Schifrin, Roman also receive positive portrayal nods

Actor Antonio Banderas, composer Lalo Schifrin and animation director Phil Roman will be among those honored April 7 at the 14th annual Imagen Awards, which honor positive portrayals of Hispanics in entertainment.

The Imagen Foundation’s board of directors picked Spanish heartthrob Banderas as the “Lasting Image of 1998″ for his work in “The Mask of Zorro.” Previous recipients include Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Andy Garcia and Jimmy Smits.

Schifrin and Roman will both be honored for creative achievement.

The Argentinean Schifrin, winner of four Grammy Awards and nominated six times for Academy Awards, has written more than 100 scores for film and television, including “Cool Hand Luke,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry,” “Rush Hour” and “Tango.”

“In light of the fact that the sheer number of Hispanics is growing so immensely and the Spanish language is fast becoming the second language in America, this award from the Imagen Foundation is very significant for me and brings me great pride and satisfaction,” Schifrin said. “I am always happy to do anything I can to further Latino culture and influence.”

Roman, a Mexican-American raised in Fresno, has worked as a director and producer at Disney, Warner Bros., MGM and UPA. Roman was involved in “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” “The Mask” and the “Garfield” series and specials, leading to five Emmy awards and four Annie awards.

“I deeply appreciate this tremendous honor from the Imagen Foundation,” Roman said. “Being recognized by such a highly respected organization makes this award especially meaningful to me.”

Television producer Martha Williamson, exec producer of “Touched by an Angel” and “Promised Land,” will pick up a Vision Award for consistently casting Hispanics and other minorities in positive roles. The Vision Award is presented to a non-Hispanic entertainment leader who has furthered opportunities for Hispanics in the entertainment industry.

“From the beginning it has always been important to us at ‘Touched by an Angel’ as well as ‘Promised Land’ that our stories and characters incorporate all aspects of life in this country in the most positive and hopeful way,” Williamson said.

The awards dinner will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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