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National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences - Pacific Southwest Chapter
Gold and Silver Circle Honors (20 April 2008)

Appearing as Himself

On 20 April 2008, in recognition of his more than 50 years in the television industry, James MacArthur was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences - Pacific Southwest Chapter Gold Circle.

Stacy Keach's Introductory Remarks:

Yet another of Bob’s [Loggia, the previous awardee] credits was a guest appearance on “Hawaii Five-O." One of that show's stars is our next honoree, James MacArthur.

It is a special pleasure for me to be introducing Jim. It’s also an interesting turn of events. I was nominated four times to receive the Helen Hayes Award—I even won it once. Jim is on their Board of Directors.

With parents like Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur, you would expect Jim to have been primed for a life in show business, but that wasn't the case. Although he naturally absorbed a show business spirit while growing up, his parents strove mightily to give him the most normal childhood possible.

It wasn't until he was 11 years old that Jim got his first taste of acting, appearing in a summer stock production alongside his sister, the late Mary MacArthur.

Six years later, still unsure where life would lead him, Jim made his first foray into the new medium of television, auditioning for and successfully landing the lead role in John Frankenheimer's Deal A Blow.

Soon thereafter he appeared in a number of successful feature films and television programs, including "The Untouchables," "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," “Swiss Family Robinson,” and “Spencer’s Mountain.” A little more than a decade later, his appearance in “Hang ‘Em High” would lead him to his role in “Hawaii Five-O.”

Jim's latest showbiz endeavor was as co-directer of a revival version of Twentieth Century, a play written by his father and Ben Hecht.

Jim and his wife, H.B. are fulltime Coachella valley residents. The MacArthur family has been supportive of countless community-based charities.

Let’s take a look at his video.

James MacArthur's Acceptance Remarks:

Stacy, I just want you to know …

Board Members don’t get to vote.

Thank you, Stacy. Thank you to the members of NATAS and all of you here today. This is indeed a great honor.

After I landed that first job, I remember asking my Pop for a recommendation on where to stay for the two weeks I needed to be in Hollywood filming. He didn’t hesitate – The Garden of Allah on Sunset Boulevard. Taking him at his word, I made my reservation and flew out.

There I was, 17, not yet out of high school, all on my own in La-La-Land. That first night, I sat gazing out at the swimming pool and pondering the possibilities. As I watched, here came Errol Flynn, drink in hand, bathrobe fluttering, strolling along toward his bungalow…

…with a troop of gorgeous young things following behind like ducks in formation.

Yup, I’d found my destiny. This was definitely the life for me!

And I never looked back.

Almost before I knew it, Walt Disney was knocking at my door. I was working with directors like Ken Annakin, Robert Altman, Hal Cooper, Michael O’Herlihy, and Sam Wanamaker; actors and actresses like Franchot Tone, Frances Farmer, Kim Hunter, Dick Powell, Van Heflin, Celeste Holm, Jackie Cooper, Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Paul Burke, Dabney Coleman, James Arness, George Kennedy, Stefanie Powers, Leslie Anne Warren, John and Hayley Mills, Kurt Russell, and Burt Reynolds; and writers like Arch Oboler and Andy Fenady.

Quite a list, huh? And we’re only up to 1967!

That’s when the call came offering me a chance to work on Hawaii Five-O. Having never visited Hawaii before, I accepted without hesitation. I prayed the show would last 13 episodes. Happily, The Lord answered my plea – and I don’t mean Jack.

Looking back over more than 50 years in the business, this actor’s life has provided me with the opportunity to meet everybody from Bertholt Brecht to Mickey Mouse, Ronald Reagan to Neil Armstrong. I’ve been a very fortunate man.

I’m grateful to everybody I’ve met and worked with along the way and I’m grateful to all of you, to the fans who still write to let me know they’ve enjoyed my career, my co-workers, my friends, and, most of all, my family.

And, oh, yes, like a true MacArthur – as long as there are reruns, I shall return!

NATAS Invitation

NATAS Program

James MacArthur

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James MacArthur, Stacy Keach

James MacArthur

Gold and Silver Circle Plaque

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