Home #Hwoodtimes The Caucus Honors Henry Winkler, Larry King & More at The 13th...

The Caucus Honors Henry Winkler, Larry King & More at The 13th Annual American Spirit Awards

Larry King (Photo: Albert L. Ortega / Getty)

By Audrey Rock

Veteran Chase Millsap, Professor Cristina Kotz Cornejo Honored at The Caucus 13th Annual American Spirit Awards

Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 6/4/19 – In fine form, the 13th Annual American Spirit Awards ceremony and luncheon once again upstaged itself. The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors event honored individuals in what is imperiously known as “the industry” who support, protect, and promote the interests of storytellers.


Honoree Henry Winkler, still fresh off his first ever Emmy win last September, for his incredible work on the under-appreciated “Barry,” shared stories from his legendary career. The oratory earned him a standing ovation.


The Caucus also honored Larry King (accepted by LA Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner) with the American Spirit Award. The Humanitarian Award was given to Professor Hildreth (Hal) Walker and Dr. Bettye Walker. Their honors were presented by James Hirsch.


The Distinguished Veteran Award belonged to Chase Millsap, a decade long veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and Army Special Forces. Millsap is a filmmaker and Chief Content Officer at We Are the Mighty. His award was presented by Norman Powell.

Cristina Kotz Cornejo was the recipient of the Caucus Special Achievement in Educating New Filmmakers Award. Kotz is a Professor and Associate Chair of Production in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, Boston. Gary Grossman presented her with the honor.

Caucus Co-Chairs Robert Papazian and Tanya Hart, Chair of Caucus Events, Chuck Fries, American Spirit Awards Chair Gary Smith, Vice Chairs Sharon Arnett, James Hirsch and Vin Di Bona, and Executive Director Deborah Leoni, were visibly proud to recognize the honored individuals and their service to others within the industry.

Their 37th Annual Awards Dinner will be held in November, in keeping with tradition. To learn more about this remarkable organization and their mission, visit:

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board as a chief organizer of the Television Critics Association’s press tours, held twice a year in Beverly Hills and Pasadena. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and the Desert Aids Project, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been an active member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.