Mandy Patinkin Among 2016 Honorees for Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service

Three renowned achievers will be honored for their lifetime accomplishments with the 37th Annual Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service. The awards recognize individuals who have enriched modern culture through their professional and personal endeavors.

The 2016 Common Wealth Award recipients are:

- Mandy Patinkin, distinguished Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor, for Dramatic Arts;

- Bob Schieffer, preeminent award-winning political broadcast journalist and author, for Mass Communications;

- Elizabeth Smart, leading national advocate for child abduction rights and recovery, for Public Service.

The honorees will be recognized at the Common Wealth Awards ceremony hosted by The PNC Financial Services Group on Saturday, April 16, at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington.

The Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service were first presented in 1979 by The Common Wealth Trust which was created under the will of Ralph Hayes, an influential business executive and philanthropist. The awards are now made by The Ralph Hayes Common Wealth Foundation, which is funded by the Common Wealth Trust. PNC Bank, National Association, serves as trustee of the Common Wealth Trust and administrator of the Ralph Hayes Common Wealth Foundation.

In the 37-year history of the Common Wealth Awards, more than $6 million has been awarded to 195 honorees. The 2016 honorees will each receive an award of $75,000.

"The 2016 Common Wealth Award honorees have excelled in producing work of enduring value that engages, informs and inspires," said Nicholas M. Marsini, Jr., regional president for PNC Bank, Delaware. "We applaud these high achievers for their accomplishments and unwavering commitment to excellence."

Ralph Hayes, creator of the Common Wealth Awards, served on the board of directors of one of PNC's predecessor banks in Delaware from 1935 to 1965. Through the awards, he sought to recognize outstanding achievement in eight disciplines: dramatic arts, literature, science, invention, mass communications, public service, government, and sociology. The awards also are an incentive for individuals to make future contributions to the world community.

For three and a half decades, the Common Wealth Awards have recognized heads of state, scientists and inventors, explorers, authors, performing artists and activists. Past winners include 11 Nobel laureates, among them, human rights leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, statesman Henry Kissinger and authors Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison. Other high achievers on the Common Wealth Awards roster include former Secretary of State Colin Powell; H.M. Queen Noor of Jordan; dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov; Hollywood icons Sidney Poitier and Meryl Streep; astronauts John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin; primatologist Jane Goodall; ocean explorer Robert Ballard; television journalists Walter Cronkite, Wolf Blizter and Jane Pauley; and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee.

Since 2000, PNC has sponsored the annual Common Wealth Awards writing contest for Delaware high school students who are inspired by the honorees. Students are asked to explain which Common Wealth Awards honoree they most want to meet and why. A winning essay is selected for each honoree. In recognition of their achievement, the students and their parents/guardian are invited to attend the Common Wealth Awards Ceremony and a pre-event reception. To date, 55 student winners representing various Delaware high schools have met the high achievers honored by the Common Wealth Awards.

About Mandy Patinkin - Mandy Patinkin has been fortunate to carve out a varied career including theater, the concert stage, film, television, and as a recording artist.

In his 1980 Broadway debut, Mandy won a Tony Award for his role as Che in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita and was nominated in 1984 for his starring role as George in the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Sunday in the Park with George. Mandy's other stage credits include: Compulsion, Paradise Found, The Tempest, Enemy of the People, The Wild Party, Falsettos, The Secret Garden, The Winter's Tale, The Knife, Leave It to Beaver is Dead, Rebel Women, Hamlet, Trelawney of the 'Wells,' The Shadow Box, The Split, Savages, and Henry IV, Part I.

In 1989, Mandy began his concert career at Joseph Papp's Public Theater in New York City. Since then he has toured (and continues to) his various solo concerts across North America, in London's West End, through Australia and New Zealand, as well as on Broadway and off- Broadway. In 1997 he played a sold-out Broadway engagement of Mandy Patinkin in Concert, with all profits benefiting five charitable organizations, and in 1999, while on tour, Mandy ended each concert by heading to the theater lobby with a cardboard box, asking patrons to empty their pockets for PAX, a gun safety organization, and Doctors Without Borders, in response to both the Columbine shooting and the Bosnian War.

In addition to his solo concerts, Mandy has created collaborations with artists including opera super-star Nathan Gunn in An Evening with Mandy Patinkin & Nathan Gunn; with his dear friend Patti LuPone in An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin which has toured since 2007 and played Broadway in 2012; Bridges, a concert with musicians from various countries in the Middle East; and most recently, The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville, with the performance artist Taylor Mac, directed by Susan Stroman.

Mandy has appeared in many feature films, including Wish I Was Here, The Wind Rises, Everybody's Hero, The Choking Man, Pinero, The Adventures of Elmo In Grouchland, Lulu on the Bridge, Men with Guns, The Princess Bride, Yentl, The Music of Chance, Daniel, Ragtime, Impromptu, The Doctor, Alien Nation, Dick Tracy, The House on Carroll Street, True Colors, and Maxie.

In television, Mandy won a 1995 Emmy Award for his performance in the CBS series "Chicago Hope", and starred in the CBS series "Criminal Minds" and in the Showtime Original Series "Dead Like Me". Currently, he can be seen in the Award-winning Showtime Original Series "Homeland" as CIA Agent Saul Berenson.

As a recording artist on CBS Records, Mandy released two solo albums, Mandy Patinkin and Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Dress Casual. On the Nonesuch label, Mandy has recorded Experiment, Oscar & Steve, Leonard Bernstein's New York, Kidults and Mandy Patinkin Sings Sondheim. In 1998 he debuted his most personal project, Mamaloshen, a collection of traditional, classic and contemporary songs sung entirely in Yiddish. The recording of Mamaloshen won the Deutschen Schallplattenpreis (Germany's equivalent of the Grammy Award).

Mandy resides in NYC with his wife, actress and writer Kathryn Grody.

About Bob Schieffer - Emmy-winning Bob Schieffer is one of the nation's most revered journalists of all time. With 58 years as a reporter and 46 years at CBS News, the former moderator of Face the Nation served as a steady on-air presence while other television personalities came and went - "the last of the old school anchors from the heyday of network TV news," declared NPR. He is a beloved Washington insider who, as USA Today said, "has been on a first-name basis with key DC figures for decades." Schieffer, who held every major job at CBS News, served as the lynchpin of the network and led Face the Nation to its highest ratings in decades. The show is the No. 1 Sunday talk show for its third consecutive year. He is currently the Walter Shorenstein Media and Democracy Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, focusing on the 2016 presidential election.

With a career that has dealt almost exclusively with politics, Schieffer is one of the few journalists to have covered all four major beats in the nation's capital - the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and Capitol Hill. He has interviewed every president since Richard Nixon and moderated three presidential debates - 2004, 2008, and 2012. With a unique style that's "equal parts folksy inquisitor and experienced political insider," according to NPR, "no one can ask a tough question quite like Bob Schieffer." Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers' bureau, he offers an insightful look at today's political climate told through insider stories about the most fascinating aspects of politics - how politicians operate behind the scenes. Named a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, Schieffer harnesses his enduring appeal as he shares what could only have been learned from his more than five decades of on-the-job experience.

Jack-of-All-Trades. USA Today said Schieffer's career reached "hall-of-fame levels, thanks to his consistent, jack-of-all trades approach to his profession and his diligent shepherding of Face the Nation," and his expertise truly is wide-ranging.

He has authored three books: Bob Schieffer's America, Face the Nation: My Favorite Stories from the First 50 Years of the Award-Winning News Broadcast, and This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV. He has also co-authored Ronald Reagan, The Acting President. Schieffer made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry alongside his country music band Honky Tonk Confidential and appeared in a cameo beside Harrison Ford in the 2010 film Morning Glory.

Before joining CBS News, he was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and, in 1965, became the first reporter from a Texas newspaper to report from Vietnam.

A Living Legend. Schieffer has won virtually every award in broadcast journalism, including eight Emmys, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence, and the Edward R. Murrow Award. He received an Emmy for lifetime achievement and was named "Broadcaster of the Year" by the National Press Foundation. He was also inducted into the Broadcasting/Cable Hall of Fame and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. He feels his greatest honor, though, was his alma mater, Texas Christian University, creating the Schieffer School of Journalism.

About Elizabeth Smart - The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002 and her captors had controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003 after being held prisoner for nine months. Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to her captor's conviction.

Elizabeth is currently involved in the "Elizabeth Smart Foundation," and has helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.

Elizabeth's abduction and recovery has motivated and continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children's safety. Emphasizing the vigilance of everyday people in finding missing children and the belief that there is always hope and we can never stop searching for each and every missing child. Two years ago, Elizabeth worked with the Department of Justice and four other recovered young adults in creating a survivors guide, entitled - "You're Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment." This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences to not give up and to know that there is life after tragic events.

Elizabeth's life now is a daily demonstration that it is possible to overcome extreme adversity, by not allowing your past to dictate your life's future.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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