From the earliest days of Filmmaking, Florida has played a significant role in the entertainment industry. Jacksonville hosted the Keystone Cops and Laurel and Hardy in the early 1900’s, D.W. Griffiths filmed in Ft. Lauderdale, Buster Keaton in St. Petersburg, and Miami’s Fleischer Studios turned Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons into Saturday matinee staples.

Our State’s tropical locations have long been the backdrop for such notable flicks as the Tarzan series, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Twelve O’Clock High and 30 Seconds Over Tokyo, The Yearling, the James Bond classic Goldfinger, Frank Sinatra’s Tony Rome, Elvis’ Clambake, and Jerry Lewis’ The Bellboy.

When television was coming of age, Jackie Gleason and Flipper represented Florida’s contribution to the medium, and a few decades later Miami Vice continued the tradition of legendary Florida productions and more recently Burn Notice and Bloodline.

With so much history and so many stories to tell about Florida’s entertainment legacy, Film Florida created the LEGENDS AWARDS, to honor the men and women who played such a big part in establishing our State as an entertainment powerhouse. Since its inception in 2006, FLORIDA LEGENDS honorees have included Burt Reynolds, Sharon Gless, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Jr., Ricou Browning Sr., Jordan Klein Sr., Mike and Brad Fuller, Ralph Clemente, Danny and Eddie Harvey and Digger Wilson, Errol Falcon, Michelle Marx, Belton Clark, Jerry Smith, Ray Fielding, Bill Grefe, Luke Halpin, Victor Milt, Dee Miller, John Patterson, and posthumously Wes Skiles, Billy Mays, Egon Stephan Sr., Mike McGowan Sr., and Richard Norman Sr.

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These Legends remind us all of the dedication and hard work that these individuals, and many others yet to be recognized, contributed to Florida’s position in the entertainment production industry. Film Florida is proud to recognize their legendary efforts. Film Florida’s members nominate additional names for consideration to become Legends. A Legends Committee, made up of a cross section of Film Florida’s Councils, Executive Board and previous Legend honorees administers the nominations process and finally recommends new Legend Award recipients.

For more information regarding Legends and our nomination process please contact the Legends Chair: Legends@filmflorida.org

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