Robin Williams was named on Wednesday as NATO/ShoWest ’94 Male Star of the Year and will receive the award at the convention’s closing awards banquet at the Goldwyn Ballroom at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The Williams accolade follows an intense day of wrangling forthe organizers of NATO/ShoWest.
Longtime supporter Paramount Pictures was in the midst of bowing out as sponsor of the event but began to reverse itself in conversations initiated late Tuesday night. The studio confirmed Wednesday that it will sponsor the March 9 dinner in Las Vegas.
Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group president Barry London said talent on the lot had received the studio’s decision to pull out of NATO/ShoWest “very negatively.” He said, “That and other factors led us to commit to sponsoring the dinner on Wednesday evening, March 9, as we had previously tentatively committed to.”
As for Williams, the comedy star cops the award following his starring role in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” which NATO/ShoWest says has grossed more than $ 140 million domestically.
The Male Star of the Year award is typically awarded to a star who fills exhibitor coffers.
Previous recipients include 1993 winner Arnold Schwarzenegger, Patrick Swayze , Sylvester Stallone, Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Danny DeVito, Jeff Bridges and Warren Beatty.
Williams will be stumping for his next movie — writer/director Bill Forsyth’s comedy “Being Human”– at the annual convention for exhibitors and distributors.