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Emmy Awards celebrate Bob Newhart

May 14, 2010 |  9:17 am

The TV academy is celebrating Bob Newhart's golden anniversary in show biz with a big bash on June 1. Our own Pete Hammond will be moderating the salute to this sly wit. Among those paying tribute to the TV icon will be costars from both "The Bob Newhart Show" (Peter Bonerz, Bill Daily, Marcia Wallace) and "Newhart" (Julia Duffy, Peter Scolari).

As noted in the announcement of the event, Newhart began his career as a stand-up, and his debut disc -- "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart" -- "became the first comedy album to go to No. 1 on the charts. Seven more albums followed, each extremely successful multi-platinum projects. In fact, Bob’s cumulative recording career earned him three Grammys."

Bob Newhart Suzanne Pleshette Emmy Awards Turning to TV, his short-lived "The Bob Newhart Show" won an Emmy and Peabody in 1961, but Newhart and his team lost their writing bid to Carl Reiner for "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

Newhart was never nominated for his classic 1970s sitcom -- also titled "The Bob Newhart Show" -- but co-star Suzanne Pleshette reaped best actress bids in 1977 and 1978, losing first to Bea Arthur ("Maude") and then Jean Stapleton ("All in the Family").

Although Newhart landed three consecutive Emmy nods for his follow-up show -- imaginatively titled "Newhart" -- he lost in 1985 to Robert Guillaume ("Benson") and then to Michael J. Fox ("Family Ties") in both 1986 and 1987.

More recently, Newhart contended in the guest actor in a drama series race in 2004 for his portrayal of an architect slowly going blind on "ER" but he lost to William Shatner on "The Practice." Last year, Newhart was a supporting actor in a movie or miniseries nominee for "The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice," but Ken Howard prevailed for "Grey Gardens."

Newhart was interviewed in 2001 by the Archive of American Television, an offshoot of the foundation of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He is just one of scores of TV giants who have granted in-depth video interviews over the last decade, including Dick Clark, Norman Lear, Mary Tyler Moore, Isabel Sanford, William ShatnerAaron Spelling, Ted Turner, Barbara Walters and Betty White.

The archive has released the embed codes so that compelling conversations, like this one with Newhart, can be shared with the blogosphere. In part four of this seven-part interview, Newhart discusses both of his long-running sitcoms. See the other parts here.

Photo: Bob Newhart and Suzanne Pleshette at the 2002 Emmy Awards. Credit: NBC

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Comments

celebrating a 50th year in show business is of this legendary comedian is fine,but a GOVERNORS AWARD(tv academy's version of a honorary oscar)should be much more appropiate and more appreciated. bob newhart deserves an emmy after bing humanly screwed about seven times.please on this comedy and tv legend.

it is nice for the television academy to honor a tv pioneer like bob newhart with a party.next the television academy should honor him with a governors award(the tv academy's version of a honorary oscar)after allthese years of being nominated and losing each time,which is very sad and sick of the tv academy to treat a great comic genius and human being like human garbage.it is time to remedy the situation by giving a award for his years on television as a star of two most successful sitcoms in history(he had a variety show on in 1961-62,that he quotes"won an emmy,a peabody award and a pink slip from nbc back then)

the television academy is honoring mr. newhart with a "bash" for his contributing to fifty years of comedy(and they should).the academy should also think of giving him the GOVERNOR'S AWARD(tv's version of a honorary oscar)after nominated six times.like bill cosby,mr. newhart brought back the situation comedy to top of the ratings.the tv academy needs to honor him for for his work in tv comedy. thank you

Button Down Mind and The First Family by Vaughn Meader are the only comedy recordings ever to win Album of the Year in Grammy history. Ever since then..major comedy recordings by Cheech & Chong, Richard Pryor or Steve Martin had been snubbed for Album of the Year..but at least they picked up Grammys for Best Comedy Recording/Album...Maybe we can start pushing for Bob Newhart as the next hot, hip senior citizen actor to host SNL...just like Betty White...

This is truly an anniversary worth celebrating. What a monumental figure Bob Newhart has been in the world of comedy, all the while behaving in the meekest, humblest of manners. What a gem this man has been to all of us, his fans. ...Too bad Suzanne Pleshette isn't here to share the moment with him.


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