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COC receives $10,000 for scholarships

The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Charitable Foundation donate to COC again

Posted: March 11, 2009 6:58 p.m.
Updated: March 11, 2009 4:02 p.m.
The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Charitable Foundation has awarded the Fine and Performing Arts Division at College of the Canyons $10,000 which will be distributed to as many as ten students as scholarship awards in the amount of $1,000 each. The scholarships will be awarded in spring 2009 to students studying Theatre, Dance, Music and Fine Arts at the college.

"This news is especially encouraging due to the current economy and the Foundation feels extremely fortunate that College of the Canyons was chosen again to receive this award," Michele Edmonson, the Foundation's assistant director, said.

"This is the third consecutive year our students have been honored and I am tremendously grateful to the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation for their generosity and support of College of the Canyons' Fine and Performing Arts students," Floyd Moos, Dean of Fine and Performing Arts at the college, said. "By their gift of funds, the Foundation recognizes that the vitality and growth of local arts and cultural institutions are essential to healthy development of the community and its quality of life."

Students can apply for the following scholarships:
• The Jack Oakie Memorial Award for Excellence in Comedy Script or Screenwriting.
• The Jack Oakie Memorial Award for Excellence in Directing a Film, Stage or Television Comedy.
• The Jack Oakie "It's All In Fun" Award for Excellence in: Comedic Excellence in Theatre or Stage Acting, Comedic Improvisation, etc.
• The Jack Oakie "Double Take" for Excellence in Film, Stage or Television Acting.
• The Victoria Horne Oakie "Myrtle Mae" Award for Performing Excellence in Stage or Cinema. (Myrtle Mae was Mrs. Oakie's character in the 1950 movie "Harvey").

As part of the application process, applicants are required to watch a Jack Oakie film and write a brief synopsis of the film they might have done differently had they been the screenwriter, director, specific actor, etc. Students applying for the "Myrtle Mae" award are also encouraged to watch one of Victoria Horne Oakie's films.

Trustees for the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation are Dr. Barry Pascal, Charles A. Collier, Jr., and David L. Sonne, whose charge is to execute the wishes of Jack Oakie and his wife, Victoria Horne Oakie, to gift funds to students who are studying for careers in film, theatre and television and to preserve Jack Oakie's name and work.

Jack Oakie came to Hollywood in 1927. His career by that time already included vaudeville, Broadway musicals and appearances in New York films. In Hollywood, he made 87 pictures, most of them comedies or musical comedies, over which period he perfected his trademark comic triple-take.

His career included such films as "Once in a Lifetime," "Million Dollar Legs" and "It Happened Tomorrow." Oakie received an Academy Award nomination in the supporting role category for his satirical portrait of a Mussolini-like head of state in 1940's "The Great Dictator."

Oakie died in 1978 and his wife Victoria Horne died in 2003.


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