×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Laura Dern Presents Lupus LA Award to Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley

Lupus LA honored Fox Searchlight co-president Nancy Utley at its annual Orange Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Thursday night.

The Beverly Hills ballroom had a central dance floor with the woman of the hour, Utley, cutting a rug as the band played a wide range of renditions from The Jackson 5 to Ed Sheeran to Bruno Mars.

Utley admitted that she was initially hesitant to be honored, but went on to say that “this organization is trying to make sure that every lupus story has a happy ending.”

“As I’ve lived with this diagnosis for the last 27 years, it took some time to grow from fear and despair to acceptance and optimism,” Utley said while accepting the Daniel J. Wallace Founder’s Award. “I became intrigued about lending my voice — strong, relatively healthy voice — to tell the stories of those who have had it far harder than me.”

Utley, who helped to found the org in 1999, went on t0 tell the stories of two college students she mentors who are living successful lives with the autoimmune disease and further detailed how the org provides education and patient services.

She was shown support at the event from Fox Searchlight co-president Stephen Gilula, presidents of production David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, 21 Century president and Fox Networks group chairman Peter Rice, Paramount chairman Jim Gianopulos as well as Bob Berney, head of Amazon Studios’ movie marketing and distribution.

Laura Dern also lent a hand in helping to honor Utley as the actress presented her the award. Dern decided to make the introduction personal as she shared anecdotes of admiring Utley from afar as well as enjoying her company at industry events, referring to her as “my dance partner and the last one to leave any party.”

“I’ve watched Nancy up close both serving on the board of the Academy and, frankly, being the future of the Academy in my estimation, being such a guide to me and other boards in the past,” Dern said. “She inspires endless great art from our most radical and daring visionaries, she endlessly serves her community, her family, her beautiful partnership with Raymond and she never let’s anything stop her or slow her down.”

Lupus LA chairman Adam Selkowitz was joined by producer Lauren Shuler Donner as well as actors Niles FitchStorm Reid, and Scott Michael Campbell at the dinner.

The benefit, which also featured a live auction, raked in more than $525,000 to support those affected by Lupus and research to find a cure for the autoimmune disease. The hot item of the evening was a walk-on role for two in Season 2 of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” that would be filmed in Los Angeles. The prize went for $5,000, but the winner was guaranteed a return on the bid since they would be a paid extra in the series.

The gala also feted Dr. Marc Chevier, head of Lupus Strategy at Janssen Research and Development with the Medical Visionary Award.

More Scene

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • John CenaSports Illustrated Sportsperson of the

    John Cena on WWE's Acceptance by Hollywood and the Professional Sports World

    John Cena says the WWE is finally getting the attention it deserves by Hollywood and the professional sports world. “I’m just glad that no longer are we looked down upon, not only by the sport industry, but by the performing arts industry,” Cena told Variety on Tuesday night in Beverly Hills at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of [...]

  • Steve Carell Welcome to Marwen

    Steve Carell on New Film 'Welcome to Marwen' and Reprising His 'Anchorman' Character

    In 2000, Mark Hogancamp was nearly beaten to death by five men outside of a bar. Left with brain damage and little money to afford therapy, Hogancamp began creating miniature doll versions of himself, his friends, and his attackers as a way to cope. This true story inspired the 2010 documentary “Marwencol” and the upcoming [...]

  • Christian Bale'Vice' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Christian Bale Recalls Meeting Donald Trump: 'He Thought I Was Bruce Wayne'

    With Christian Bale‘s latest film, “Vice,” a political dramedy, it’s inevitable ties will be drawn between the film and the current political administration and its chief, President Donald Trump. On the red carpet for the premiere of “Vice,” Bale, who stars as former Vice President Dick Cheney, shared that he met the current president while [...]

  • Amy Poehler Is Ready for a

    Amy Poehler Is Ready for a 'Parks and Rec' Reunion

    Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up? We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion. “I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.” “Parks and Recreation” [...]

  • Meredith Walker, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler,

    Inside Amy Poehler's Smart Girls 10th Anniversary Dinner (EXCLUSIVE)

    “I’ve made an observation I’d like to share. I’m the only one that’s eaten my crab cake,” joked Amy Poehler as she addressed the room during the round robin introductions being made at her Smart Girls 10th anniversary dinner on Monday night. The 16 women at the table, who were so enthralled in the conversation [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content