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Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli receives Pioneer Award

By: Mark Cerulli
Published:
2022-09-22
Barbara Broccoli Michael G. Wilson Pioneer Award
The unmistakable chords of the James Bond theme rang out over The Beverly Hilton last night as the top tier of Hollywood turned out to toast Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli as they were given the prestigious Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation Pioneer of the Year Award for their decades of charity work and film industry leadership. (The organization helps motion picture workers who need assistance – financial, medical or otherwise.)

After a cocktail hour attended by Bond alumni Maud Adams (The Man With the Golden Gun, Octopussy) and her husband Skip, Mary Stavin (Octopussy, A View to a Kill), Kristina Wayborn (Octopussy), Anders Frejdh (representing client George Lazenby, manager of Mary and Kristina), Lynn-Holly Johnson (For Your Eyes Only) with husband Kelly, Luciana Paluzzi (Thunderball) with husband Michael, Christoph Waltz (Spectre, No Time To Die), and a horde of thirsty film executives, the celebration moved into an enormous ballroom for a surprisingly fun awards show, complete with an Aston Martin DB5 and a huge mural of Sean Connery in an iconic pose from Goldfinger (1964).

Mark Cerulli, Mary Stavin, Anders Frejdh, Kristina Wayborn and Sandra Carvahlo at Pioneer Award event in Beverly Hilton
Yours truly, Mary Stavin, Anders Frejdh, Kristina Wayborn and Sandra Carvahlo at Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year Award event at The Beverly Hilton.

Former MGM President Jonathan Glickman made a hilarious speech about making his first trip to Pinewood Studios to meet Michael and Barbara and “traveling down Broccoli Boulevard to the 007 stage” where he was told “not to muck things up.” Other speakers included screenwriter Bruce Feirstein who spoke about coming face to face with Sean Connery at a Hollywood picnic and after telling the star he had written several Bond films, Connery asked if he cashed the checks. (He did.) There was an onstage auction of signed OMEGA Bond watches – one of which netted $20,000 and a video of personal messages from Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Benicio del Toro, Adele, Billie Eilish, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Hans Zimmer, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Blake Lively, Jude Law, David O. Russell, Eric Fellner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Then Sam Smith performed an electrifying set including Writing’s on the Wall from Spectre (2015).

Sam Smith Pioneer Award at Beverly Hilton
Sam Smith singing Writing’s on the Wall at the Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year Award event at The Beverly Hilton.

Next, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) co-star Michelle Yeoh introduced surprise guest Daniel Craig who said, “I may have complained a bit (about playing Bond), but I loved every minute of it.” In a tailored white dinner jacket, Craig still looked the part of 007 as he welcomed Michael and Barbara to the stage to receive their awards to a standing ovation.

Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson Pioneer Award at Beverly Hilton
Daniel Craig presenting Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson with the Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year Award at The Beverly Hilton. Photo by Mary Stavin. All rights reserved.

Each attendee got a plaque featuring poster art from a Bond film and a program chock-full of photos from Michael and Barbara’s epic 30-year career producing Bond films.

Thanks to people's generosity and support during the event, a total of $1,500,007 was raised for the Pioneers Assistance Fund.

Original text and photos by Mark Cerulli. Copyright © 2022 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

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