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Lou Diamond Phillips and Wyatt McCrea to co-host Western Heritage Awards tonight at National Cowboy Museum

by Brandy McDonnell Published: April 20, 2013
Lou Diamond Phillips
Lou Diamond Phillips

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 at 5 p.m. today in the Sam Noble Special Events Center. Actor/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 theater, 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.”

He 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

Wyatt McCrea
Wyatt McCrea

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. For more information on the black-tie event, go to

See the honorees for this year’s Western Heritage Awards after the break.

2013 Western Heritage Award honorees

Film & Television

Outstanding Theatrical Motion Picture

“Django Unchained”

Outstanding Documentary

“The Dust Bowl”

Outstanding Television Feature Film

“Shadow on the Mesa”

Outstanding Fictional Drama


Outstanding Television—Docudrama

“Hatfields & McCoys”


Outstanding Juvenile Book

Sandra Dallas, “The Quilt Walk” by Sleeping Bear Press

Outstanding Western Novel

D.B. Jackson, “Unbroke Horses” by Goldminds Publishing

Outstanding Nonfiction Book

Robert M. Utley, “Geronimo” by Yale University Press

Outstanding Art Book

Adam Duncan Harris, “Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct” by University at Oklahoma Press

Outstanding Photography Book

Rich Clarkson & James C. McNutt, “National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West” by National Geographic Books

Outstanding Magazine Article

Jim Logan, “The Other Trail,” Published in Oklahoma Today

Outstanding Poetry Book

John Dofflemyer, “Proclaiming Space” by Dry Crik Press


Outstanding Original Composition

The Gillette Brothers, “Trade Off”

Outstanding Traditional Western Music Album

Bill Barwick, “The Usual Suspects”

New Horizons

Miss Devon & the Outlaw, “Where in the Dickens RU?”


Hall of Great Westerners

John Lacey

Kenneth Eade

Hall of Great Western Performers

Wes Studi

Robert Mitchum

Leo Carrillo

Duncan Renaldo

Chester A. Reynolds Award

Boots O’Neal


by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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