“I’m Dwight’s official rabbi–” Gary Smith humorously opened the “Celebration” of Dwight Hemion’s life at the Directors Guild, March 28. “He was my older brother,” Smith continued–they’d worked together for 45 years on “hundreds of shows.” Gary then proceeded to m.c a spectacular unspooling of an unmatchable career–on the DGA screen. Several of the hundreds of superstars, artists who werel on that screen were on hand in the theater to testify to the artistry of Hemion. First to be called upon by Smith was Julie Andrews, the subject of several Smith-Hemion specials who reminded that “specials were the best things on television. They were ‘specials’ because he was so special.” That was obvious in a clip with Julie in “The Sounds of Christmas” lensed in Austria–which was one of the 18 Emmy winners by Hemion. An hysterical sequence with Steve Allen had the DGA audience rollng in the aisles and Steve Lawrence who was Allen’s regular for eight years, was on hand to further tell of the genius of Allen–and Hemion. L:awrence ws also seen in a priceless clip with Sammy Davis, Jr. Many who worked behnd the scenes, the stages, booths, with Hemion revealed Hemion’s unique eyes which created priceless televion. Hemion spent his last five years assembling his favorite scenes.–shown in an abbreviated–too short form. Those who worked with him and who spoke included Walter Miller, Martin Baker, Allan Kartun, Dency Nelson and Gene Crowe. The Hemion family was represented by Gus Hemion, Kate Hemion and Mali Bowers The stars on the screen and in the audience included Ann-Margret and Roger Smith and Jack Jones. The cast lists of Hemion’s Specials are classic–the 87-minutes which Dwight edited as a grand finale proves once more how special Dwight Hemion was.
footage soon to unspool.