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Gracie Awards Gala Announces Host

 MCLEAN, VA  – Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) has announced that Emmy Award-winning actress Patricia Heaton will serve as Host of the 36th Annual Gracie Awards Gala on May 24, 2011, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The Gracie Awards (also known as “the Gracies”) recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women, and about women in all facets of media, including radio, television, cable and new media. The awards program also encourages the realistic and multifaceted portrayal of women in entertainment, news, features and other programs.

“We are thrilled that Patricia Heaton will be hosting the 36th Annual Gracies,” said AWM Chair Valerie K. Blackburn. “Patricia is a talented, intelligent, and very entertaining woman. She has had great success in television, film and theatre, including her roles in Everybody Loves Raymond and now on The Middle. As host, she will set the perfect tone for the Gracie Awards Gala.”

“I’m so proud to host this year’s Gracies,” commented Heaton. “As a previous recipient of the Gracie Award, I personally understand how rewarding it is for women to be recognized by our peers. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the incredible women in the media industry.”

Patricia Heaton is, perhaps, best known for her role as Debra Barone on the award-winning series Everybody Loves Raymond. For her role in Raymond, Heaton won two Emmy Awards, a Viewers for Quality Television Award, and a SAG Award. She currently stars in the ABC comedy, The Middle, as Frankie, a super mom who is trying to find balance between her family and career in the Midwest. Prior to that she starred opposite Kelsey Grammer in FOX's critically-acclaimed comedy series Back to You. She also starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame film, Front of the Class. Her other television credits include a recurring role on the critically-acclaimed series thirtysomething, prominent roles in the series Room for Two, Someone Like Me and Women of the House, as well as the CBS television films A Town Without Christmas and Miracle in the Woods.

In 2001, Heaton co-founded FourBoys Films, a production company which she runs with her husband David Hunt. Heaton produced and starred in the TNT/FourBoys Films production The Engagement Ring. FourBoys recent productions include the documentary feature film The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania and the critically acclaimed film Amazing Grace, directed by Michael Apted, in conjunction with Bristol Bay Productions. Heaton and Hunt are also launching a new web series, Versailles, May 9th on My Damn Channel.

In addition to her acting and producing credits, Heaton is a bestselling author whose book “Motherhood and Hollywood -- How to Get A Job Like Mine” was on the New York Times bestseller list.

“The Alliance for Women in Media appreciates Patricia Heaton’s participation the Gracies,” said AWM President Erin M. Fuller, CAE. “With her current success on The Middle, and a career as an actor and producer that has spanned decades, Patricia is a wonderful role model for women in media.”

The Gracies are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Alliance for Women in Media that supports educational programs, charitable activities, public service campaigns and scholarships to benefit the public, the electronic media and allied fields. The Gracie Awards, established in 1975, honors programming and individuals of the highest caliber in all facets of radio, television, cable and web-based media, including news, drama, comedy, commercials, public service, documentary and sports.


STORY TAGS: Gracie Awards , Patricia Heaton , Alliance for WOmen in Media (AWM) , Women News, Minority News, Discrimination, Diversity, Female, Underrepresented, Equality, Gender Bias, Equality

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