In addition, this year’s Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement will be presented to producer, director, Michael Gargiulo, who in his over 50-year career has had a hand in many television classics such as “Password,” “I’ve Got A Secret,” “The Tell the Truth,” The Thanksgiving Day’s Parade,” the “Tournament of Roses,” plus many variety specials for CBS, including the “New Year’s Eve Celebration” for more than 30 years.
“I feel like we have garnered two icons of television royalty in having Alex Trebek and Florence Henderson as co-hosts for our grand celebration of the best in the craft of television at this year’s Daytime Creative Arts gala,” said Bob Mauro, President, NATAS. “Adding Producer/Director Michael Gargiulo as our lifetime achievement honoree to the evening’s festivities with his over-half a century of Emmy-Award winning work guarantees a terrific evening as we honor the best in daytime television.”
“Michael Gargiulo is a behind the camera pioneer who goes back to his days with television legends Bob Stewart and Mark Goodson,” said David Michaels, Senior Vice President, Daytime. “From his historic recording of the Nixon Khrushchev “kitchen debate” to the “$10,000 Pyramid,” Michael Gargiulo has produced and directed just about everything in a career that includes game shows, variety specials and news. We’re delighted to be honoring him with this well-deserved lifetime achievement award.”
In addition to his hosting duties, Trebek has a long-standing commitment with numerous charities and educational organizations. In 2013, he was awarded the Alexander Graham Bell medal from the National Geographic Society for his 25 years as host of the National Geographic Bee. Trebek has participated in 13 USO tours and was a recipient of the USO Bob Hope Award for his achievements in entertainment and commitment to America’s troops. With World Vision, Trebek has traveled to many Third World countries reporting on the group’s efforts on behalf of children around the world. He has traveled with his family to Zambia, where he adopted a village and helped build a school, homes for teachers, and a medical facility.
In 2013, Trebek was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and he was also honored as one of the “Giants of Broadcasting,” a designation awarded by the Library of American Broadcasting. Trebek and “Jeopardy” received the Peabody Award in 2011 for “encouraging, celebrating and rewarding knowledge”; that same year, Trebek received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Additionally, Trebek has won five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host.
Trebek and his wife, Jean, live in Studio City, California. They have two adult children, Emily and Matthew.
Florence Henderson has endured as one of the most beloved American entertainers of the last six decades. Henderson began her career when she arrived with suitcase in hand to try out for the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York at age 17.
Florence passed her audition at the American Academy, but lasted there only for a year before a Broadway job beckoned. Florence had mixed feelings about leaving school, but an administrator set her straight, “What, are you crazy?!! That’s why you’re here!” From a role in the chorus of “Josh Logan’s Wish You Were Here,” Florence was discovered and became a protégé of the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein and embarked on the national tour of “Oklahoma” in the lead role of Laurie. From there, her name was soon above the Broadway marquis in “Fanny.” Leading roles would follow in major productions of “The Sound of Music,” “The Girl Who Came to Supper,” (Noel Coward’s last play), “South Pacific,” and “The King and I,” among others.
The emerging medium of television piqued her interest, and Florence soon accepted the job as the “Today Show” Girl, sitting alongside pioneering broadcaster Dave Garraway as a female anchor (and would be succeeded by Barbara Walters when she left). Florence was also a mainstay on live performance shows like “Ed Sullivan,” the “Bell Television Hour” and others. Later, her ability to match wits as well as sing made her a favorite of Dean Martin and Johnny Carson (becoming the first woman to guest host his show). Her competitive nature also came out in her love of game shows, and regular appearances on shows like “Hollywood Squares” and “Password” also reinforced her appeal as a personality.
But that was all a warm up for mega-popular “The Brady Bunch,” the television series that has remarkably not left the airwaves in syndication since it ceased production in 1974 after 117 episodes. Aired in over 122 countries, “The Brady Bunch” was an opportunity that Florence initially viewed as lukewarm at best. But the series about the blended family with its trademark tick tack toe opening credits hit an immediate chord with the American public. Carol Brady became one of the most popular mothers in television history.
In the aftermath of “The Brady Bunch,” Florence Henderson continued to star in major theatrical productions, headline in Las Vegas and performs live, at major venues around the country. Today, she stars in her autobiographical one woman show, “All the Lives of Me,” which takes her audience from her hardscrabble childhood in Indiana through each chapter of her career and personal life to the present.
Florence was inducted into the Smithsonian Institute’s first permanent “Entertainment History Exhibit,”as one of the greatest pop cultural icons of all time in November 2008 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003. Her memoir, “Life Is Not a Stage,” is published by Center Street/Hachette Book Group.
In 1954, Gargiulo was hired by WNBC as a staff director and did most all of the local shows in New York until 1959 when NBC selected him to join the State Department project to build a television studio in Moscow and introduce color television to the Russian people during a cultural exchange. It was in this studio that Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon had their famous “kitchen debate”, which Mike recorded and rushed back to NBC , who shared them with CBS and ABC within hours…. the start, perhaps, of the modern-day, televised political debates.
Back in New York, he did a takeoff of an American staple, renamed, “The Ruble is Right,” which was his friend Bob Stewart’s show. It received a very positive review in The New York Times. Mark Goodson read about it and it was the start of Mike’s game show career. He did a pilot for “Password” and went on to produce and direct the show for many years to come. At Goodson-Todman, he also directed “Match Game,” “I’ve Got a Secret,” “To Tell the Truth,” and “The Price is Right.” In 1969, Mike joined Bob Stewart Productions to direct “Jackpot” on NBC, and later, the “$10,000 Pyramid.”
During this career, Michael Gargiulo also had a flair for variety shows, which became the vogue in the early 1960’s. Victor Borge hired him to direct his music and comedy special featuring the jazz version of “Peter and the Wolf.” He also returned to Russia for “The Leningrad Ice Show,” and later to Las Vegas for a second NBC special featuring the Igor Moiseyev contemporary dance company, hosted by Orson Welles.
Gargiulo has also become legendary in his producing and directing of the Tournament of Roses and Thanksgiving Day Parades plus variety specials for CBS, including the New Year’s Eve celebration for more than 30 years. He recently directed “An American Portrait”, a series of one minute spots, honoring someone who contributed to the fabric of our society. For two years, every weekday evening, one American was honored, for one minute, coast to coast.
Gargiulo has accrued 31 nominations and 9 Emmy Awards in his storied career. He notes that none of this would be possible without the support of his wife of over half a century, Dorothy and his children; daughter Susan at Nickelodeon, and son Michael, an anchor at WNBC in New York.