There's a famous saying attributed to comedian George Burns : "The secret of acting is sincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
It's a Hollywood truism, but I really think the stars who turned out for the CNN Heroes show were sincerely moved by the people they honored. Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Pierce Brosnan, Neil Patrick Harris, Dwayne Johnson and George Lopez were among the celebs who introduced the 10 finalists for "CNN Hero of the Year", each of the nominees an "everyday person doing the extraordinary."
Brosnan introduced nominee Andrea Ivory, a breast cancer survivor who has created a network of mobile mammography vans in Florida to reach women who might not otherwise have access to cancer screening. I was touched by Brosnan's introduction in which he talked about losing his first wife to cancer. His openness about that and his admiration of Ivory were really impressive.
Harris went off prompter to talk about how honored he was to participate in the event, and he repeated that to us backstage afterwards. I loved how Lopez introduced his nominee, Jorge Munoz, affectionately calling him "Jorgito".
Terrence Howard returned this year just to sit in the audience. Last year, he introduced 2008 CNN Hero of the Year Liz McCartney, who's been helping rebuild the lives of Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana. I saw Howard at an event a couple of months ago, and tears came to his eyes as he talked about McCartney's work. He clearly hadn't forgotten her.
Sure, there are cynical entertainers who show up at a charity event for the exposure. But the stars at CNN Heroes seemed sincerely happy - almost relieved - to be part of an awards show that is about humanitarian contributions and not self-congratulation.
If you have the chance, watch the show when it's re-broadcast this weekend on CNN. Like the stars, I don't think you'll fail to be moved.
Please please download the video of the complete ceremony I was not able to watch it and I know it was absolutely amazing. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
Even if it's what they have in excess – it's good to know that at least they put that 8 million towards something important, and not just another car or another pair of earrings.
I also was moved by the spirit and work of these heroes. But shame on CNN for having celebs act as presentors who had a movie to plug (Nine).
I watched the CNN Heroes and was moved by the spirit of these wonderful souls who do what they do because they really care and not for any other reason.
I am so tired of hearing out Brad and Angelina donating millions to charity when it is nothing compared to what they make yearly. It is the story of the widow's mite, from the Bible, all over again. There are many who give a large percentage of their income to their churches, or other charitable causes, but because it doesn't add up to "millions" it goes unnoticed. The real heroes give what little they have, not what they have in excess.
i've been watching cnn heroes for 45 minutes and i've been crying for about 40 minutes.
i'm a 52 year old man, cynical as 52 years can make anyone. but, i've seen so much love, and generosity tonight, that i'm overwhelmed.
thank you cnn, for showing us what ONE person can do to make a difference.
I always get so sick of seeing celebrities do nothing with their fame then being jerks. I love that there are people out there that actually care.
I'd much rather read about Brad & Angelina donating millions of dollars to charity then why Jen & Angelina are arguing about Brad or whatever.
Seeing that Shaq paid for that little girl Shaniya's funeral was SO amazing!! Even if it was only around $4,500 – it's really the thought that counted.
I have a new found respect for certain celebrities because of articles like this!
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