At Our Next Luncheon: JUNE 29, 2016

PPB’s next celebrity luncheon honoree’s life is equal parts comedy and philanthropy. He excels at both, and has created an extraordinary legacy in both arenas. Tom Dreesen will receive our Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award from President Alan Perris on June 29 in Sportsmen’s Lodge.

Dreesen has made over 500 appearances on national television as a stand-up comedian, including more than 60 appearances on “The Tonight Show.” He was a favorite guest of David Letterman, and frequently hosted the show in Letterman’s absence.

For 13 years he toured cross country and opened for Frank Sinatra, and has appeared countless times in Las Vegas, Tahoe, Reno and Atlantic City with artists like Smokey Robinson, Liza Minnelli, Natalie Cole and Sammy Davis, Jr. Tom has acted in numerous television shows – from “Columbo” to” Murder She Wrote” – and appeared in motion pictures including “Man on the Moon” and “Spaceballs.”

Tom has recorded comedy albums, starred in his own TV comedy special, “Dreesen Street,” and hosted a late night talk show in Chicago, “Night Time Starring Tom Dreesen.” He is currently appearing to rave reviews around the country in his one-man show “An Evening Of Laughter and Memories of Sinatra,” excerpts from which Tom will perform in a special program following the luncheon, in lieu of the normal dais guest comments.

Dreesen has also made an indelible mark with his philanthropic activities. For 30 years he has lent his talent to over 100 charities, and founded a “Day for Darlene” to benefit Multiple Sclerosis Research. He ran 26 miles on three occasions for the event, which is named for his late sister who was afflicted with MS.

And he’s still going strong. A proud veteran of the United States Navy, he continues to perform for US troops all over the world, and recently appeared at numerous bases in Iraq. Tom Dreesen’s hometown of Harvey, Illinois named a street after him. He was a 2005 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Dreesen’s comic style is down-to-earth, warm and unpretentious and our afternoon with him is sure to be filled with laughter and wonderful stories.

• Tom will present excerpts from his one-man show.


Honoree: Barbara Eden

Barbara Eden was born Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona, went on to become one of America's most endearing and enduring actresses. On April 29, PPB President Alan Perris presented her with the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award.

A graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California, Eden would go on to study at San Francisco's City College as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre. While her aspirations as a singer motivated her during her early years for a career in music, it was her starring role in the NBC TV comedy series, "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965) where Barbara Eden immediately gained international acclaim!

While most popular for her role as "Jeannie", Barbara Eden has starred in more than 20 theatrical feature films and made-for-television films. After "Jeannie", she went on to star in many other comical and family productions. including "Harper Valley P.T.A." (1978) and "Chattanooga Choo Choo" (1984) among other numerous highly-rated made-for-television movies well into the 1990s. She has also acted in western series and thrillers.

Outside of her film and television works, Barbara Eden headlined a majority of the major hotel resorts and casinos including Lake Tahoe, Atlantic City and Las Vegas. She also was the star attraction at the MGM Grand, Harrah's, Caesar's Palace as well as on concert stages and in legitimate theaters across the country.

During the Persian Gulf War, Barbara traveled with Bob Hope to the middle-east to perform for the combat troops, and then continued on with Hope in a whirlwind eight-day around-the-world USO tour entertaining servicemen during the Christmas season.

One of Hollywood's busiest actresses, Barbara had a starring role in "Always and Forever" (2009), a movie filmed by and for the Hallmark Channel, it was televised numerous times during the year. On the road, she hosted productions of "Ballets with a Twist" (1996), the new groundbreaking show that stars rotating celebrity emcees and dancers from "Dancing with the Stars" (2010)." Barbara Eden has also appeared recently in a recurring role on Lifetime's "Army Wives" (2007) series; guest-starred on ABC's "George Lopez" (2002) and enacted a recurring role on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" (1996). During her long career, Barbara has starred in 25 feature films, five network TV series and 19 top-rated network made-for-television movies. She has also been featured in numerous TV commercials.

Currently Eden resides with her architect/real estate developer husband Jon Eicholtz in the Benedict Canyon area of Beverly Hills.

Pictured Below Seated, left to right: Hal Linden, Loni Anderson, Honoree Barbara Eden, Dawn Wells and Bill Harris. Standing, left to right: George Schlatter, Peter Marshall and PPB President Alan Perris.

Would you like to join the PPB and attend the Tom Dreesen Luncheon on June 29, 2016? If you have worked in Broadcasting or in any related field for 20 years or more, please e-mail our Membership Committee with your request to join us to honor Tom Dreesen. Please include your name and daytime telephone numbers.

PPB Members receive their Luncheon Notice and Reservation Form by mail before the date of each luncheon, and send in their request for table seating along with their check.

Past Honorees

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