Hall of Fame 2007 Inductees
UNLV inducts legendary comedian Rich Little, Nevada Ballet Theatre co-founder Nancy Houssels, architect Thomas Schoeman and CSI creator Anthony Zuiker in to the 5th Annual Nevada Entertainer/Artist Hall of Fame at UNLV during an award ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, 2007 in Artemus Ham Concert Hall on the UNLV campus.
"It is truly our honor to recognize these amazing people for their talent, hard work, and dedication to Southern Nevada," said Jeffrey Koep, Dean of the College of Fine Arts. "They are all giants in their industries and we are a better community for what they continually give back. We are so very pleased they have chosen to accept this award."
Nancy Houssels love for the performing arts began with her first dance class at the age of three. She continued to train, study and dance throughout her youth and in 1957 received a B.A. degree in theater arts at UCLA. From there, Houssels launched her career as part of the dance team of Francois Szony & Nancy Claire, performing on the famed Ed Sullivan Show, at the Hollywood Palace, the London Palladium, Radio City Music Hall, the Latin Quarter and many other international venues.
Szony & Claire first appeared in Las Vegas in 1966 at the Casino de Paris at the Dunes Hotel. They returned to Las Vegas in 1968 as the closing act in the Folies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel, where Nancy retired to marry J. Kell Houssels, then president of the Tropicana, chairman of the Showboat Hotel and vice-president of the Union Plaza Hotel.
Houssels has served on a diverse number of Boards such as the UNLV Foundation, the Meadows School, Chair of the Nevada Arts Council, Bank of Commerce, Children's Service Guild and the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center Foundation. In 1972, Houssels co-founded Nevada Dance Theatre (later renamed Nevada Ballet Theatre) with Vassili Sulich and chaired or co-chaired the company for 36 years.
Rich Little began his career at age 12 in Ottawa, Canada by mimicking the voices of his teachers. At 17, he began performing in nightclubs before going to work as a disc jockey. Little went on to make appearances on many variety shows, including The Tonight Show, Dean Martin's Celebrity Roasts, and The Julie Andrews Hour. He also appeared on the TV shows The Kopycats, The Rich Little Show, and The New You Asked For It.
Some of Little's most popular impressions include Johnny Carson, John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Sinatra, and Richard Nixon. He has also entertained at the Reagan inaugurals, was the Master of Ceremonies at the Constitution Ball of George W. Bush in 2005, and was host of the 2007 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
A recipient of many honors, Little was named Comedy Star of the Year by the American Guild of Variety Artists in 1974 and has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Canadian Walk of Fame, The Palm Springs Walk of Stars and the Las Vegas Walk of Stars.
As Chief Executive Officer of JMA for the past 20 years, Thomas Schoeman guides the vision and strategy for the firm and has led the company from a small, local company to a large, nationally recognized design firm. A native of New York City and graduate of the University of New Mexico, Schoeman moved to Las Vegas and joined JMA in 1979. His leadership has placed JMA as one of the most recognizable names in architecture, having been named the 45th largest firm in the nation in the June 2006 issue of Architectural Record.
Recent major work by JMA includes the World Market Center, One Queensridge Place, the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Las Vegas and numerous projects for the Clark County School District, College of Southern Nevada, City of Las Vegas and the State of Nevada. Schoeman also serves as a Foundation Trustee for the College of Southern Nevada, and is on the Boards of the Clark County Public Education Foundation and the Desert Research Institute Foundation. His achievements have won him the American Institute of Architects' Nevada Silver Medal and the Desert Research Institute's President's Medal.
Few have experienced the overnight success that Anthony Zuiker has encountered in Hollywood. Creator of the hit television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Zuiker has become one of the most coveted writers in the business.
Just nine years ago, the aspiring writer worked as a tram driver at Las Vegas' famed Mirage Hotel. Soon thereafter, he had a movie produced and is now famous for creating CSI. CBS has earned its spot as the number-one rated network due in large part to the series' success.
Currently in its seventh season, CSI has received widespread critical acclaim and earned distinction as the highest rated drama on television. The show has earned Emmy nominations for Best Drama Series in 2002, 2003 and 2004, in addition to three Golden Globe nominations for Best Television Series (Drama). Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Productions, Zuiker serves as Executive Producer of CSI and writes numerous episodes each season.