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2006 Black Movie Awards


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2006 Black Movie Awards


Host Tyler Perry

Mabel 'Madea' Simmons will be there. Just try to stop her! Tyler Perry is host of the "2006 Black Movie Awards," airing on Wednesday, October 18, on TNT at 10 p.m. ET. But don't be surprised when his alter ego -- the large, loud, proud Southern black woman known as 'Madea' -- steals the show.

Perry, the prolific playwright/filmmaker/actor behind such hits as "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Madea's Family Reunion," says that Madea won't be in the room when awards are handed out. Perry isn't doing the show in drag, after all. But rest assured, 'Madea' fans: She'll make her presence known during pre-taped scenes that pay twisted tribute to several classics of black cinema.

"The opening of the show is the funniest thing that I've ever done," Perry says. "We salute several movies. We do 'What's Love Got to Do With It.' I play Ike and 'Madea' is Tina. We do 'Lady Sings the Blues.' I'm Billy Dee Williams and 'Madea' is Diana Ross. And 'Madea' does 'The Color Purple' as 'Celie' [Whoopi Goldberg's character] and 'Sofia' [Oprah Winfrey's] at the same time in the cornfield."


Tyler Perry aka 'Madea'

'Madea' as Tina Turner is a comedy idea worth 'Madea's' considerable weight in gold. "The opening of this show is hilarious," Perry promises. "I've been telling everybody in my audience to be sure you see it from the very beginning."

When Perry was asked to host the ceremony, he wasn't keen on the idea at first because the gig doesn't exactly play to his strengths. "I've never hosted anything before," he says. "I'm not a standup comedian." But Perry signed on because he believes the "Black Movie Awards" serve a much-needed purpose.

"I think it's very important for this type of show to exist," Perry says. "So many times, the incredible performances [of African-American actors] are overlooked by other awards shows. It's very important that we can recognize them."


Laurence Fishburne

This year's top movie nominees include "Akeelah and the Bee" and "ATL," with four nominations each (including Outstanding Motion Picture). Perry's "Madea's Family Reunion" is nominated in three categories -- for Outstanding Picture, Lynn Whitfield for Supporting Actress and Perry for Screenwriting. Other triple nominees include "Inside Man," "Something New" and "Waist Deep."

Also, actress Cicely Tyson and actor Laurence Fishburne will receive awards recognizing decades of impressive film work. Oprah Winfrey presents Tyson with the Distinguished Career Achievement Award and Angela Bassett presents Fishburne with the Excellence in Arts Award.

It will be particularly meaningful for Perry to see Tyson singled out. "I've had the pleasure of working with her [in 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' and 'Madea's Family Reunion'] and we've become friends," he says. "I just see this honor as long overdue for her. Her body of work speaks for itself, from 'Sounder' and 'The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman' to so many other incredible, incredible performances."


Cicely Tyson

Perry says that everyone -- actors and non-actors alike -- could benefit from following her example. "There's no better way to show our young people that, when people have integrity in what they do, their careers last a long, long, long, long time."

By comparison, Perry's career arc is still in its infancy. But he has come so far already, overcoming an abuse-filled childhood, extreme poverty and homelessness. The secret to his success? "For me, from day one, [my philosophy] has been, 'Let me find a way.' If someone tells me no, I find a way to make it a yes."

He is committed now to expressing this positive outlook in all of the work he creates. "When you're given a platform to make films or to write books, or even if you're a comedian, you should use it for positive, for good things, to uplift -- and not to tear down or to distort." That's not always easiest path to take in life, but Tyler Perry hasn't lost his way yet.

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2006 Black Movie Award Nominations
(winners will be highlighted in red)

Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role
Presley Chweneyagae
(as Tsotsi)
Miramax Films

Chiwetel Ejiofor
(as Lola)
"Kinky Boots"
Miramax Films

Tyrese Gibson
(as O2)
"Waist Deep"
Rogue Pictures (Focus)

Cuba Gooding, Jr.
(as Mikey)
Freestyle Releasing

Denzel Washington
(as Keith Frazier)
"Inside Man"
Universal Pictures

Outstanding Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role
Mos Def
(as Eddie Bunker)
"16 Blocks"
Warner Bros. Pictures

Laurence Fishburne
(as Dr. Larabee)
"Akeelah and the Bee"
Lions Gate

Jamie Foxx
(as Staff Sgt. Sykes)
Universal Pictures

Hubert Kound
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2006 Black Movie Award Special Honoree

Excellence in Arts Award
Laurence Fishburne

Over the past years, acknowledgment of Laurence Fishburne's work as a multi-hyphenate actor/producer/director has been impressive. In 1992, he was awarded a Tony, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critic's Circle Award and a Theater World Award for his work on Broadway as Sterling Johnson in August Wilson's "Two Trains Running."

His rare television appearance in the 1993 premiere episode of "Tribeca" landed him an Emmy. And he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in 1993 for his portrayal of Ike Turner in the film, "What's Love Got to do With It."

In 2006, Fishburne reunited with his "What's Love Got to Do With It" co-star Angela Bassett in Liongate's "Akeelah & the Bee." He produced the film through his Cinema Gypsy Production banner. He has also worked with Tom Cruise and Phillip Seymour Hoffman in "Mission: Impossible 3" and filmed the movies, "Bobby" and "The Death of Bobby Z."

2006 was a big year for Fishburne and the theater. First, he appeared as an inspirational teacher in the drama, "Without Walls" by Alfred Uhry, directed by Christopher Ashley, at the Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Currently, he can be seen at The Pasadena Playhouse, once again, opposite Angela Bassett in August Wilson's "Fences."

Fishburne has been acting in films and on stage since he was 10, starting on the soap opera, "One Life To Live," then making his feature film debut in "Cornbread, Earl and Me" at 12. When he was 14, he was cast in a show for the Negro Ensemble Theater and accepted to the High School of Performing Arts.

Fishburne made audiences stand up and take notice when he co-starred in Francis Coppola's "Apocalypse Now." His long list of film credits includes "The Matrix" trilogy of movies, Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River" and "Assault on Precinct 13."

Other film credits include "Hoodlum," "Othello," "Event Horizon," "Higher Learning," "Just Cause," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "Boyz n the Hood," "Class Action," "King of New York," "Spike Lee's School Daze," "Gardens of Stone," "The Color Purple," "The Cotton Club," "Rumble Fish" and "Fast Break."

In October of 2000, Fishburne made his directorial debut with "Once in the Life," a film he wrote and produced and in which he also starred. The screenplay is based on Fishburne's own one-act play, "Riff Raff," which he performed and directed in 1994. The initial run in Los Angeles was the first production produced under his own banner L.O.A. Productions.

In 1997, Fishburne received an Emmy nomination and an NAACP Image Award for his starring role in the HBO drama, "Miss Evers' Boys," which he also executive produced. His additional television credits include the films, "A Rumor of War," "I Take these Men" and "Decoration Day."

Fishburne's acting in the film, "The Tuskegee Airmen," earned him an Image Award, as well as Golden Globe, Emmy and CableACE nominations. His television series credits include appearances on "Hill Street Blues," "Miami Vice," "The Equalizer" and "Pee Wee's Playhouse."

At the same time that Fishburne consistently breaks new ground, he appreciates that which is hallowed. In reflecting on such actors as Sidney Poitier and Morgan Freeman, who have paved the way, he says, "The power of their presence alone spoke to me, made me believe I could do the same thing."

He has also worked with "ancestral memory" and finds it a "source of spiritual strength. I believe ancestors push me here, push me there, and guide me . . . they are a resource to be valued and respected."
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2006 Black Movie Award Special Honoree

Distinguished Career Achievement
Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson's life and career tell a story of personal excellence and profound choices. She is perhaps best known for her performances in roles that not only challenge universal stereotypes, but also raise the consciousness of audiences. This she consciously set out to do in groundbreaking, award-winning films and television dramas.

In 1962, Tyson became the first Black actress to co-star in a television drama series when she appeared in "East Side/West Side" in the role of George C. Scott's secretary, Jane. She has since received numerous accolades for her television work and remains the only actress to be honored with two Emmys for a single performance.

Tyson was awarded as Actress of the Year (Special) and Best Lead Actress in a Drama
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