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2008 HONOREE - STEVE GUTTENBERG

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"Sometimes an actor plays a character, and on a few occasions, an actor truly becomes the character. That’s what Steve did in Diner. His ability to extract the humor simultaneously with its dramatic undertones was at the heart of Diner’s success. He’s an outstanding actor, underrated in my opinion. He also happens to be a genuinely nice guy. In fact, so nice, you keep thinking this can’t be possible. There must be something wrong with him. But in the 25 plus years that I have known him, if this nice guy is just an act, it’s a hell of a convincing one. Congratulations Steve.”  - Barry Levinson

Star of a dozen films that have grossed a hundred million dollars at the American box-office, with leading-man looks and critically acknowledged comedy and dramatic chops, Steve Guttenberg has been a true leading man in the lives of numerous foster kids who had no one else to turn to when suddenly emptied onto the streets to make it on their own. It is his favorite role, but one financed by his roles on film and TV.

After an impressive run of highly-rated television projects, Guttenberg is now starring opposite Jessica Simpson in Millennium Films’ theatrical feature, “Major Movie Star”, portraying the hot Hollywood agent of a top movie actress suddenly turned Marine Corps recruit. Steve Miner directs the Louisiana-filmed comedy for producers Avi Lerner, Bill Gerber and Joe Simpson. He has completed two independent feature productions, the German thriller, “Fatal Rescue,” and his portrayal of a serial killer in “Cornered.”

He recently enjoyed wide enthusiasm about another change-of-pace he boldly ventured into . . . as a star contestant on ABC-TV’s sensationally successful “Dancing With The Stars.”

Guttenberg’s recent “The Poseidon Adventure,” a three hour Hallmark special on NBC became the highest rated television movie in over two years and received more enthusiastic reviews than the big screen remake which followed it. Additionally, his “Single Santa” Christmas specials established themselves as the two highest rated productions ever for The Hallmark Channel. In the past year, he earned great reviews for his recurring guest star appearances on the hit show “Veronica Mars.” His hit features notwithstanding, Guttenberg has starred in many of television’s most honored and most-watched projects, starring in “The Day After,” a post-nuclear war thriller, which is the second highest rated television film drama ever and the only one of the top five all-time highest rated drama evenings that was not an episode of a smash hit mini-series.

Starring in an amazing 52 films Guttenberg’s big screen successes include four fantastically successful series of films: “Police Academy,” “Three Men and a Baby,” “Short Circuit” and Ron Howard’s “Cocoon” and their sequels. He has also appeared in such acclaimed dramatic hits as Barry Levinson’s “Diner” and Franklin Schaffner’s “The Boys from Brazil” and Curtis Hanson’s “Bedroom Window.” His television credits in addition to “The Day After,” include “Miracle on Ice,” in which he portrayed the goalie on the Olympic gold medal hockey team.

He has a number of directorial efforts, including “P.S., Your Cat Is Dead,” the film version of the respected James Kirkpatrick play which Guttenberg also starred in, wrote and produced.

With all of his successful film and television work the project that remains close to his heart is the Guttenhouse project. Steve has initiated the Guttenhouse project to house selected kids who are phased out of (kicked out of) foster care programs and would otherwise wind up on the streets, no housing, no direction. His first Guttenhouse has accommodated a half dozen kids for varying lengths of time for the past seven years, giving each private bedrooms, use of computer equipment, regular oversight by a trained social worker and Steve's own mentoring. He is currently working to create his next complex to provide safe housing and sound social direction to help the former foster kids stay off of the streets.

When a foster child reaches 18, bereft of any resources or family help, he or she is often solicited by criminal elements that make it seem that the only survival options are prostitution or petty crime. Steve has started his own rescue plan with the formation of Guttenhouses, which provide free, clean and supervised living accommodations for no-longer-foster kids. The four young people who occupy his first such accommodation (in the Compton area) also enjoy the personal interest he takes in them and his personal time, as well as his arrangement for social worker direction and the availability of internet communication that they need. That approach will continue with future Guttenhouses now in the planning stage. He has also headed the $7,000,000 campaign to provide glasses for 50,000 sight-challenged youngsters whose families cannot afford eye care. He has headed other such important national campaigns for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. This is a man who takes his humanity very seriously.

In a Hollywood of great philanthropy, Steve Guttenberg stands out because his charitable outreach is so personal and hands-on. He was recently lauded by the Red Cross for his very personal work following Hurricane Katrina. Without publicity, he flew to Houston to become a Red Cross volunteer working 16 hours a day taking care of those that lost their homes and families, sanitizing beds and toys, attending to children, the ill and the dying, and all without publicity. One of the great-hearted working grunts of that terrible time of need. Having learned of the hard-earned rewards of the heart from such work, he then campaigned nationally to assist the Red Cross in drawing in desperately needed volunteers.

Steve Guttenberg is not only an actor but man whose interests lie within the community. He understands the power of fame and wishes to use it in way that directly influences the way society is cultivated. With the little time he does have on his hands he enjoys the splash of waves while surfing as well as the serenity of golf. Besides the Guttenhouses Steve also runs his own production company Mr. Kirby Productions.