IPA News Item

Mitzi Gaynor Bows as the IPA’s 2011 Mary Pickford Award Winner

Los Angeles, CA: Legendary Emmy® Award winning and Golden Globe® Award nominated performer Mitzi Gaynor will receive the 2011 Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Entertainment Industry at this year’s 16th Annual Satellite Awards™ on Sunday, Dec. 18, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“I am so very grateful to be able to work within an industry that I truly adore. To be recognized for that work, and to have it considered an outstanding contribution, well, I’m just over the moon with happiness, and especially with thanks,” said Gaynor upon learning she was the IPA’s top honoree.

Mitzi Gaynor, who first appeared in musical theatre at age 12 with the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, transitioned from stage to screen with her first film role opposite Betty Grable in “My Blue Heaven” when she was just 19 years old. Throughout her film career, she has appeared in 17 major motion pictures including: “There’s No Business Like Show Business” (with Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe), “Anything Goes” (with Bing Crosby and Donald O’Connor), “Les Girls” (with Gene Kelly), “The Joker is Wild” (with Frank Sinatra), “Surprise Package” (with Yul Brynner and Noel Coward), “For Love or Money” (with Kirk Douglas), and the blockbuster Academy Award winning adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.” Gaynor received a Golden Globe® nomination for her role as Ensign Nellie Forbush in “South Pacific.”

By 1961, Gaynor made her Las Vegas nightclub debut at the Flamingo Hotel — which not only ushered in a smash-hit run on the circuit and later on tour — but ultimately redefined the scale of grandeur, costuming, and orchestration for such live shows. Notably, she began her long-standing association with designer Bob Mackie. Mitzi was the first star client for whom he designed an entire show. Her brand of “razzle-dazzle” became a staple of television Americana during the 70’s after her 1967 rendition of Best Song Nominee “Georgy Girl” at the Oscars.

Her glamorous TV specials, including “Mitzi,” followed by “Mitzi… and a Hundred Guys,” “Mitzi…Zings Into Spring,” “Mitzi…Roarin’ in the 20’s,” and more, garnered seven Emmy® Awards and seventeen Emmy® Award nominations. Mitzi Gaynor continues to tour with a singing/dancing showcase of her storied career entitled “Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins: an Intimate Evening of Laughs, Love & Music.” This one-woman multi-media extravaganza includes footage culled from her films, TV specials, and concert performances.

Mitzi Gaynor’s past honors include the “2011 Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Ojai Film Festival; “2009 Entertainer of the Year” at the 28th Annual Tremaine Dance Gala; “The Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 25th Annual Bistro Awards; The Boston Youth Moves “Lifetime Achievement Award”; The Chapman University “Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award” and the 2010 NATAS Emmy® Award for her PBS musical documentary, “Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years,” which focused on her annual television specials.

Past recipients of the International Press Academy’s Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry include: Vanessa Williams, Michel York, Louis Gossett, Jr., Kathy Bates, Martin Landau, Gena Rowlands, Susan Sarandon, Arnon Milchan, Robert Evans, Karl Malden, Francis Ford Coppola, Maximilian Schell, Alan J. Pakula, Jodie Foster, and Rod Steiger. Mitzi Gaynor will attend the show to personally accept the 2011 Mary Pickford Award.