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Samuel L. Jackson returns as ESPY Awards host

April 7, 2009 |  8:39 am

Samuel L. Jackson returns to host the ESPYs — the sports-oriented awards on ESPN — for a fourth time on July 19. The Oscar-nominated actor ("Pulp Fiction") previously hosted the kudos, now in their 17th year, in 1999, 2001, and 2002.

Samuel L Jackson hosting ESPY Awards

The only other performers to repeat as host are comedian Dennis Miller -- who emceed the first two years of the awards beginning in 1993 -- and Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx ("Ray") -- who handled the chore in 2003 and 2004. 

The signature event of the sportscaster will air from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. This venue across from the Staples Center is also the new home of the Emmy Awards. Until last year, the ESPYs originated from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, the celebrated site of the Oscars.

The ESPY Awards boast a range of categories topped by best male and female athletes. Fans will vote for their choices online in the coming weeks after nominations are announced. Last year's big winners were golfer Tiger Woods and WNBA star forward Candace Parker. And the top sports movie was the Will Ferrell laffer "Semi-Pro," about a rag-tag team of basketball players.

Woods had won this honor on four previous occasions -- tying with baseball's Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 and then taking the top prize on his own from 2000 to 2002. The only other multiple male honoree is Lance Armstrong, who won the award from 2003 to 2006. While Parker was the fourth female hoopster to win, only soccer star Mia Hamm (1998, 2000) and golfer Annika Sorenstam (2006, 2007) have repeated as champs.

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Photo: ESPN

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