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Showbiz Smarts

Larry Gelbart will deliver the commencement address at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television on June 15. And who better to advise in all three fields? He received three Emmys, two Tonys, N.Y. and LA. Film Critics Awards–also, awards from the Writers Guild and N.Y. Drama Critics. In the theater, his credits include “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Sly Fox,” “Mastergate” and “City of Angels.” In Films, Gelbart gave us “Oh God!,” “Tootsie,” as well as the filmed “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” On television, Gelbart’s unequaled credit is “M.A.S.H.,” as well as “Mastergate,” “Barbarians at the Gate”. His contributions to the arts in showbiz should also include his beginnings in radio with shows for Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Eddie Cantor Jack Paar, Jack Carson and Joan Davis.

Gelbart received on Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Union College and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hofstra University. He never attended college and said, “I was lucky to get out of Fairfax (high school).” Gelbart is now busy writing a play, a movie and a television show. He listens to the radio.   

Meanwhile, up at the University of the Pacific, Emmy award-winning television producer David Gerber was on hand for the appearance of 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi. She was an honored speaker on the David Gerber Lecture Series. Ebadi is the Iranian attorney who has become a champion for women’s rights. Gerber is an alumnus of the U. of Pacific, he attended on the GI Bill, having served in the Army in WWII.(His amazing wartime story is being developed as a feature.) Among others who have appeared on the Gerber series are: Desmond Tutu. Mary Robinson, retired President of Ireland and Rwanda’a President Paul Kagame.

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