George Lopez, star of the hit ABC comedy that bears his name, has been named the 2004 Artist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation. Lopez will be awarded the foundation’s medal at Harvard’s Annual Cultural Rhythms ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 28.
“We are delighted that George Lopez will be our guest at Harvard to receive this very special recognition,” said Harvard College Dean Benedict Gross. “Because of his outstanding artistic work in television and film, and his humanitarian efforts to prevent youth violence and support community arts resources and education, Harvard is proud to honor his achievements and acknowledge his fine example.”
Lopez is one of the premier comedic talents in the entertainment industry today. He is the co-creator, writer, producer, and star of the television sitcom “George Lopez.” The critically acclaimed comedy series is the anchor to ABC’s Friday night lineup and airs at 8 p.m..
A native of Los Angeles who grew up in San Fernando Valley’s Mission Hills, Lopez devotes a great deal of time to the community. He is a spokesperson for high-profile charities and foundations such as the Los Angeles Police Department’s Stop the Violence program. He has received the National Hispanic Media Coalition Impact Award, the Manny Mota Foundation Community Spirit Award, and was named Honorary Mayor of Los Angeles for his extensive fundraising efforts benefiting earthquake victims in El Salvador and Guatemala. Lopez’s own charity, The George & Ann Lopez-Richie Alarcon Care Foundation, provides significant community and arts resources for education.
“George Lopez is one of the most exciting talents in American performing arts today,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation. “In addition to his tremendous comedic work in television and on stage, he is an outstanding social advocate for education and arts in communities of need. He is one of the most widely admired artists in America and a model source of inspiration for young people of all backgrounds.”
The Harvard Foundation, Harvard’s pre-eminent center for intercultural arts and sciences initiatives, honors the nation’s most acclaimed artists and scientists each year. The prestigious award bears the signatures of Harvard’s President Lawrence H. Summers, Dean of Harvard College Gross, and Harvard Foundation Director Counter. Previous Artists of the Year have included Denzel Washington, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, Queen Latifah, and Jimmy Smits, to name a few.