The Kentucky Motion Picture & Television Hall of Fame in partnership with The Grand Theater in Lancaster, KY have confirmed who will be the first three inductees into the 2020 inaugural class of the Hall of Fame. “We are excited to be able to move into phase two, which is starting to name whom will be included into the inaugural class. We will be announcing several individuals over the next few weeks. Public nominations are also now open through our website www.KYHallofFame.org. We have heard from so many people over the last few weeks. Support for the Hall of Fame has been flooding in, and I would like to thank everyone. We could not do this without the support of the people the Hall of Fame is intended to serve.” said Executive Director Anthony Hudson
The first confirmed member of the 2020 Inaugural Class of the Kentucky Motion Picture and Television Hall of Fame is legendary Lexington actor Jim Varney.
Varney, an Emmy winning actor from Lexington is known throughout the world for his roles as Ernest P. Worrell in all of
the Ernest films, Slinky Dog in the first two Toy Story films, Jed Clampett in the big screen adaptation of The Beverly
Hillbillies, and many more iconic roles. From his stage beginnings on the Lafayette High School stage in Lexington
through his performances on the iconic Pioneer Playhouse stage to his time is Hollywood, Jim always stayed true to his
Kentucky roots, being proud of his Kentucky heritage and returning often to his Bluegrass family no matter how famous
he had become.
“Jim Varney was truly a worldwide ambassador of the Bluegrass Spirit. A positive role model who spread goodwill
wherever he went, even when while sometimes struggling with his own demons. Jim worked tirelessly with children’s
charities and hospitals while maintaining the rigorous schedule that Hollywood demands of its premier stars. We are
humbled and proud to honor his life as the first inductee into the Kentucky Motion Picture & Television
Hall of Fame.” stated Hudson
The second confirmed member of the 2020 Inaugural Class of the Kentucky Motion Picture Hall of Fame is long time Louisville resident and leading Kentucky independent filmmaker Chase Dudley.
Since 2008 Chase has produced and directed 8 feature films and racked up many filmmaking awards along the way. He has worked with virtually every working actor and film crew member in the state of Kentucky. His films have been seen at leading film festivals all across the country winning awards at nearly every viewing. Many of his films including “Past Due”, “Payton’s Burden”, and “Marvelous Mandy” have all received worldwide distributions deals exposing audiences way beyond our Bluegrass borders not only Chase’s vision and works, but also of the pure skill that the Kentucky filmmaking industry has to offer.
“Wow, this was totally unexpected. It is great to see that the Independent film industry is finally be looked at and showcased alongside of all the great studio projects. Thank you for thinking of me.” Said Chase Dudley upon receiving the news of his inauguration confirmation.”
Hall of Fame board member Harry Pagoulatos said, “Independent filmmaking is without a doubt the hardest form of the art. Budgetary and resource restrictions pile on many added layers of difficulty to those artists whom attempt to tell their stories without major studio backing. These visionaries have to truly think outside of the normal filmmaking box to achieve the same level of quality storytelling audiences are expecting. Many try and fall short of the mark; Chase Dudley has time and time again proven despite any initial setbacks a production of any budget and resource can not only meet but exceed all expectations to provide world class storytelling that will live on for as long as films are watched. He is truly a legend of the craft in his prime.”
Rounding out the first three confirmed inductees for the 2020 Kentucky Motion Picture & Television Hall of Fame is Middlesboro native and television legend Lee Majors.
While most actors are lucky to ever have one iconic television series in their credits, Lee Majors seems to
create them with every project he touches. The Big Valley’s Heath Barkley, The Six Million Dollar Man’s Col.
Steve Austin, The Fall Guy’s Colt Seavers, and Ash Vs. The Evil Dead’s Brock Williams are just a few of the
iconic roles brought to life by Majors. Much life fellow Hall of Fame inductee Jim Varney, Major honed his
acting skills at the iconic Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, KY before tackling Hollywood. Throughout Lee’s
fifty-five year career, he has appeared in every form of the art. Television, stage, film, and voice over work
has all seen Lee Majors make his mark. At eighty years old, Lee Majors continues to bring life to new
characters that will be enjoyed by audiences for generations to come.
“It is a great honor to be included in the Hall of Fame.” Majors said while accepting his confirmation of
The Kentucky Motion Picture & Television Hall of Fame in the planning stages for several events and
inauguration ceremonies to take place at the Grand Theater to celebrate the works of our inductees. All the latest news can be found by visiting our website www.KYHallofFame.org.
Lexington's very own acting icon
Lee Majors accepting his confirmation for induction letter from HOF Executive Director Anthony Hudson
The Kentucky Motion Picture & Television Hall of Fame announces first three to be inducted into the 2020 inaugural class.
Louisville director, actor, and producer Chase Dudley directing a scene from his feature film “Marvelous Mandy" (2016)
Kentucky Motion Picture & Television Hall of Fame finds their home in Lancaster, KY
The Kentucky Motion Picture & Television Hall of Fame has found a home thanks to a partnership with the historic Lancaster Grand Theatre. “It’s a perfect match to feature Kentucky’s great artists who have shaped the film and television industry for generations in a historic theatre that has shown many of the films that our future inductees shined so brightly in.” said Hall of Fame Executive Director, Anthony Hudson
The Lancaster Grand Theatre, located at 117 Lexington Street in Lancaster, opened as a film and stage play theater in 1925 and has been restored to its original condition in an amazing project that has taken nearly 20 years to complete, spearheaded by Lancaster businessman McKinley Dailey. “Having the Kentucky Motion Picture & Television Hall of Fame housed within the Grand Theatre will help ensure that the theatre will continue to serve film and theatre patrons for generations to come.” said Dailey
The Kentucky Motion Picture & Television Hall of Fame, a KY 501(c)3 nonprofit, plans to open in the fall of 2019 and introduce its first round of inductees in early 2020. For more information visit www.KYHallofFame.org