WARREN, OH, January 10, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Larry James Gianakos has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
For the whole of his adult lifetime, Larry James Gianakos has been in the vanguard of historical research, while yet in his youth publishing a six-volume set collectively titled Television Drama Series Programming: A Comprehensive Chronicle (New York and London: The Scarecrow Press, 1978 through 1987), which would become a classic reference source and result in his being called "the premiere chronicler of video drama in the United States." He wrote on the history of vintage video, for any number of national telecommunications journals, with particular emphasis on the very earliest period of the dramatic television, called "The Golden Age," when television was largely presented live through New York City former radio studios, and all that yet exists of those productions is by way of kinescopes, or film taped from live television monitors. By way of his television appearances and lectures, when solicited by Sonny Fox Productions in Los Angeles in 1981 to help promote their series "The Golden Age of Television," which restored nine classic kinescope productions, he began to document particularly rare and only newly surfaced teleplays on such legendary film stars as Paul Newman and Grace Kelly, later Princess Grace of Monaco.
He became a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Cleveland chapter, in 1991, and twice attended the prime time Emmy Award ceremonies of its sister society, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, in 1993 and 1994. While seated between veteran actors Marvin Kaplan and Peggy McCay, who were then representing the acting divisions of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or AFTRA, a conversation ensued in which both would propose a restoration of live theatre in the Warren area, in the manner of the area's formerly celebrated Kenley Players. The result was the evolution of "Curtain Calls Productions," having had a brief reign in the area from 1993-1996, with which he was also enjoined to the theatrical passion of current Warren Saint Demetrios Parish Council Treasurer Michael Pontikos and the late Parish Council President Manuel Michelakis. Both Marvin Kaplan, and Peggy McCay, long a veteran of NBC's longest reigning soap opera, Days of Our Lives, as well as Joseph Mascolo, Peggy's co-star in Days, and the veteran Hollywood-based composer Richard Loring, became national members of the fledgling "Curtain Calls."
In 1996, Larry became a member of "The Players," one of the pre-eminent theatre organizations in the United States, established by the most celebrated American Shakespearean actor of his time, Edwin Booth, at his four-story brownstone residence at #16 Gramercy Park in Manhattan in 1888, in part to move past the grief caused by the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by way of his younger also thespian brother, John Wilkes Booth, on April 14, 1865. Larry was elevated to the status of a Lifetime Member of the Players in 2012.
In 2008 he was commissioned by the Archive of the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences via New York City's Koch Productions, to compose the liner notes for the fifty-two page attending booklet to their premiere video release, on the live television era anthology drama "Studio One," airing via CBS television from 1948 through 1958. The result was the multi-disk set Studio One Anthology, which the on-line Huffington Post would call "the best DVD boxed set of the year." That same year be began to lecture on the live drama era through various Barnes and Noble bookstores, which carried the set. Mr. Gianakos then created his own Internet blog, entitled "The Resurrection of an Era," commenting upon seminal dramatic teleplays, at https://larryjamesgianakos.blogspot.com/
Yet the singular passion of Larry's lifetime has been the acquisition of, and systematic documentation of, Pulitzer Prize literature in particular, which is America's highest literary distinction since the evolution of the prize through a benefaction to New York City's Columbia University by way of the bequest of the late newspaper mogul Joseph Pulitzer, first presented in June of 1917, for honored literature in 1916. In his volumes on television drama, Mr. Gianakos continuously included an appendix entitled "Pulitzer Prize Literature Adapted for American Television." Collecting his first First Edition author signed Pulitzer work when he was just nineteen, the collection swelled to epic proportions when in 2008 he enjoined with his boyhood friend, the regional Attorney Robert P. Safos, and like Larry, having had a long generational lineage to the Warren Saint Demetrios Parish. Today, the Gianakos-Safos Collection of Pulitzer Prize Literature, consisting of some 4,600 pieces of the most axiomatic copies of first printing Pulitzer Prize literature, almost all author signed and inscribed, for all six categories of Pulitzer literature, including fiction, plays, poetry, biographies, histories, and general nonfiction, in all states and issues, limited and series, for the full breadth of the award's history, from 1916 through 2022, is considered the finest in the world, and called by James Cahill, the Aliso Viejo, California-based bibliophile and antiquarian bookseller of Quintessential Rare Books–possibly the leading authority on the collecting of seminal first editions, including Pulitzer Prize literature--as being an "Absolutely fabulous collection; that's all I can say, probably the best in the country… Truly, a work of art collection that museums don't even have." A website was established regarding the collection at www.gianakossafos.com
With a design to initially prepare a narrative film on the extraordinary educational aspects for the broader world in having assembled this now definitive collection, which also includes a staggering 500,000 images, each of which has been meticulously documented, the collection, through another parish affiliation, would come to the attention of the Bristol, England based MarbleMen productions, consisting of the highly cultivated London-born Nikkos J. Frangos and his cousin and mentor George T. Lemos, the heirs to Greek shipping magnates, with Nikkos having been raised in the Belgravia, London townhouse of Lord Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh–which is now a London landmark.
Larry would come to call Mr. Frangos a "Renaissance Man," owing to his astonishing life as a globe-trotting adventurer, actor, poet, painter, designer, athlete, race-car enthusiast and innovative entrepreneur, and likewise label Mr. Lemos as an "Artist-Soul." In a meeting in Manhattan in January of 2014, Mr. Frangos would label the collection as having truly held "the collected wisdom" for the greater world. Thus inspired, and aware that the centenary year of the Pulitzer Prizes was fast approaching, his MarbleMen productions would put up the necessary capital to executive produce the documentary The Pulitzer at 100, which would be directed and produced by Oscar and Emmy-winner Kirk Smon, in conjunction with his brother Chevalier Ron Simon, the longtime television curator of Manhattan's Paley Center for Media, whom Larry had known since he had first published his television chronicles in the late 1970s.
First screened theatrically in Manhattan in 2017, and later released nationally via the STARZ cable network, The Pulitzer at 100, featuring readings and interviews with several Pulitzer Prize laureates, and such Hollywood Oscar winners as Dame Helen Mirren, Natalie Portman, and celebrated director Martin Scorsese, remains the only feature-length documentary on the centenary celebration of America's most esteemed literary honor. Its website, which also notes the books of The Gianakos-Safos Collection, is at www.thepulitzerat100.com
In 2015, Larry had the honor to present a testimonial to veteran actress Peggy McCay, affiliated with the short-lived regional Curtain Calls, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. Peggy had assembled others of her regular cast from Days of Our Lives, including the also Curtain Calls affiliated Joseph Mascolo, and John Aniston, the Cretan-born veteran actor who had long portrayed Victor Kiriakis, the Greek entrepreneur who was the former love interest with Peggy's character Caroline Brady, and who is better known these days as the father of the Hollywood Alister Jennifer Aniston. Larry would hear from the current also veteran actress wife, Sherry Rooney, of Mr. Aniston himself, of just how much the Greek Orthodox parish of Saint Nicholas in Los Angeles had already much missed the Warren Saint Demetrios parish's very own Father Constantine Valantasis.
For the centenary commemorative of his indigenous parish, Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, celebrated on October 29, 2022 (the parish is in fact more than one hundred-and-two years old, as it was formally chartered on May 5, 1920; the commemorative having been forestalled as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic), held at a gala on the grounds of its Hellenic Community Center Larry would update his published "The Strength They Left Behind: Seventy Years of the Community of Warren Saint Demetrios" (New York: Hellenic Printing, 1987; and prepare also a twenty-two minute video retrospective. These culminated many other works documenting the parish, including comprehensive marriage and baptismal records, community directories, and other related documentaries including one upon the near fifty-year history with the parish by Father Dennis Michelis, and A Journey Home, on the early life and times of His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, the first American born Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, who was, significantly enough, born in Warren, Ohio on September 24, 1944.
In more recent years, Larry was designated an "Emissary of Light" for The Alavina Foundation, established in Miami, Florida as a national nonprofit in 2018 by Cintia Calevoso, Esquire, and her husband Ignacio Aguirre, well established innovative entrepreneurs and artists, "committed to advancing and promoting art, spirituality and science." More recently still, Larry has been a co-founder of "The Alexandrian Academy," alongside of Dr. David Spangler, an internationally celebrated composer, lyricist, educator and raconteur, founder of the Lund, Sweden based Lovewell School for the Creative Arts, and whose most recent musical effort, Hard Road to Heaven is in preparation for the Broadway stage; and with retired Navy officer, visionary entrepreneur and novelist William Shoemaker, a national nonprofit seeking to advance the homoiousian themes of global enculturation of Alexander the Great himself in the modern world.
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