Rachel Zegler to Star as Snow White in Disney’s Live-Action Adaptation of the Classic Animated Film

Rachel Zegler’s royal coronation is around the corner…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress and singer will star as Snow White in Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic film that started it all for the studio’s legendary slate of animated features.

Rachel Zegler,

Marc Webb will direct the film, with Marc Platt producing. Production is expected to begin in 2022.

“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts,” said Webb of the actress who will star as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s new retelling of West Side Story. “Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale.”

The original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cartoon, based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, was released in 1938.

It was Disney’s inaugural animated feature and became a massive success for the studio.

Insiders say the live-action film will expand upon the story and music from the original. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Oscar– and Tony Award-winning duo behind La La LandThe Greatest Showman and Dear Evan Hansen, will write new songs for the film.

The studio had been taking its time on the live-action adaptation because they wanted to get the music right, and insiders says higher-ups are excited with what Pasek and Paul have come up with so far.

As for the casting process, Webb and studio execs had been meeting with talent for several months for the role of Snow White. Zegler’s auditions impressed everyone, insiders say, but another factor was footage from West Side Story that blew away the Disney studio brass who’ve seen it, and helped push the decision across the finish line.

The casting also marks a step in the right direction of Disney diversifying its Disney Princess characters, after tapping Halle Bailey to play Ariel in the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid film.

Zegler was just 17 when she beat out more than 30,000 actresses for the lead role of Maria in West Side Story. The new adaptation will debut on December 10 and also stars Ansel Elgort and Rita Moreno.

She’ll also star in her first big comic-book film, joining Zachary Levi in D.C.’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

Rita Moreno Among the “Cast” for This Year’s Academy Awards Show

Rita Moreno has a special date with Oscar…

The producers of this year’s 93rd annual Academy Awards have cast an ensemble of 15 stars to handle all the presenting duties, including the 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, one of the few artists to have won all four major annual American entertainment awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award, is part of a “cast” that includes last year’s Oscar winners Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt and Laura Dern.

It’s part of the producers’ pledge to do the entire broadcast as if it were a movie itself.

Last year’s Best Director winner, Bong Joon Ho, who made four trips to the stage for Parasite, is also part of this ensemble, presumably to present Best Director.

Other names announced — in alphabetical order — are Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Reese Witherspoon and Zendaya.

“In keeping with our awards-show-as-a-movie approach, we’ve assembled a truly stellar cast of stars,” said producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh. “There’s so much wattage here, sunglasses may be required.”

This idea of having a set group of presenters rotating in and out of the show is not new. When producer Gower Champion reimagined the 1969 Oscar show, he created what they called “Friends of Oscar,” with 10 stars exclusively serving as presenters (and no host). The format was then repeated successfully the next year, and has been tweaked occasionally over the decades — including for the innovative 2009 show produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark, which used combinations of five past winners each to present the acting awards.

Additional talent joining the April 25 live broadcast on ABC will be announced later.

Roadside Attractions Acquires North American Rights to Rita Moreno’s Documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It”

Rita Moreno is ready to bring her life story to America…

Roadside Attractions has acquired North American distribution rights to the 2021 Sundance Film Festival documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It, about the 89-year-old Latina living legend.

Rita MorenoA release is planned for June 18.

Roadside’s deal excludes the television license to PBSAmerican Masters, which will present the exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere of the doc after it hits theaters.

In addition to Moreno, others featured in the Mariem Pérez Riera-directed doc include George Chakiris, Héctor Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo.

The film covers Moreno’s 70-year-plus career rise and struggles, from her beginnings in poverty on a Puerto Rican farm to becoming a rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars, Tony Awards) winner.

She’s the first Latina actress to win an Oscar (for her role as Anita in 1961’s West Side Story). Despite the win, studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent.

“Roadside Attractions, I’m so pleased for your commitment to my story and especially for making it available to a broader audience. Curtain Up!,” Moreno commented.

“Stars like Rita are few and far between, her showbiz story and personal remembrances resonate for a large, diverse audience, and the heights she continues to achieve are a true crowd pleasing uplift after the year we’ve all had,” said Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff.

“Rita is an incredible inspiration to so many, hers is a success story for all women who feel alone as they struggle to assert themselves with courage and bravery against heavy odds,” offered director Pérez Riera. “We are so thrilled to bring Rita to theaters for audiences to spend time with a woman who, when speaking about herself, speaks to and for a lot of us.”

“There were only a small group of distributors we hoped would take notice at Sundance. Roadside was at the top of that list,” said film’s producer, ACT III’s Brent Miller and EP Norman Lear. “We think we’re in great hands with Howard and Eric at the helm and couldn’t be more excited for the world to know the Rita we now know and love.”

American Masters Pictures and Act III Productions in association with Artemis Rising and Maramar Films are producers.

Rita Moreno to Take Part in Paley Center’s International Women’s Day Panel Discussion “Choosing to Challenge”

Rita Moreno is leading the way…

To commemorate International Women’s DayThe Paley Center for Media will host a quarterly series of conversations exploring the media’s role in providing a diverse and inclusive platform for women, with the 89-year-old Puerto Rican legendary actress among the women set to take part.

Rita Moreno

The series will kick off with its inaugural event on International Women’s Day, Monday, March 8 at 10:00 am ET/7:00 am PT on the Paley Center’s dedicated channel on Verizon Media’s Yahoo Entertainment.

Choosing to Challenge: How Women Are Leading the Way, will focus on women’s roles as leaders in our society and address some of the most significant issues facing all women, according to the organization.

In addition to Moreno, the panel will include Misty Copeland, ballerina, author, and philanthropist; Hon. Val Demings, U.S. Representative (FL-10); Cynthia Erivo, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning actress, singer, and producer; Julie Foudy, espnW writer and soccer commentator, ESPN; Rita Moreno, actor and activist; Norah O’Donnell, anchor and managing editor, CBS Evening News; Phylicia Rashad, actor and director; and moderator Alicia Menendez, anchor, MSNBC’s American Voices with Alicia Menendez.

The series is made possible by support from John H. Josephson and Carolina F. Zapf.

“The Paley Center for Media is thrilled to present the first of a series of programs with influential women, who will share their experiences and raise awareness about the significant role the media can play in equality, opportunity, and representation to help create a more inclusive world,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President & CEO. “We are grateful to John H. Josephson and Carolina F. Zapf for their most generous support of this in-depth series, as well as Verizon’s continued commitment to providing a platform for diverse voices.”

“This PaleyImpact series will convene prominent women to discuss the media’s influence in amplifying women’s voices and the role it plays in helping to create a more gender equal world,” said Josephson and Zapf. “We are proud to support the Paley Center and we look forward to hearing the perspectives of the many distinguished women joining for this important series and to celebrate their numerous achievements and contributions to society.”

The quarterly series is part of The Paley Center for Media’s commitment to promoting diverse voices in media and entertainment. Similar programs have included the Paley Center’s series addressing antisemitism, racial justice and social equality, COVID-19, and celebrations of Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month.

Rachel Zegler to Star in the “Shazam” Sequel, “Shazam: Fury of the Gods”

Rachel Zegler’s latest project is Gods will…

The 19-year-old Colombian American actress, who will soon star as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story, has joined the cast of Shazam: Fury of the Gods, the sequel to New Line and DC Comics’ 2019 film Shazam! starring Zachary Levi as the kid-at-heart superhero who is bestowed with the powers of six gods.

Rachel Zegler

The sequel will hail from the same filmmaking team behind the first installment, with David F. Sandberg directing from a screenplay by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan.

It will continue the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word “SHAZAM!” is struck by the Living Lightning of the gods and transformed into his adult superhero alter ego, Shazam.

Zegler will star opposite Ansel Elgort and Rita Moreno when West Side Story is released in December.

Rita Moreno to Take Part in This Year’s Sundance Film Festival Semi-Virtual Edition

Rita Moreno is ready to rock Sundance…

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival has announced a schedule of the talks and events to be presented on the Sundance platform, with the 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer set to participate.

Rita Moreno

The festival, which runs from January 28 to February 3, opted for a semi-virtual option in lieu of its traditional exhibition in Park City, UT. Among the guests taking part in this year’s virtual “Cinema Cafe” talks are Moreno, Questlove, Robin Wright and others.

Moreno will be joined by beloved Sesame Street alum Sonia Manzano for a little café talk on Saturday, January 30 from 10:30-11:15 am.

The EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars & Tony Awards) winner will also take part in the Conjuring the Collective: Womxn at Sundance Speakeasy later that night, from 8:00 – 9:00 pm.

The virtual speakeasy will feature performances from an array of talented women from the Festival and beyond, honoring a multiplicity of perspectives through our myths and stories, dance, art, music, and culture.

In addition to Moreno, guests include poet Apiorkor, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison (Ailey), actor Marlee Matlin and director Siân Heder.

The following is the roster of scheduled events. All talks and events are free to view, and all times are U.S. Mountain time.

2021 Sundance Film
Festival Opening Night Welcome
Thursday, January 28,
5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The Sundance Dailies
#SundanceDailies
Friday, January 29–Tuesday, February 2,
9:00 a.m.–9:30 a.m.

2021 Cinema Café guests:

Shaka King & Ahmir
“Questlove” Thompson
Friday, January 29, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Sonia Manzano & Rita Moreno
Saturday, January 30, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Rebecca Hall & Robin Wright
Sunday, January 31, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Tyson Brown, Patti Harrison & Emilia Jones
Monday, February 1, 10:30-11:15am

The Big Conversation
#SundanceBigConversation
Friday, January 29-Monday, February 1,
1-2 p.m., individual slots TBA
The Big Conversation tackles science, art, culture, and the movements that are fueling the imaginations of today’s independent artists. A compelling selection of speakers discuss topics centered on the themes of this year’s program and explore broader trends in art and culture around the world. In considering how
artists — through their practice and their work — make meaning of the world, we’re reminded that it’s the big conversation that connects us to the big ideas. The topics are “Barbed Wire Kisses Redux,” “Come Together” and “The Past In the Present: A Personal Journey through Race, History and Filmmaking.”

Power of Story
Timing TBA
The Sundance Film Festival’s Power of Story looks to deepen public engagement with storytelling, delve into cinema culture, and celebrate artists whose work propels the form and reinvents storytelling as we know it.

Power of Story: Speculative Fiction Is the Place
Black speculative fiction and historiography, Afrofuturism, and utopian/dystopian visions speak to an enduring, evolving, and vibrant storytelling sensibility.

Conjuring the Collective: Womxn at Sundance Speakeasy
Saturday, January 30, 8-9 p.m.
A virtual speakeasy featuring performances from an array of talented women from the Festival and beyond, honoring a multiplicity of perspectives through our myths and stories, dance, art, music, and culture. Guests include: poet Apiorkor, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison (Ailey), actor Marlee Matlin and director Siân Heder (CODA), actor Rita Moreno (Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It), actor SOKO (Mayday, The Blazing World), and more TBA.

Awards Night
Tuesday, February 2, 6 p.m.
Free and open to all, the event will be live-streamed on our online screening platform.

It’s a Wrap
Wednesday, February 3, 9-9:30 a.m.
Festival director Tabitha Jackson leads a ceremonial end to this all-new Sundance experience by bringing audiences together for one last moment together in the virtual space.

Rita Moreno Earns Critics Choice Awards Television Nomination

Rita Moreno’s a critics’ choice

The 26th annual Critics Choice Awards has unveiled its series nominees, with the with 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer earning a mention.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, who has won all four major American entertainment awards: an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony Award, earned a nod in the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category for her acclaimed work on One Day at a Time.

It’s her third nomination for her role as the beloved Lydia Margarita del Carmen Inclán Maribona Leyte-Vidal de Riera.

Harvey Guillén has picked up the first Critics Choice Awards nod of his career.

The 30-year-old Mexican American actor picked up a nod in the Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on What We Do in the Shadows.

Tessa Thompson is a first-time Critics Choice nominee…

The 37-year-old part-Panamanian and part-Mexican American actress earned the nod in the Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television for her performance in Amazon Studios Sylvie’s Love.

Other Latinx nominees include The Kid Mero for Best Talk Show for Showtime’s Desus & Mero and Nicole Richie for Best Short Form Series for her Quibi series Nikki Fre$h.

“We are so thrilled to be celebrating the incredible work that was released during this extended season,” said Critics Choice Association CEO Joey Berlin. “In a year when the need for entertainment was undeniable, the industry rallied to deliver beautiful series that delighted us, educated us, challenged us, and most importantly, brought us all together.”

Film nominees and the ceremony’s format will be revealed on February 8. The winners will be announced at 7:00 pm on March 7 on the CW, with Taye Diggs returning as host for a third time.

Here’s the full list of TV nominations for the 26th Critics Choice Awards:

BEST DRAMA SERIES
Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Lovecraft Country (HBO)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark (Netflix)
Perry Mason (HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jason Bateman – Ozark (Netflix)
Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)
Jonathan Majors – Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Josh O’Connor – The Crown (Netflix)
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul (AMC)
Matthew Rhys – Perry Mason (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christine Baranski – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Olivia Colman – The Crown (Netflix)
Emma Corrin – The Crown (Netflix)
Claire Danes – Homeland (Showtime)
Laura Linney – Ozark (Netflix)
Jurnee Smollett – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul (AMC)
Justin Hartley – This Is Us (NBC)
John Lithgow – Perry Mason (HBO)
Tobias Menzies – The Crown (Netflix)
Tom Pelphrey – Ozark (Netflix)
Michael K. Williams – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Gillian Anderson – The Crown (Netflix)
Cynthia Erivo – The Outsider (HBO)
Julia Garner – Ozark (Netflix)
Janet McTeer – Ozark (Netflix)
Wunmi Mosaku – Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Rhea Seehorn – Better Call Saul (AMC)

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Better Things (FX)
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Mom (CBS)
PEN15 (Hulu)
Ramy (Hulu)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Hank Azaria – Brockmire (IFC)
Matt Berry – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Nicholas Hoult – The Great (Hulu)
Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Ramy Youssef – Ramy (Hulu)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Pamela Adlon – Better Things (FX)
Christina Applegate – Dead to Me (Netflix)
Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Natasia Demetriou – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Issa Rae – Insecure (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
William Fichtner – Mom (CBS)
Harvey Guillén – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Alex Newell – Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)
Mark Proksch – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Andrew Rannells – Black Monday (Showtime) 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Lecy Goranson – The Conners (ABC)
Rita Moreno – One Day at a Time (Pop)
Annie Murphy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Ashley Park – Emily in Paris (Netflix)
Jaime Pressly – Mom (CBS)
Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BEST LIMITED SERIES
I May Destroy You (HBO)
Mrs. America (FX)
Normal People (Hulu)
The Plot Against America (HBO)
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Small Axe (Amazon Studios)
The Undoing (HBO)
Unorthodox (Netflix)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Bad Education (HBO)
Between the World and Me (HBO)
The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel (Lifetime)
Hamilton (Disney+)
Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Studios)
What the Constitution Means to Me (Amazon Studios)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
John Boyega – Small Axe (Amazon Studios)
Hugh Grant – The Undoing (HBO)
Paul Mescal – Normal People (Hulu)
Chris Rock – Fargo (FX)
Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much is True (HBO)
Morgan Spector – The Plot Against America (HBO) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Cate Blanchett – Mrs. America (FX)
Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You (HBO)
Daisy Edgar-Jones – Normal People (Hulu)
Shira Haas – Unorthodox (Netflix)
Anya Taylor-Joy – The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Tessa Thompson – Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Studios) 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Daveed Diggs – The Good Lord Bird (Showtime)
Joshua Caleb Johnson – The Good Lord Bird (Showtime)
Dylan McDermott – Hollywood (Netflix)
Donald Sutherland – The Undoing (HBO)
Glynn Turman – Fargo (FX)
John Turturro – The Plot Against America (HBO) 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION 
Uzo Aduba – Mrs. America (FX)
Betsy Brandt – Soulmates (AMC)
Marielle Heller – The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Margo Martindale – Mrs. America (FX)
Winona Ryder – The Plot Against America (HBO)
Tracey Ullman – Mrs. America (FX) 

BEST TALK SHOW
Desus & Mero (Showtime)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC/Syndicated)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch) 

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL
Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty (Netflix)
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (Netflix)
Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (Netflix)
Marc Maron: End Times Fun (Netflix)
Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia (Netflix)
Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything (Netflix) 

BEST SHORT FORM SERIES
The Andy Cohen Diaries (Quibi)
Better Call Saul: Ethics Training with Kim Wexler (AMC/Youtube)
Mapleworth Murders (Quibi)
Nikki Fre$h (Quibi)
Reno 911! (Quibi)
Tooning Out the News (CBS All Access)

Edward James Olmos to Take Part in Biden Inaugural Committee’s “Latino Inaugural 2021: Inheritance, Resilience, and Promise” Event

Edward James Olmos is preparing to celebrate the resilience and promise of the Latino community in the United States…

President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural committee has announced a Tuesday night event, featuring the 73-year-old Mexican American actor, director, producer, and activist, that shines a spotlight on the Latino community.

Edward James Olmos

Entitled Latino Inaugural 2021: Inheritance, Resilience, and Promise, the event will be hosted by Eva Longoria.

It will feature appearances by Olmos, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Leguizamo, Rita Moreno, Ivy Queen and Becky G.

There also will be performances from Gilberto Santa Rosa and Gaby Moreno, featuring David Garza, Emilio Estefan and All-Star Tejanos UnitedStefani Montiel, Jose Posada, Shelly Lares, DJ Kane and Mariachi Nuevo Santander from Roma High School.

Emilio Estefan produced a performance of One World, One Prayer by the Wailers, featuring Skip Marley, Farruko, Shaggy and Cedella Marley.

The event will take palace on Tuesday, January 19 at 9:30 pm ET

 

It’s part of a series of events that will highlight the nation’s diversity, including the AAPI Inaugural Ball: Breaking Barriers, celebrating the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities; and We Are One, celebrating Black Americans.

Joan Baez Among This Year’s Recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors

Joan Baez is set to receive a special honor in Our Nation’s Capital.

The 80-year-old half-Mexican American contemporary folk singer has been selected to receive the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors alongside Garth Brooks, violinist Midori, choreographer Debbie Allen and the ageless Dick Van Dyke.

Joan Baez

“It has been my life’s joy to make art,” said Baez in a statement. It’s also been my life’s joy to make, as the late Congressman John Lewis called it, ‘good trouble.’ What luck to have been born with the ability to do both; each one giving strength and credibility to the other.”

Traditionally held in December, the 2020 edition of the Kennedy Center Honors was postponed to May 2021 due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live events and filming are planned for the week of May 17-22. The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on CBS as a two-hour primetime special that will air on June 6 at 9:00 pm ET/PT.

But the pandemic will have an impact on how the event is staged, with live-filmed tributes and virtual moments to take the place of the traditional event in a packed Kennedy Center Opera House.

“The center’s entire campus will come alive with small, in-person events and re-envisioned virtual tributes. Featuring multiple events for physically-distant audiences in locations across the Kennedy Center’s campus…Programs for each event will encompass both performances and speaking tributes for the honorees,” according to a statement. “Virtual events will also be held throughout the week beginning May 17, and the viability of additional in-person events will be considered as COVID-19 safety protocols evolve over the upcoming months…An honoree medallion ceremony for the honorees and a limited audience will be hosted by the Kennedy Center during [the week of] May 17–22.”

Joan Baez

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to attend the Honors Gala, as presidents traditionally have done (barring a national crisis). Donald Trump was the first president to decline the invitation every year of his term.

This is the first time in five years that a majority of the honorees have been women. Carole King, Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson were three of the five honorees in 2015.

“The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a moment to celebrate the remarkable artists who have spent their lives elevating the cultural history of our nation and world,” said David M. Rubenstein, Kennedy Center Chairman.

Here’s a look at each of this year’s honorees:

Joan Baez: The folk legend had three top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 in the 1960s, including Farewell, Angelina. Her classic version of Robbie Robertson’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971. Baez was just 21 when she made the cover of Time in November 1962. Baez has one of the longest spans of Grammy nominations in history, from 1962 to 2018. She has yet to win a Grammy in competition (despite nine nods), but she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2007.

Garth Brooks: The country star, 58, is one of the best-selling recording artists in history. The RIAA lists him second only to The Beatles, with 157 million albums sold in the U.S. (compared to 183 million for the Fab Four). He has had nine No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, including Ropin’ the Wind, which topped the chart for 18 weeks, still the record for a country album. Brooks has amassed 14 CMA Awards, including a record seven awards for entertainer of the year. He was artist of the decade for the 1990s at the ACM Awards. He has won two Grammys. He received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last year. He made the cover of Time in 1992 in a story headlined “Country’s Big Boom.”

Midori: The Japanese-born American violinist, 49, was just 19 when she received her first (and to date only) Grammy nomination for best classical performance, instrumental soloist (without orchestra) for the album Paganini: 24 Caprices For Solo Violin Op. 1. She made her debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11 as a surprise guest soloist at the New Year’s Eve Gala in 1982. 

Dick Van Dyke: The actor, 95, won three Emmys for The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66), which is widely regarded as the granddaddy of smart, sophisticated sitcoms. He also won an Emmy in 1977 for Van Dyke & Company, which took outstanding variety or music series. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995. He won a Tony in 1961 for Bye, Bye Birdie (in which he introduced the jaunty “Put on a Happy Face”) and a Grammy for 1964’s Mary Poppins (in which he took the lead in singing the Oscar-winning “Chim Chim Cher-ee”).

Debbie Allen: The actress, dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, director and producer, 70, has won three Emmys for choreography: two for Fame and one for Motown 30: What’s Goin’ On. She also received two Tony nods for acting in revivals of West Side Story (1980) and Sweet Charity (1986). She is a former member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

John Leguizamo to Take Part in Upcoming CBS Special “Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event”

John Leguizamo is helping to honor this year’s coronavirus pandemic warriors…

The 56-year-old Colombian actor and stand-up comedian will take part in CBS’ upcoming special Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event. 

John Leguizamo

Leguizamo is among a roster of new additions to the special that includes José Andrés, Arturo Castro, John Leguizamo, George Lopez, Isabela Merced, Rita Moreno, Ana Navarro, Freddy Rodriguez and Wilmer Valderrama.

 

The event will be produced and hosted by Eva Longoria. Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan are also set to co-host.

 

The star-studded lineup will join the show, created by Henry R. Muñoz III and directed by Ron de Moraes, to celebrate Latinx culture while also shedding light on those in the community that have been heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic and those who play an essential role in fighting COVID-19.

Apart from the array of Latinx voices speaking at the event, the event will also feature musical performances, comedy pieces and docu-shorts aimed to spread awareness on the Latinx experience.

 

The special follows Longoria’s recent launch of a lifestyle site for the Latina community, She Se Puede, that covers fashion, health, culture and voting.

 

Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event will broadcast Monday, October 26 from 9:00-10:00pm, ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Audiences can also stream the event live and on demand on CBS All Access.