Leachman, Harris, Carroll honored

Seven illustrious names were added to the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame on Thursday evening at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Honoree Cloris Leachman read a lengthy poem that extended the event by 10 minutes, which inspired presenter Bob Woodruff to joke, “If we have the time, I’m going to read some ‘War and Peace.’ ”

Even honoree Diahann Carroll took a swing, conceding that while Leachman is a brilliant thesp “that does not always come in a package of complete sanity.”

Sitcom scripter and inductee Susan Harris used her speech to explain why she got into TV writing: “In the late 1960s I was very fortunate. My husband left me for another woman.” She said her newfound single life was the impetus behind her early work, and she gained prominence with her slice-of-life writing. “We were living our lives and putting that on the air,” Harris said of life with her son.

Tom Freston, former MTV exec and current OWN exec, said he loved his new position working with Oprah Winfrey, “which is a long way from working with Beavis and Butt-head.” – — Michael Sullivan

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