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M. D. Anderson Hosts Houston's First 'A Conversation With a Living Legend' With Sherry Lansing

Sam Donaldson to interview Lansing at event that has raised more than $500,000

M. D. Anderson News Release 11/30/07

Sherry Lansing

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center will welcome Sherry Lansing, CEO and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation, to its first "A Conversation With a Living Legend" here, Dec. 5. Lansing was honored at this year's Academy Awards with an Oscar statuette and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in recognition of her work as a philanthropist and as an advocate for cancer research. She also is former CEO and chairman of Paramount Pictures. Under Lansing's leadership, three of Paramount's pictures won the Academy Award for Best Picture – Forrest Gump (1994), Braveheart (1995) and the highest-grossing movie of all time, Titanic (1997).

Lansing will engage in conversation with ABC news veteran Sam Donaldson at the Hilton Americas Hotel, and former Houston ABC news anchor Shara Fryer will emcee the event. The fundraising luncheon already has secured more than $500,000 for cancer research and patient care programs at M. D. Anderson.

"M. D. Anderson is thrilled to bring A Conversation With a Living Legend to Houston, and we are delighted that Ms. Lansing and Mr. Donaldson will highlight this inaugural event," says John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of M. D. Anderson. "The Houston community has responded with an outpouring of generosity that speaks to its heartfelt desire to push forward our mission of eliminating cancer. On behalf of the 83,000 patients we see each year, we are sincerely grateful for such incredible advocacy and pivotal support."

During almost 30 years in the motion picture business, Lansing was involved in producing, marketing and distributing more than 200 films. In 1980, she became the first woman to head a major film studio when she took the top job at 20th Century Fox. In 1992, after several years as an independent producer, Lansing was named chairman of Paramount Pictures, a position she held until 2005.

Sam Donaldson

Donaldson, a 40-year ABC News veteran, served two appointments as chief White House correspondent for ABC News, covering Presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton. Donaldson also co-anchored, with Diane Sawyer, "PrimeTime Live" from 1989 until it merged with "20/20" in 1999. He co-anchored the ABC News Sunday morning broadcast "This Week With Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts" from 1996 to 2002. He also hosted "The Sam Donaldson Show – Live in America," a daily news/talk radio program broadcast on ABC News Radio affiliates across the country. Currently, Donaldson is appearing on ABC News Now, the ABC News digital network. His daily half-hour show "Politics Live" is an unscripted dialogue with guests and commentators discussing political news stories of the day.

During A Conversation With a Living Legend, M. D. Anderson will present its Making Cancer History Award to both Donaldson and Lansing. The award will honor them for embodying M. D. Anderson's core values of caring, integrity and discovery and for their community advocacy.

Sponsored by the Ellwood Foundation, the event is chaired by M. D. Anderson supporters Patsy and Greg Fourticq, Barbara and Charles Hurwitz, Joan Schnitzer Levy and Irvin Levy and Beth Sanders Moore and Jess Moore.

Lansing carries on the Living Legend tradition, which has focused the topic of conversation on Carol Burnett, Rudolph Giuliani, James A. Baker III, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Colin Powell, Barbara Bush, George H. W. Bush, Nolan Ryan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lance Armstrong, Norman Schwarzkopf, Margaret Thatcher and Cal Ripken Jr., among others, at past events held in Dallas.

In July 2007, M. D. Anderson once again was named the best place in the nation to receive cancer care according to U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" survey. M. D. Anderson has ranked as one of the nation’s top two cancer centers since the survey began in 1990 and has been named the No. 1 cancer center in five of the past eight years.

Tickets for the event are $150 for individual seats; tables of 10 start at $1,500. For information, please call 713-563-3525. 11/30/07

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center