Variety/ Army Archerd: Rodney’s respected by Tim

Humor is contagious. “UCLA Neurosurgery Goes Hog-wild Over Actor-Comedian Tim Allen.” That’s how the very serious Division of Neurosurgery at UCLA announces they will present Allen, the star of “Wild Hogs,” etc. with its “2007 Rodney Respect Award.” It will be given Oct. 4 at the division’s Visionary Ball fundraiser at the Beverly Wilshire.

Humor is contagious. “UCLA Neurosurgery Goes Hog-wild Over Actor-Comedian Tim Allen.” That’s how the very serious Division of Neurosurgery at UCLA announces they will present Allen, the star of “Wild Hogs,” etc. with its “2007 Rodney Respect Award.” It will be given Oct. 4 at the division’s Visionary Ball fundraiser at the Beverly Wilshire.

Tim Allen tells me, “All of us (comedians) adored him. He never forgot where he came from. He taught us humility, integrity, honesty in comedy.” Allen recalled he’d been given his first break on Rodney’s “Young Comedians” show — and then was bumped from it. “He confided to me he made a mistake and a great relationship developed between us. He was endearing — and insecure.”

Rodney Dangerfield had undergone rare and technologically difficult “brain bypass surgery” in April 2003 at UCLA’s Medical Center. The Rodney Respect award presented by his widow Joan Dangerfield “recognizes comedians who embody her late husband’s extraordinary professional legacy and devotion to making a difference in the lives of others.” (Jay Leno received the first award in 2005). Tim Allen recently wound “Redbelt” for director David Mamet — “a great departure for me,” says Allen who is also about to start “The Six Wives of Henry Lefay.”

The Visionary Ball will raise money to help advance neurological research, education and patient care in the future home of the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The latest technology, including the remote-presence robot used by doctors in UCLA’s neurosurgical intensive care unit will be on display at the ball.

Also to be honored are Peter Morton and Michael Phelps, M.D. Restaurateur Morton is honored as a philanthropist and environmentalist. Phelps, is the inventor of PET, the molecular imaging technique in the early detection and evaluation of cancer.

Rodney Dangerfield’s widow, Joan, adds: “Both Tim and Rodney were kindred spirits who overcame insurmountable odds to attain legendary success. We are honored that he is accepting this award. The Rodney Respect Award is UCLA’s way of honoring visionaries who symbolize the kind of courage and commitment Rodney demonstrated in his life and career.

Joan Dangerfield serves on the Advisory Board of the Division of Neurosurgery and there will be a Rodney Dangerfield Operating Suite at the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

PR Newswire: Rodney Dangerfield paid the ultimate respect

One of the biggest and most elaborate private memorial tributes in recent history was held Sunday evening at Pierce Brothers Westwood Memorial Park to pay final respects to comedy legend Rodney Dangerfield, who passed away on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 following complications from heart valve replacement surgery.

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ — One of the biggest and most elaborate private memorial tributes in recent history was held Sunday evening at Pierce Brothers Westwood Memorial Park to pay final respects to comedy legend Rodney Dangerfield, who passed away on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 following complications from heart valve replacement surgery.

Dangerfield’s widow, Joan, created a candle-lit heaven’s harvest where chandeliers dripped from rose-encrusted trees and white cashmere carpeting covered the grounds leading to the chapel.  An angelic harpist strummed at the chapel entry where attendees strolled through ornate iron gates boasting Rodney’s initials shaped in sterling silver roses.  Joan tried to create heaven on earth by covering the chapel grounds with canopied clouds of softly-lit chiffon which swept twenty feet into the sky while an abundance of fragrant candles and flowers hugged the pathways.

The services were held at dusk in keeping with Rodney’s daily request to Joan that she never book appointments for him before 5pm.  He was a night person, laid to rest just after sunset.

Master of Ceremonies Bob Saget commandeered a heartfelt and impressive service of eulogists including Rodney’s daughter Melanie Roy Friedman, his nieces Morgan and SueAnn Reese, Jay Leno (who called Rodney “the greatest stand-up comedian of all time”), Roseanne, Paul Rodriguez, Tim Allen, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Michael Bolton (too choked up to sing a planned song, but did speak), Dom Irrerra, and Jim Carrey (who said, “I’ll never forget how kind he was to my father.  I remember watching Rodney on The Ed Sullivan Show as a child, and laughing, not because I got the jokes, but because my father was in hysterics!”).  The common thread of the poignant eulogies emphasized how kind Rodney was to his fellow man, and the generosity he showed friends and fellow comedians.

Pall bearers were Adam Sandler, Michael Bolton, Jim Carrey, Harry Basil, Bob Saget, Rob Schneider, David Permut, son Brian Roy and son-in-law David Friedman.

Honorary Pall Bearers also in attendance included Chris Albrecht, Dennis Arfa, Anthony Bevacqua, George Carlin, Smokey Child, Andrew Dice Clay, Larry David, Layne Dicker, Neal ElAttrache, Dom Irrera, Hillel Laks, Jay Leno, Jon Lovitz, Neil Martin, Anne Meara, Bob Nelson, Carl Reiner, Chris Rock, Paul Rodriguez, Roseanne, Larry Shire, Jerry Stiller, Edward Tomblin and Billy Tragresser.

Highlighting the service was a special Rodney Dangerfield Memorial Video, produced by longtime friend, producer David Permut, that treated guests to a visual soundtrack of some of the most memorable moments in Rodney’s life that brought the crowd of 500 to tears.

Rodney’s widow selected Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” as the recessional song because it was playing in Rodney’s hospital room when he passed away.

Strolling violinists accompanied the Pall Bearers as they led the casket to the gravesite outside the chapel.  The Honorary Pall Bearers and family followed behind.  A final Prayer Of Comfort was recited by comic friend Louie Anderson at the behest of Rodney’s widow.

After the prayer, guests were led to an elaborate feast of Rodney’s favorite dishes presented by caterer Along Came Mary, where family, friends, and fellow comics embraced and reminisced about their friend and how much he truly gave to the world.

The tremendous effect of Dangerfield’s passing and legacy was evidenced by the overwhelming attendance by family, friends, and comedy royalty.  In addition to the eulogists, pall bearers and honorary pall bearers, other celebrity attendees paying their last respects included Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Louie Anderson, Larry David, Rob Schneider, Bob Nelson, George Lopez, Jon Lovitz, Brian Doyle Murray, Mark Schiff, George Shapiro, Carole Leifer, Dyan Cannon, Norm Crosby, Jack Carter, Robert Klein, Connie Stevens, Dom Irrera, Jayne Meadows, George Schlatter, Ed Begley, Jr., Berry Gordy, as well as comedy club star proprietors Budd Friedman, Jamie Masada, Anthony Bevacqua, and Mike Lacy.  Real life angel Farrah Fawcett was also in attendance.

Glowing comments from guests abounded, including Academy Award-winning producer Al Ruddy who said, “It couldn’t have been a better funeral if I had produced it.  It was tasteful and special and the overall feeling was of happiness.” American Comedy Awards creator and producer George Schlatter said, “What a spectacular send-off for Rodney.  Joan succeeded in truly creating heaven on earth for Rodney.  She thought of everything.”

Stunning floral bouquets flooded the chapel and grounds from well-wishers unable to attend such as Larry King, Jack Nicholson, Whoopi Goldberg, Rita Rudner, John Travolta, Chris Matthews, Cindy Williams, Byron Allen and others.  Shaquille O’Neal sent a seven-foot tree in his place.

Though Dangerfield often joked about his terrible doctor, Dr. Vinny Boombatz, his favorite real-life doctors that looked after him through the years were in attendance, including Drs. Hillel Laks, Neil Martin, Jamie Moriguchi, Neal ElAttrache, and Nick Diaco.

 Immediately following the services, Rodney’s immediate family, including his wife and children from a previous marriage, Melanie and Brian, gathered at his Star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame and adorned it with armloads of flowers.

Pierce Brothers Westwood Memorial Park is also the resting final place for a number of Hollywood luminaries including Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood, Walter Matthau, Marvin Davis, and Eva Gabor, among others.

A full-figure bronze statue will be created to adorn Rodney’s grave.  In addition, a special slide show tribute to Rodney has been created by a group of world renowned celebrity cartoonists and is currently being put on his website, www.rodney.com.  Ahh, respect at last.

SOURCE  Warren Cowan Associates on behalf of Joan Dangerfield

Examiner.com: Jim Carrey honored with Rodney Respect Award

The award, which was first presented to Jay Leno by the wife of Rodney Dangerfield in 2005, was given to Carrey the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery 2009 Visionary Ball.

On Thursday, October 1, 2009, Jim Carrey was honored with the Rodney Respect Award.

The award, which was first presented  to Jay Leno by the wife of Rodney Dangerfield in 2005, was given to Carrey the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery 2009 Visionary Ball.

The Ball was held at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Contributions to the enable the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery to establish dedicated seed grants and engage some of the world’s foremost talent to make significant breakthroughs in brain injury, brain tumor treatment, and human cognition research.

For more information, visit neurosurgery.ucla.edu.