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Back to Brooklyn 2000
Section guide

• 2000 Back to Brooklyn Home

The Streetplay Scoop
• Joe Viterelli: the basics
• Lenny Wilkens & stickball
• Orphans of the Steeplechase

Photos
• Celebrity Path
• The Games
• Festivities
• A Star Studded Evening

Related links
• 1999 Back to Brooklyn


Streetplay events: Section guide

• Streetplay Events home
• Bronx Street Festival '05
• Bronx Street Festival '04
• Back to School '04
• Back to School '03
• Williamsburg's 100th
• PS 56 After School
• Skully at the AMNH
• NY Historical Society
• Smithsonian Festival
• Back to Brooklyn '00
• Back to Brooklyn '99
• Back to Brooklyn '98

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Coronation and induction of celebrities (click for full size photos)


Stiller and Meara

 Picture Story 

Esai Morales

 Picture Story 

Lucille Roberts

 Picture Story 

John Turturro
 Picture Story 

Joe Viterelli
 Picture Story 

Lenny Wilkens
 Picture Story 

Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller

The husband and wife comedy team of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara were crowned King and Queen of Brooklyn at the Welcome Back to Brooklyn Festival on June 11,2000. Meara and stiller are famous for their wry but affectionate bantering. Their sense of comic timing and teamwork has earned them a loyal following of all ages.

Married for more than 40 years, the two met at an audition and have mixed work and romance ever since. They began their careers as part of the improv group that later became famous as the Second City Players.

Stiller & Meara worked every major nightclub in the country, played regional theatres together, and made countless appearances on television -- including 36 spots on The Ed Sullivan Show alone.

Stiller & Meara also boast impressive solo careers. Anne Meara has graced the stage on and off Broadway, picking up a Tony nomination for her performance in the Roundabout's production of Anna Christie. She has also been featured in films including Fame, The Boys from Brazil, and most recently the award-winning independent film, Judy Berlin.

Anne has received five Emmy nominations for her work in television. Currently, she appears as Peggy Moody on ABC's All My Children, but her most famous roles on television include Rhoda and Archie Bunker's Place. This multi-talented woman is also a playwright, and her script for After-Play won an Outer Critic's Circle award. Her second play, Down the Garden Paths, recently completed a run at the Long Wharf Theatre.

Jerry Stiller currently stars as Arthur on the hit CBS series, King of Queens. But he is perhaps best-known to TV fans as Frank Costanza on the now-legendary NBC series, Seinfeld He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1997, and won the 1998 American Comedy Award for his work on the show.

Like his partner, Jerry Stiller is no stranger to the stage. He has appeared on and off-Broadway; he toured all five boroughs in the very first season of Joe Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. And his film career includes roles in Hairspray and Subway Stories.

Show business is a family business for Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Their children, Ben and Amy Stiller, are both actors. Jerry has played opposite Amy on stage, and also appeared in Ben's short film Shoeshine, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1988. Anne Meara appeared in Ben's feature debut as a director, Reality Bites.


Esai Morales Back to Top
Esai Morales was born in Brooklyn. At age 14, he enrolled at the New York High School for the Performing Arts. That same year, he made his stage debut opposite the late Raul Julia in The Tempest at the New York Shakespeare Theatre. Morales has garnered critical acclaim for his work on stage, on television and in film. He made his screen debut in 1983, starring in Bad Boys with Sean Penn. Four years later, he won the hearts of fans around the world for his performance in La Bamba, which is to this day the most commercially successful film with a Latino theme. More recently, he starred along with fellow Brooklynite Jimmy Smits - in the epic drama Mi Familia.

Off-camera, Mr. Morales works tirelessly for causes close to his heart, including preservation of the environment and wildlife, help for refugees and for those suffering with AIDS. Please welcome Esai Morales.


Lucille Roberts Back to Top
Lucille Roberts' story is a classic example of the American dream come true. When she was a child, her family left Russia and settled in Brooklyn. As a young and ambitious woman, Ms. Roberts worked her way up in the retail industry to become the only female sales executive in a chain of major department stores. Her passion for health and nutrition inspired her to put her retail experience to work in the business of fitness.

In 1969, Ms. Roberts opened the first Lucille Roberts Health Club on 34th Street, across from Macy's. Her business has grown to a $30 million empire with 50 health clubs and over 750 employees. After 30 years in business, Lucille Roberts is a household name -- but you'll still find the CEO in the clubs teaching aerobics classes.


John Turturro Back to Top
Independent film star John Turturro was not only born in Brooklyn - he has come back to his native borough with his family to make it his home.

Acting is apparently a family business - Mr. Turturro's wife, son, and two brothers are also actors. Mr. Turturro, was fascinated by movies as a child. After studying acting at SUNY New Paltz, he won a scholarship to the Yale School of Drama. After winning an Obie Award for his work in Off-Broadway theatre, he made his film debut in Martin Scorsese's 1980 masterpiece, Raging Bull. Mr. Turturro has gone on to star in some of the most important independent films made in the past two decades, including Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and He Got Game; Joel and Ethan Coen's Miller's Crossing and Barton Fink; and Robert Redford's Quiz Show.

In 1998, Mr. Turturro wrote, directed, produced and starred in the critically acclaimed film Illuminata. He has won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, and the Best Actor and Golden Camera awards at Cannes.


Joe Viterelli Back to Top
Joe Viterelli has appeared in more than 30 films, including Analyze This with Robert De Niro and Mickey Blue Eyes with Hugh Grant.

Mr. Viterelli was a late bloomer in his acting career. For more than 25 years he turned down parts offered to him by a host of filmmakers, including his longtime friend Leo Penn. Then, in 1981, Sean Penn called to say they couldn't find anyone to play a character from the Lower East Side. The film was shooting on location in Viterelli's old neighborhood on Mott Street. He took the screen test and won the part. He's been acting ever since, including a featured role in Bullets over Broadway, written and directed by fellow Brooklynite Woody Allen.


Lenny Wilkens Back to Top
Lenny Wilkens' contributions to the great game of basketball are legendary. He was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant and attended Boy's High, but didn't play on the school's basketball team until his senior year. He went on to play college ball at Providence, where he earned his degree in economics. He was named New England's Outstanding Player in 1960; that same year he was drafted in the first round by the St. Louis Hawks.

Lenny Wilkens was a tenacious, hot-shooting guard in the NBA for 15 years, and ranks among the all-time leaders in assists, games played, and free throws made. Wilkens is one of just two men honored in a sports Hall of Fame as both player and coach. He made the transition to coaching in 1975, and in 1979 he led the Seattle Sonics to the NBA Championship. Wilkens also coached the gold-medal-winning USA men's basketball team in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.


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