes! She was only five foot two and how she produced this six foot six boy ... Well, I just felt so sorry for her.  I also presented him with one of his nine Tony Awards. Anyway, Tommy is my spiritual son and I am so proud of him."

Mr Tune danced on stage to accept the award in song with the Gershwin's hit "S'Wonderful." When asked about his TONY wins he said "I have them all on the mantle and they link up just exactly right.  I'd have to move if I won another ... I could move," and about future TONY possibilities he added "I'm directing a new show called "Turn of the Century" and I hope to be back on Broadway very soon."

The evening benefited, THE ACTORS FUND which is a nationwide human services organization that helps all professionals - both performers and those behind the scenes - in performing arts and entertainment.  Founded in 1882 - and celebrating its 125th Anniversary this year - The Fund serves those in film, theatre, television, music, opera, and dance with a broad spectrum of programs including comprehensive social services, health services, supportive and affordable housing, emergency financial assistance, employment and training services, and skilled nursing and assisted living care.  Administered from offices in LA, NY, and Chicago, The Actors Fund is a safety net, providing programs and services for those who are in need, crisis, or transition. www.actorsfund.org.


Previous Julie Harris award winner, Carol Channing, highlights the important cause


Carol Channing and Tommy Tune meet on the red carpet


Carol Channing and Tommy Tune joined by host Florence Henderson


Charlotte Rae and previous Julie Harris Award winner Charles Durning


Singer and author, Ilene Graff with husband composer Ben Lanzarone


Western Council Chairman John Holly with TONY Party chair Jomarie Ward with Carol Channing and Tommy Tune


Keith McNutt (Western Region Director) and Barbara Davis (Chief Program officer) with Carol Channing and Tommy Tune


David Michaels (Western Region Event Director) with Tommy Tune


Patrika Darbo


Shari Belafonte


Tom Troupe and funny lady Carole Cook


Tommy Tune, Carol Channing with her childhood sweetheart and husband Harry Kullijian


Anne Jeffreys, Carol Channing and celebrated Chef Yves Fournier


Top LA trainer ANTONIO with Project Runway's Nick Verreos


David Moss,Carol Channing and William Schallert


Florence Henderson & daughter Barbara Chase


Florence Henderson thanks top chef Yves Fournier


Auctioning off Top LA trainer ANTONIO, Florence compares biceps.


Tommy Tune enjoys Carol Channings tribute to Mrs. Tunes little boy


Tommy Tune dances on stage


Tommy Tune accepts the Julie Harris Lifetime Achievement Award


Carol Channing, Tommy Tune, and Florence Henderson say goodnight


Photos by Bill Dow.

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