13TH ANNUAL TEXAS FILM HALL OF FAME AWARDS
Liz Smith is a native born Texan who used to go to the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movies during the Depression and yearn for the bright lights of Broadway. She arrived in New York in 1949, still wet behind the ears, with $50 to her name and no ticket home. She had finally found the center of things, and had no choice but to succeed. In 1976, as the star columnist of the then big and healthy New York Daily News, she created an overnight sensation. She became an ornament of that paper and a new kind of gossip columnist – one known for wit, humor and a sense of fair play. Before her success as a columnist, Liz had done most everything in the world of publishing. She was a proofreader for Newsweek, a press agent on Broadway, a producer for Mike Wallace on CBS radio, and for five years a producer for live TV at NBC. But success came with Liz Smith’s by-lined column which put the Daily News on the map for 20 years. Then there was her concurrent 11-year stint on NBC-TV’s Live At Five. She is syndicated in more than 70 newspapers. She has raised at least $20 million in the fight against illiteracy and more millions than she can count in the fight against AIDS. In September 2000, her memoir, Natural Blonde was published by Hyperion Press and immediately flew onto the New York Times Bestseller list. This was followed by a food memoir, titled Dishing, published by Simon & Schuster. A year ago she and a host of other accomplished women bowed on the internet with a website called wowowow.com. They offer sophisticated daily content for the group that is now the largest coming on the web – women over 40. Her daily column can now be read on Wowowow.com, in Daily Variety and in syndication.
The Honorable Ann Richards, beloved former governor, is as much as part of the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards as the awards themselves. She gained national recognition when she delivered the 1988 Democratic Coonvention keynote speech and remains a respected and adored public figure. Ann Richards later worked as a senior advisor at Public Strategies, Inc. She passed away in 2006. The Ann Richards Award was established 2007, which recognizes someone who breaks barriers and forges new creative paths.