Since World War I when silent film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks lent their names and support to the American Red Cross war effort, the organization has benefited from the involvement of public figures and celebrities. Over the years, actors and artists committing their time and talents to the organization have played an important role in raising public awareness of Red Cross services and activities nationwide, a list of which includes such Hollywood icons as Shirley Temple, Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh.
This year as the Red Cross marks 125 years of service to the American public, it also continues the tradition of working with celebrities and public figures by unveiling its fifth annual American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet. This year’s cabinet represents an extraordinary combination of well-respected actors, television personalities, musicians and athletes. Among the 25 new members are Pierce Brosnan, Marcia Gay Harden, Sandra Oh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marcia Cross, Eli Manning, Aisha Tyler, Amy Grant, and Tommy Hilfiger. They join returning members including Cuba Gooding, Jr., Julianne Moore, Heidi Klum, Patti LaBelle, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, and Dakota Fanning.
The 2006 National Celebrity Cabinet members will become part of one of the country’s largest volunteer networks. Members promote awareness of Red Cross services in a variety of ways such as taping public service announcements; conducting media interviews about the organization; donating their time, money and blood; visiting disaster sites; feeding victims of disaster and generally lending a hand or a hug to those in need. By joining the cabinet, these respected public figures are essentially “on-call” for the Red Cross, donating their time, skills, passion and energy for a one-year term to help the organization when it's needed most.
Members of the 2006 American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet:
* Alexis Bledel portrays Rory Gilmore on the WB’s hit show “Gilmore Girls.” She has starred in such films as “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “Sin City” and “Tuck Everlasting.”
* Zach Braff is best known for his television role as J.D. on NBC’s “Scrubs.” In 2004, he added writer and director to his resume for his film “Garden State.” He is set to appear in the upcoming films “The Last Kiss” and “Fast Track.”
* Pierce Brosnan is well remembered for his lead role in the NBC series “Remington Steele” and for his role as James Bond, but his resume also includes countless films such as “The Thomas Crown Affair," "Evelyn," "The Tailor of Panama" and recently released film “The Matador.”
* Chayanne has released 14 CDs during his career, all in Spanish. He worked on the popular soap opera “Pobre Juventad” and was also the star of such films as “Tormento,” “Dance with Me” and “Sombras del Pasado.”
* Jackie Chan is not only a talented actor who does all of his own stunt work, but he is also a writer, producer and director. He has starred in many films including “Around the World in 80 Days,” “The Tuxedo,” “Shanghai Noon” and “Shanghai Knights” as well as “Rush Hour” and its sequel.
* Marcia Cross portrays Bree Van De Kamp on the hit series “Desperate Housewives.” In the 90s she portrayed Kimberly Shaw on “Melrose Place,” one of television’s most memorable characters.
* Jamie Lee Curtis has demonstrated her versatility as a film actress with starring roles in films like “True Lies,” “Trading Places” and “Freaky Friday” while gaining equal renown as an author of children’s books.
* Carmen Dominicci first began her career acting in a Puerto Rican mini-series where she became a recognized figure. She is currently a news reporter for Univision’s “Primer Impacto” and has won an Emmy, an Ace Award and a Paoli.
* Jermaine Dupri is widely known and respected for his hit-making work with artists including Mariah Carey, Bow Wow, Usher, Alicia Keys and Anthony Hamilton. Dupri got his start in the music business at the tender young age of 14 and, as a producer and songwriter, the Atlanta-based music mogul has received 12 Grammy nominations for his stellar production work and garnered the 2006 Grammy award for Best R&B Song.
* Amy Grant has released 20 albums, sold more than 25 million albums and won six Grammy Awards® in her pop/gospel music career. Amy recently hosted the critically acclaimed primetime NBC reality series “Three Wishes.”
* Marcia Gay Harden won an Academy Award for her supporting role in the film “Pollock.” She also starred in “Bad News Bears,” “American Gun,” “Mystic River” and “Mona Lisa Smile.” She has appeared on television and Broadway, where her role in Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Angels in America” earned her a Tony nomination.
* Angie Harmon is a popular film and television actress best known for her role as Assistant D.A. Abbie Carmichael on NBC's hit drama "Law & Order." Angie began her career as an international runway and print model. In 2001, she married NFL star Jason Sehorn with whom she has two daughters.
* Tommy Hilfiger began his fashion career in the 80s and has become one of the industry’s biggest names. The Tommy Hilfiger brand has become a symbol of the all-American spirit and continues to be regarded as one of the most recognized global lifestyle brands.
* Hope is an Atlantic Records recording artist who has opened for Seal, James Blunt and Air Supply. She lent her song “The Rain Don’t Last” to a Red Cross public service announcement following the 2005 hurricane season. The song also appears in the film "Where God Left His Shoes" starring John Leguizamo.
* Daniel Dae Kim stars on the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning series “LOST.” He earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Dramatic Ensemble. He also won the Asian Excellence Award for outstanding television performance.
* Eli Manning was the #1 overall draft pick for the NFL and New York Giants in 2004. Eli led the Giants to the playoffs during the 2005 season.
* Frankie Negron has earned four Platinum Record awards, one Gold Record award, Grammy nomination for Best Salsa Album and two greatest hits albums already in his career. His music dominates the airwaves of every Latin American country.
* Sandra Oh recently won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor's Guild Award for her portrayal of Cristina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy." She will be seen next in the feature film "The Night Listener" and her previous film credits include "Sideways" and "Under the Tuscan Sun."
* Carlos Ponce is a multi-platinum recording artist, actor, TV host and humanitarian, who is currently a special correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight.”
* Elisabeth Rohm portrayed A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn on “Law & Order” for four years. She also has had roles on “Angel” and in the film “Miss Congeniality 2 – Armed and Fabulous” and has just completed the film “AFTERMATH” with Anthony Michael Hall and Chris Penn.
* Jason Sehorn played for the New York Giants for nine seasons before retiring in 2003. He remains with the game as an NFL analyst and is married to actress Angie Harmon.
* Jimmy Smits portrayed attorney Victor Sifuentes on "L.A. Law" earning him an Emmy. He then portrayed Det. Bobby Simone on “NYPD Blue” and is now on “West Wing” as Congressman Matthew Santos.
* Aisha Tyler is an actress, comedian and author whose signature wit and intelligence have made her an audience favorite. From helming E! Entertainment's "Talk Soup" to recurring roles on “Friends,” “CSI” and “24,” this statuesque beauty is a fast-rising talent, who currently co-stars on CBS' “Ghost Whisperer.”
* Wilmer Valderrama has spent seven seasons portraying Fez on “That 70’s Show” and has starred in films including “Summer Catch,” “Party Monster” and “Beauty Shop.”
* Daddy Yankee is one of the top reggaetón artists in Puerto Rico and America. He not only sings and rhymes; he has his own record label, El Cartel Records. His energy, dedication and enthusiasm to his career has shown through the over 130 tracks he has recorded that have been extremely well received.
Returning Celebrity Cabinet members include: Giselle Blondet, Jim Cantore, Sara Evans, Dakota Fanning, Leeza Gibbons, George Foreman, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Heidi Klum, Jimmie Johnson, Patti LaBelle, Peyton Manning, Marlee Matlin, Tim McGraw, Julianne Moore, Nancy O’Dell, Rascal Flatts, Marco Antonio Regil, Jane Seymour, and Gabriella Spanic.
Please visit www.redcross.org/celebritycabinet/ to learn more about the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and for quotes by cabinet members.
Sherry Lansing, former chairman and CEO, Motion Picture Group, Paramount Pictures and member of the Red Cross Board of Governors, has once again agreed to chair this year’s Celebrity Cabinet, marking her fourth year as chair.
“It is an honor to serve as chair for the Celebrity Cabinet and participate in such a meaningful cause,” states Lansing. “I know the talented cabinet will help people realize the vital role that the Red Cross plays nationwide.”