Pat Boone to Receive Life Achievement Award at Ojai Film Festival
Opening weekend of the Ojai Film Festival features a throwback tribute to the days of big studios and contract players. Pat Boone plans to attend the screening of his 1962 movie State Fair on Saturday November 2, at 7 pm, followed by a reception in his honor at 9 pm. On Sunday, November 3 at 10 am, the Ojai Film Festival will present him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.Pat Boone is a legendary American singer, composer, actor, writer and spokesman. He ranked as a #1 Pop singer in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s. He sold more than 45 million records and had 38 top 40 hits, including six number one records, and 13 "million sellers," or gold records. Boone appeared in more than 15 Hollywood films. In the years immediately prior to the British Invasion, only one performer rivaled the chart dominance of Elvis Presley-Pat Boone. At a time when many considered the rise of Rock 'n Roll a sign of the Apocalypse, Boone made the music appear safe and nonthreatening. His numerous charitable endeavors include hosting the Easter Seals Telethon for many years, helping raise $600 million for children with disabilities. Together with their son-in-law, Pat and Shirley Boone founded Mercy Corps, one of the top ten Christian humanitarian and relief organizations. Boone continues to support many other ministries, including the Salvation Army, Bibles for the World, and the Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Among his numerous awards and accolades, Boone has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2003, he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Born Charles Eugene Patrick Boone on June 1, 1934, "Pat" Boone, raised in Nashville, TN, sang in church and on local TV and radio. He married his childhood sweetheart, Shirley Foley in 1953, and graduated from Columbia University, Magna Cum Laude, in 1958. Pat and Shirley Boone reared four daughters and remained married for 65 years, until her passing in 2019. In 1956 Boone became one of the biggest recording stars in the US. Several film studios pursued him for movies; he decided to go with 20th Century FOX who made Elvis Presley's first movie. FOX reworked a play he bought, Bernadine, into a vehicle for Boone. Boone regards April Love (1957), a remake of Home in Indiana, one of his favorites, "the kind of movie I wish I could have made 20 more of: a musical, appealing characters, some drama, a good storyline, a happy ending, it's the kind of film which makes you feel good." In 1957 he was voted the third most popular star in the US. He appeared in Mardi Gras (1958) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959), a Science fiction adventure tale that became a huge hit. He produced and starred in a documentary, Salute to the Teenagers (1960) and he returned with a military comedy All Hands on Deck (1961). When musicals grew less fashionable in Hollywood, Boone decided to take on a dramatic role in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie The Main Attraction (1962). Other films include The Yellow Canary (1963), The Horror of It All (1963), Never Put It in Writing (1964), Goodbye Charlie (1964) The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) and The Cross and the Switchblade (1970).
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Ojai Film Festival