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May 26, 2005

Third Annual AEA/AFTRA/SAG Diversity Awards

To Be Presented Monday June 6, 2005 In Los Angeles

E.Y. Harburg, Beulah Quo, Will Sampson & Ossie Davis To Be Honored

The Third Annual Diversity Awards, sponsored by the Equal Employment Opportunity Committees of Actors' Equity Association (Equity), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG), will be held Monday, June 6, 2005 at the East West Players in Los Angeles. The evening’s event, entitled “Honoring Our Pioneers” will pay tribute to E.Y. (Yip) Harburg (Equity’s nominee), Beulah Quo (AFTRA nominee), and Will Sampson (SAG honoree). The three unions will jointly honor Ossie Davis.

Selected by Equity as this year’s honoree, E. Y. (Yip) Harburg was instrumental in creating roles for performers who traditionally were not then seen on a professional stage. Among his best-known songs are “Paper Moon,” “April in Paris,” “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,” and “Over the Rainbow” along with the other songs from the film, The Wizard of Oz.

Beulah Quo’s work in film and television (ranging from Love Is a Many Splendored Thing and Chinatown to her recurring role on General Hospital), makes her a natural to be honored by AFTRA. She worked to create opportunities for Asian-American actors and actresses and to promote balanced portrayals of Asians on film and stage. In 1965, Ms. Quo became a co-founder of the East West Players.

Will Sampson, this year’s SAG honoree, is best known for his portrayal of “Chief Bromden” in One Flew Over the Cuckoos’ Nest. His commitment to playing real, multidimensional, culturally accurate characters led to his founding the American Indian Registry for the Performing Arts in 1983.

Equity, AFTRA and SAG jointly selected Ossie Davis as honoree for his innumerable contributions to the arts and society. Ossie Davis wrote and directed numerous plays and films, including Cotton Comes to Harlem and Purlie Victorious, in which he starred with his wife, Ruby Dee. Both Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee are SAG Lifetime Achievement recipients, and are recipients of Equity’s prestigious Paul Robeson Award. Mr. Davis challenged racism through his work in the industry as an actor, writer and director, and he devoted his energies in the community as an activist in the Civil Rights Movement.

The award ceremony will begin with a reception from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The awards will be presented from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information or to make a reserveration, call the RSVP line at 1-323-988-2080 or by emailing Reservations are stronly recommended because space is limited.

Press Contact:
David Lotz / Communications Director
Maria Somma / Spokesperson

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