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Black Tie International:
The 2016 Visionary Ball
Photos by:  Vince Bucci
 Honorees Jon Lovitz (Rodney Respect Award), Michael V. Lewis (Visionary Award) and Dr. Linda Liau, M.D., PH.D., M.B.A.(Medical Visionary Award), with Chief of UCLA Neurosurgery Dr. Neil Martin.
 Honorees Jon Lovitz (Rodney Respect Award), Michael V. Lewis (Visionary Award) and Dr. Linda Liau, M.D., PH.D., M.B.A.(Medical Visionary Award), with Chief of UCLA Neurosurgery Dr. Neil Martin.



Larry Wilmore Hosted; India Carney Performed


Donald P. Bellisario (Courage Award) with wife Vivienne Bellisario
Donald P. Bellisario (Courage Award) with wife Vivienne Bellisario
Honorary Chairs Roma Downey and Mark Burnett
Honorary Chairs Roma Downey and Mark Burnett
Emcee Larry Wilmore and India Carney (The Voice)
Emcee Larry Wilmore and India Carney (The Voice)
Rodney Respect Award honoree Jon Lovitz (right) with his presenter Joan Dangerfield
Rodney Respect Award honoree Jon Lovitz (right) with his presenter Joan Dangerfield
David McCallum (Donald Bellisario’s award presenter)
David McCallum (Donald Bellisario’s award presenter)
Chancellor Gene Block with Dr. Neil Martin
Chancellor Gene Block with Dr. Neil Martin
Gala Chairs Edie Baskin Bronson and Susan Dolgen
Gala Chairs Edie Baskin Bronson and Susan Dolgen


LOS ANGELES (October 27, 2016) – The 2016 Visionary Ball, sponsored by Edie Baskin Bronson and Richard “Skip” Bronson and benefiting the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery under the direction of department chair and professor Dr. Neil A. Martin, W. Eugene Stern Chair in Neurosurgery, honored Michael V. Lewis with the Visionary Award; Linda M. Liau, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., with the Medical Visionary Award; Donald P. Bellisario with the Courage Award and Jon Lovitz with the Rodney Respect Award Thursday, October 27, 2016 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills.


The evening raised critical funds and awareness in support of the millions of patients who battle the most complex neurological disorders of this era.  Honorary Chairs were Roma Downey and Mark Burnett; gala chairs were Edie Baskin Bronson and Susan Dolgen.


Singer India Carney, who appeared on the eighth season of NBC-TV’s The Voice, wowed the audience with her rendition of Roar.


Emmy Award winning writer, creator and performer Larry Wilmore hosted the evening and welcomed the more than 600 guests, cleverly performing a magic trick while noting that the myriad accomplishments of the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery are “more like ‘magic’ than medicine.”  “As a self-professed BLERD,” he noted, it is fascinating to me to see how so much that was once science fiction is now medical fact.”


Wilmore went on to introduce the evening’s Honorary Chairs, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who movingly told the story of their son Cameron and the heroic efforts of UCLA’s Department of Neurosurgery in saving his life.  The two have gone on to endow the Burnett Family Chair in the Division of Endocrinology at the David Geffen School of Medicine overseeing the UCLA Neuroendocrine Tumor Program.


A highlight of the evening, introduced by Dr. Neil Martin, department chair and head of the UCLA Stroke Center, was a video featuring a bold new advancement – the use of virtual reality to plan complex surgeries and as a training tool for the next generation of neurosurgeons. 


UCLA Chancellor Gene Block added his personal acknowledgement on behalf of the University, recognizing the groundbreaking work of Dr. Martin and his team.


Producer, philanthropist and humanitarian Sherry Lansing presented The Visionary Award to Michael V. Lewis, CEO and co-founder of RealD.  A globally recognized leader in visual technology, his cutting-edge advances have been used for robotic medical procedures, piloting the Mars Rover and pioneering digital 3D cinema to become the world’s largest 3D cinema platform with over 32,000 RealD equipped theaters in 72 countries. RealD is now offering its technology to consumer electronics companies around the world for use in the home and mobile device markets. Under Lewis’s leadership, RealD has twice been named by Fast Company as one of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies.” Lewis has received multiple awards, including being named among The Hollywood Reporter’s “Digital Power 50” and as one of the publication’s “Innovative Voices.” His many accolades include the Vanguard Award from the Producers Guild of America, the Special Award of Achievement for Technical Contributions to the Motion Picture Industry at ShowEast, and the YPO and Edison Innovation Foundation’s Thomas Alva Edison Innovation Award. He is a marquee donor to the Motion Picture Television Fund, serves on the City Year Los Angeles Board of Directors and is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.


Best known for his starring roles in the 1960’s classic The Man From Uncle and, most recently, NCIS, actor and best-selling author David McCallum presented The Courage Award to prolific writer, producer and director Donald P. Bellisario, noting “Over the decades, I’ve seen my share of scoundrels, mad men and the occasional hero.  To that last category and firmly on top of the list is tonight’s honoree…my dear friend, my employer and a true creative genius.”


Bellisario has been crafting words and stories for more than 30 years—long before he gained notoriety as the creator/producer of groundbreaking television series such as Magnum P.I., Quantum Leap, JAG and NCIS. His story began in 1961. After serving four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and graduating with a degree in journalism from Penn State, Bellisario started his writing career at Pennsylvania’s Centre Daily Times and then as a copywriter for a local advertising agency. He next moved to Dallas for a position with the famous Bloom Agency where he rose to senior VP, head of film production, creative director, and board member. In 1976, Hollywood beckoned and Bellisario became story editor of the hit series Baa Baa Black Sheep. After five episodes, he was promoted to serve as the show’s producer. He went on to become supervising producer of Battlestar Galactica, before developing his own highly successful series of television hits. Named the 2001 Producer of the Year by the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors, Bellisario also is the recipient of a “star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Ted Gagliano, President of Post-Production at 20th Century Fox, presented The Medical Visionary Award to Linda M. Liau, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. and Vice-Chair of research and professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  In addition, she also directs the UCLA Brain Tumor Program, one of the world’s leading programs for brain tumor research, diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Liau holds a B.S. and B.A. from Brown University, received her medical degree from Stanford University, and completed her residency in neurosurgery at UCLA. She also received her doctoral degree in Neuroscience at UCLA, as well as her M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Dr. Liau’s clinical expertise is in intra-operative functional brain mapping and the use of intra-operative imaging for resection of brain tumors (gliomas, meningiomas and metastatic tumors). Dr. Liau and her research team have developed the first personalized brain cancer vaccine in the United States. The vaccine is made by isolating a specific immune cell in the patient and combining it with the patient’s own tumor tissue.


Joan Dangerfield, widow of comic genius Rodney Dangerfield, presented The Rodney Respect Award, named in honor of her late husband, to Emmy Award-winning comedian Jon Lovitz. During his tenure at Saturday Night Live, Lovitz created some of the most memorable and inventive characters in the show’s history: Hannukah Harry, The Devil, Master Thespian and Tommy Flanagan of Pathological Liars Anonymous. His most prominent film credits include A League of Their Own, The Wedding Singer, Big, and The Producers: The Musical. Some of his numerous television credits include Friends, Seinfeld, Just Shoot Me and The Simpsons. He also performed at Carnegie Hall three times and has sung the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium and the U.S. Open. In 2004, he pursued his dream of doing stand-up and in 2009 opened the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal Citywalk.


Former patients Michael Turnbull and Brad Silver added their own moving personal testimonials to the life-saving work of the doctors and support team at UCLA.


Previous Visionary Ball honorees include: Elon Musk; Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D.; Ted Gagliano; Kate Berg; Chelsea Handler; Sidney Kimmel; Louis Ignarro; Doriana Sanchez; Bob Saget; Gerald S. Levey, M.D.; Beth and Josh Friedman; Burt Bacharach; Louie Anderson; David T. Feinberg, M.D.; Anthony N. Pritzker; Jim Carrey; Joan Hyler; Peter Morton; Tim Allen; Donald Becker, M.D.; Thomas Barrack and Jay Leno.



For 27 consecutive years, UCLA Neurosurgery has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top programs in the nation and #1 in Los Angeles. Under the leadership of department chair Neil A. Martin, M.D., UCLA Neurosurgery continues to provide the finest and most comprehensive patient care through innovative clinical programs in minimally invasive brain and spinal surgery, neuroendoscopy, neuro-oncology for both adult and pediatric brain tumors, cerebrovascular surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery for brain and spinal disorders, surgery for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy surgery.


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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