All-Star Cast Celebrates Ed Asner’s Life
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., (November 2, 2021) – In Partnership with Turner Classic Movies and sponsored by MeTV, relive the classic holiday tale of It’s a Wonderful Life with a star studded cast including Jason Sudeikis, Rosario Dawson, Mark Hamill, Martin Sheen, Mandy Patinkin, George Wendt, Lou Diamond Phillips, Phil Lamarr, Ben Mankiewicz, Ron Funches, Ed Harris, and more. Real life uncle/nephew pair Wendt and Sudeikis are slated to play the roles of George Bailey and Uncle Billy for this year’s broadcast. For one-night-only, this live virtual table read takes place Sunday, December 5, 2021, 5:00 PM PST. Hosted by Tom Bergeron, the 2021 Virtual Gala will be a tribute to the wonderful life of Ed Asner and benefit The Ed Asner Family Center(TEAFC), which promotes mental health and enrichment programs to children with special needs and their families.
“My father’s passing has left an indescribable hole in my heart. For our annual fundraising gala this year, I want to honor my father’s legacy as both a legendary actor and a staunch advocate for people of all abilities. I would like to thank Turner Classic Movies for partnering to support our effort to raise much needed funds for special needs families and I am eternally grateful for the support shown by our amazing cast. I would also like to thank MeTV for their generous sponsorship of this event,” says Matt Asner, son of Ed Asner & Co-Founder of The Ed Asner Family Center.
For a minimum donation of $25, your entire household can enjoy this exclusive experience. Commemorative holiday gift collections will also be available to purchase, including custom artwork and a limited edition T-shirt, all created specifically for this event. In addition, the collection will include The Official Bailey Family Cookbook with recipes inspired by “It’s A Wonderful Life” and a 75th Anniversary Blu-ray of the film. The event will feature an incredible silent auction with items perfect for the holiday season and a spectacular musical intermission.
Tickets will be available at: http://teafc.org/wonderful.
In addition to the Ed Asner tribute, the event will honor Mike Darnell, President of Unscripted and Alternative Television at Warner Brothers, along with his family. The cast will include Mike’s daughter and Social Director of TEAFC, Chelsea Darnell, autistic actors Spencer Harte and Domonique Brown (TV’s Atypical) along with neurodivergent TEAFC members Ryan Booth and Lucas Salusky. Victor Nelli (TV’s Superstore, Brooklyn Nine Nine) will return to direct.
“As the parents of autistic children, Matt and I saw a desperate need to create a safe and welcoming community for Special Needs families,” explains Navah Asner, Co-Founder, The Ed Asner Family Center. “The Center provides arts and vocational enrichment and critical mental health services to these individuals and their families, creating a unique space to learn, interact and thrive. My dear friends, the Darnell Family, are an extremely important part of our overall community and the Center. We are thrilled to be honoring them this year for their commitment and advocacy.”
The Ed Asner Family Center is also proud to announce their 2021 Gala Sponsors: A&E Network, ABC 7, Abigail Disney, Apploff Entertainment, Arthur Smith Co., Carmen & Tonia Finestra, Center for Autism, Disney, Disney+ and Disney General Entertainment Content, Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi, Extra TV, Ireland Family Foundation, Jean Trebec, MeTV, Netflix, Peter Roth, Plush Beds, Robert & Renee Kelly Foundation, Seacrest Productions, Sony, Team Greenbean, Tito’s Vodka, Turner Classic Movies, Warner Brothers, and WME. For more information on becoming a sponsor, please visit: http://teafc.org/wonderful.