Ben Mankiewicz, the primetime host for Turner Classic Movies and a co-founder of The Young Turks, is the Los Angeles Press Club’s 2019 recipient of the Luminary Award for Career Achievement. The award will be presented at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards Gala on December 1 at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
The Luminary Award honors individuals within the Entertainment Media for their outstanding careers.
“Ben’s witty, charming take on film has endeared him to millions of viewers of Turner Classic Movies and CBS Sunday Morning,” said club President Chris Palmeri. “But those of us lucky to know him, know a guy who’s always willing to help out colleagues and fellow journalists. It’s a trait Ben likely inherited through his family’s long history of creative collaboration and public service. Ben is a pro’s pro and a worthy recipient to the Press Club’s award.”
When Ben made his TCM debut in September 2003, he became the second host hired in the network’s history, the first being Robert Osborne. During his career at TCM, Ben has introduced thousands of movies on-air and conducted long-form interviews with more than 200 of the industry’s top talents, including Martin Scorsese, Sophia Loren, Robert Redford, Mel Brooks, Martin Scorsese, Faye Dunaway, Quentin Tarantino and Ava DuVernay.
Since the summer of 2019, Ben has served as a contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning. And since 2018, he has hosted the American Society of Cinematographers Awards. Ben is also a regular co-host of the online political show, The Young Turks, which he co-founded with Cenk Uygur in 2002.
Ben moved to Los Angeles nearly 75 years after his famous grandfather, screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, headed west to work in the movie business. Not long after arriving, Herman cabled his friend Ben Hecht back in New York: “There are millions to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots. Don’t let this get around.” Ben is now proudly one of those idiots.
On the same evening as Ben is being saluted, actor Danny Trejo will receive the club’s Visionary Award for his humanitarian work, and ‘Me Too.’ movement founder Tarana Burke will be honored with the club’s Impact Award. The Distinguished Storyteller Award and the Legend Award are still to be announced.