83rd Opening Speaker Update

Bob Newhart to Replace
Robert Duvall
As General Meeting Opening Speaker

The National Board has announced that legendary comedian/actor Bob Newhart will replace Robert Duvall as Opening Session speaker at the 83rd General Meeting, May 12, at the Hyatt Bellevue in Bellevue, Washington.

According to National Board Public Affairs Director Paul Brennan, “Mr. Duvall canceled the Opening Session commitment because of a scheduling conflict involving upcoming movie/TV obligations. While we were looking forward to having Mr. Duvall as our speaker, we are equally excited to have a renowned entertainer that, like Mr. Duvall, has inspired many of today’s contemporary performers.”

Having two extremely successful, long-running television series, Bob Newhart has won the coveted Peabody Award and an Emmy. As popular today as ever before, he continues to perform before sellout audiences all over the world.

Recent appearances on The Big Bang Theory sitcom have earned Mr. Newhart rave reviews from legions of longtime fans as well as new generations of young people who have discovered the comedian’s many talents through syndication of his early television series. During the 2013 Emmy Awards show, Mr. Newhart received a standing ovation from a star-studded audience that included some of the entertainment industry’s most celebrated actors and actresses.

The Chicago native began his stage career doing standup deadpan comedy routines that are considered classic even by today’s standards. He was among the first comedians to record his comedy in an album format.

When Billboard magazine issued their l00 Most Popular Albums of the Past 40 Years, Mr. Newhart was not only the only comedian on the list, his record came in at #20, ahead of some of the greatest recording giants such as The Beatles, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Elvis Presley. As a result of his recording success, he played to sold out comedy concerts, nightclubs, and on theatre stages across America.

Mr. Newhart’s early talents as an actor are on display in a number of motion pictures where he was cast with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood including Steve McQueen, Barbra Streisand, Jon Voight, Walter Matthau, Peter Ustinov, Dick Van Dyke, and Gene Wilder.  The renowned performer’s recent film work has included a co-starring role with Kevin Kline, Tom Selleck, and Debbie Reynolds in In And Out, and with back-to-back co-starring roles with Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde II and Will Ferrell in Elf.

Mr. Newhart is an inductee of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. He has also served as a Grand Marshall of the Tournament of Roses Parade.