With spring comes the excitement of celebrities, writers, Western musicians, directors, producers, actors and photographers who travel to Oklahoma City to accept the prestigious “Wrangler Award” at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s annual Western Heritage Awards. This year’s award banquet will be held April 20 in the Sam Noble Special Events Center. Actor and Director Lou Diamond Phillips and Wyatt McCrea, grandson of the late actor Joel McCrea, will co-host the gala. Celebrity presenters include Lynn Anderson, Bruce Boxleitner, Robert Fuller, Robert Knott, Rex Linn, Michael Martin Murphey, Dean Smith, Eddie Spears, Michael Spears, Red Steagall, Anita La Cava Swift, Patrick Wayne and Luke Wilson.
Phillips versatile career has allowed him success in theatre, television and feature films as well as directing, writing and producing. He can currently be seen on the Wrangler Award winning A&E series ‘Longmire’ opposite Katee Sackhoff and Robert Taylor.
Phillips first came to the public’s attention when he starred as Richie Valens in ‘La Bamba.’ He then solidified his reputation in ‘Stand and Deliver,’ for which he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor and received a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nomination. Western enthusiasts remember Phillips for his role as Chavez in ‘Young Guns’ and ‘Young Guns II.’
Phillips earned a Tony nomination for Best Actor for his performance as the King of Siam in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” which received six Tony nominations in all. He recently starred in the national tour of “Camelot” as King Arthur. As a director, Phillips is currently filming Tao of Surfing based on the Pulitzer Prize nominated book by Michael A. Allen.
Phillips, originally born in the Philippines, was raised in Texas. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Yvonne and he has four daughters.
McCrea is the oldest grandchild of the late actor Joel McCrea and his actress wife Frances Dee. He is the co-owner of Third Point Productions, which produces television content, commercials and music videos. He is an associate producer on the television series ‘Gen’s Guiltless Gourmet.’ He serves as executive producer for several television projects currently in pre-production including, ‘Shootin’ the Breeze,’ ‘Cars Undercover,’ ‘A Racer’s Life’ and ‘The Joel McCrea Story.’
McCrea has been featured in both print and internet advertising, appeared in the cable series ‘Call 911’ and portrayed various Western characters in a variety of reenactment productions.
In an ongoing effort to preserve the history of his film making grandparents, he gives presentations on the subject around the country. McCrea is a founding member and Board President of the Joel and Frances McCrea Ranch Foundation; serves on the Board of the Directors for the National Cowboy Museum; past member of the Executive Committee of the Gold Boot Awards; is a Board Member of the Will Rogers Ranch Foundation; a Board Members and past Board President of RideOn Therapeutic Horsemanship; a member of the Rodeo Historical Society; the American Quarter Horse Association (Life Member); New Mexico Military Institute Alumni Association (Life Member); and a member of the Advisory Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo, Calif.
Western Heritage Awards honors the best Western movies, television, literature and music. Inductions into the Hall of Great Westerners and the Hall of Great Western Performers also are observed. The Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award is presented to a living person for a special contribution to the West. A black-tie event, the Western Heritage Awards are open to the public and reservations can be secured at www.nationalcowboymuseum.org or by calling (405) 478-2250, Ext. 219. Ticket prices for Friday night’s Jingle-Jangle Mingle are nonmembers $40 and members $30. The Western Heritage Awards banquet ticket prices are nonmembers $175 and members $145.
The National Cowboy Museum, America's Premier Western Heritage Museum™, is supported through memberships and private and corporate donations. The 2013 Western Heritage Awards is underwritten by the generous support of corporations and individuals.