PBS SoCal Premiered ‘Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story’ Celebrating Life and Work of Iconic African American Architect
PBS SoCal, Southern California’s home for the premieres of new PBS programs, hosted the world premiere of the new documentary Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story on Feb. 3 at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles. Over 175 guests attended the red-carpet event and standing room only screening and panel discussion that included legendary music producer Quincy Jones, Disney CEO, and Williams’ homeowner Robert Iger, as well as Williams’ grandchildren Paul Hudson, Gayle Harvey Beavers, and Karen Hudson-Freeman.
Set to debut in over 240 PBS stations across the country over the course of February (as part of Black History Month programming), Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story, the documentary tells the story of African American architect Williams as he defied the odds to become one of the most notable architects in history.
The film premieres Thurs., Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. on PBS SoCal and will encore on Sun., Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. on KCET and will be available for streaming at pbssocal.org/hollywoodsarchitect
After red carpet arrivals, Senior Vice President of General Counsel for PBS SoCal June Baldwin welcomed the audience of regional influencers, talent featured in the film, community partners and fans of paul R. Williams. She acknowledged notable PBS SoCal partners and supporters of the film as well as several Williams’ family members including his great-grandchildren who were in attendance.
Following the screening of the film, a panel and audience Q&A took place with Co-Directors/Co-Producers Royal Kennedy Rodgers and Kathy McCampbell-Vance with the City of Los Angeles Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne moderated by PBS SoCal’s Bonnie Boswell (Bonnie Boswell Reports). After the programming concluded, guests enjoyed a celebratory indoor/outdoor reception to cap off the evening.
Additional notables attending included Associate Producer Shirlyn Cesar, NPR’s All Things Considered Correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates, Actor Rocky Carroll(NCIS, Chicago Hope), Music Executive Clarence Avant, Actress Denise Nicholas (In the Heat of the Night, Room 222), Actress Hattie Winston Wheeler (Becker, The Electric Company), Actress Alisha Wainwright (Raising Dion, Shadowhunters), Actress Sasha Compère (Miracle Workers), Producers Tanya and Phil Hart (Flyers in Search of a Dream, Flying Free- Bessie Coleman), Executive Producer Charles Johnson (NCIS), Producer Kathleen McGhee-Anderson (Lincoln Heights, The Fosters), Composer Harold Wheeler (The Wiz Live!, Dancing with the Stars), Radio One’s WOL-AM Dewey Hughes, Partner and Managing Director at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Steve Lafferty, Architect of Grand Central Market Brenda Levin, Principal City Planner and Manager of the Office of Historic Resources Ken Bernstein, President/CEO of LA Conservancy Linda Dishman and Paul R. Williams homeowners John and Cheryl Sweeney.
A co-production of PBS SoCal and RKR Media, Hollywood’s Architect: The Paul R. Williams Story is narrated by Tony and Emmy® award-winning actor Courtney B. Vance. Known as the “Architect to the Stars,” Williams designed homes for celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, William Holden, Lucille Ball, and Desi Arnaz. Williams also participated in the planning of some of LA’s most iconic landmarks like the Beverly Hills Hotel and LAX International Airport, forever defining the landscape of Southern California.