The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


January 27, 2013

Recognize famous natives

DANVILLE — One of Danville’s famous sons — Dick Van Dyke — will walk across a Los Angeles stage tonight to receive the Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actor’s Guild.

It is but the latest honor during a career that began as a radio announcer at WDAN Radio in Danville and has included Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards.

Through it all, Van Dyke has remembered his roots in Danville and speaks of them with affection.

Visitors to the community, however, might not know the city can lay claim to Van Dyke, his Emmy winning brother Jerry, Oscar winner Gene Hackman, the late Grammy nominated Bobby Short, the late Golden Globe and Emmy winner Donald O’Connor and others.

There’s a Wall of Honor at Danville High School, but access to that by visitors is limited.

The Fischer Theatre recently opened a museum in honor of these entertainment heavyweights, and the Walldogs painted a mural featuring the stars near the theater a few years ago.

Still, there seems to be a lack of recognition to these incredible entertainers who called Danville their home. Even a sign at the entrances to the city directing visitors to the Fischer’s museum or highlighting the names would be nice to see.

For a community the size of Danville to provide the wealth of talent represented by the list of names truly is an amazing thing. And the list includes more than entertainers. There are scientists, business people and humanitarians.

Maybe it’s time for local organizations to come together and come up with a suitable tribute to let everyone know the community’s pride in their work.

For tonight, however, don’t miss the moment when Dick Van Dyke receives the award he so richly deserves.

Text Only
  • Share the road with care With winter's chill finally -- finally! -- done for the season, the bright green of spring starts to take over lawns and alongside rural roads. All of which means motorists will share those roads with large farm equipment during the coming weeks. Far

    April 23, 2014

  • Help keep planet clean Americans will celebrate Earth Day on Tuesday in a variety of ways, all with a focus to waste less and preserve natural resources and beauty. Vermilion County can count itself among the luckiest of counties in Illinois with its abundance of natural r

    April 20, 2014

  • Put money to better use Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced earlier this week the state would pass along $52 million in federal dollars to pay for various alternative transportation projects, such as bike paths and walking trails. While the money is nice, it could be put to b

    April 16, 2014

  • Make penalty a tough one An old nemisis appears to be making a comeback in Illinois, and legislators and law enforcement officials worry that the influx of heroin will leave an even deadlier wake than before. The situation is bad enough that members of the Illinois House dec

    April 13, 2014

  • A good addition for United Way United Way officials announces earlier this week the addition of a 2-1-1 phone service, which connects people in need with agencies that can offer assistance. The latest addition to the United Way's arsenal of ways to aid residents in Vermilion Count

    April 11, 2014

  • A glimmer of promise An Illinois legislator -- state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Staunton -- finally appears to recognize a growing problem in the state that his fellow lawmakers apparently choose to ignore: Illinois schools face real financial problems. Many school districts hav

    April 10, 2014

  • E-cigarettes: Use caution The latest craze sweeping the area involves an old habit -- smoking -- in a way. And like its well-know toxic predecessor, not much is known about it as it begins to become more commonplace. Electronic cigarettes -- known as E cigarettes -- provide i

    April 6, 2014

  • Gambling plan takes new turn Members of the Illinois Legislature will consider yet another version of a bill to expand gambling in the state. This one also includes a proposal to put a casino in Danville -- kind of. State Rep. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, told The Associated Press h

    April 3, 2014

  • Time to start cleaning up As the days grow longer and the temperatures continue to rise -- hopefully -- area residents can begin to put the record-setting snowfall and cold behind them and enjoy spring. The sunny days already have melted away the 50-plus inches of snow that f

    March 28, 2014

  • Great job at NJCAA Mary Miller gym on the campus of Danville Area Community College must still echo with the cheers from last week's National Junior College Athletic Association's Men's Division II Basketball Tournament. Sixteen teams from across the country visited DA

    March 25, 2014

AP Video
NDN Video
Must Read