Strawberry Festival sure to be star-studded event


Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-nominated actress Sally Kellerman has been named Celebrity Grand Marshal of the 57th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival parade. 

The festival will be held Memorial Day Weekend Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25.  

Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-nominated actress Sally Kellerman has been named Celebrity Grand Marshal of the 57th annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival parade. 

The festival will be held Memorial Day Weekend Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25.  

Since the festival’s 2015 theme is “Honoring Our Returning Veterans,” Lt. Col. Patricia Murray was chosen as the Theme Grand Marshal.  A former Miss California, Lt. Col. Murray is an instructor pilot for the California Air National Guard in the 115th Airlift Squadron. She has flown six tours of duty in the Middle East, has earned five flying Air Medals and was named the 2010 California Air National Guard Field Grade Officer of the Year.

In addition, 15 TV and film stars will be joining them in the Saturday, May 23 parade at 10 a.m. They are Jacob Hopkins (The Goldbergs, Gumballs), Ava Kolker (Girl Meets World), Jaida-Iman Benjamin (Liv and Maddie), Santana Dempsey (The Newsroom), Gregg Daniel (True Blood, Spiderman 3), Emily Robinson (Transparent), Julie Adams (Creature from the Black Lagoon), Erin Murphy (Bewitched), Forrest Wheeler (Fresh Off the Boat), Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat), Kate Linder (The Young & The Restless),  Vera Jimenez (KTLA News Ch. 5), Ms. America Dr. Stephanie Mills, Asia Monet Ray (Dance Moms) and Knott’s Berry Farms’ Snoopy.

Sally Kellerman’s acting career spans nearly 60 years. She’ll forever be identified with her role as "Hot Lips" Houlihan in Robert Altman's original film version of “M*A*S*H,” which earned her both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.  She was just nominated for an Emmy for her guest appearances this season on “The Young and the Restless.” Kellerman has been seen in more than 50 films and countless TV shows, including the original pilot episode of “Star Trek.” She has a recurring role on Marc Maron’s IFC comedy series “Maron.”  Also an accomplished singer, she has a new CD entitled “Sally,” and her memoir “Read My Lips” is currently in bookstores.

Lt. Col. Patricia Murray has a master’s degree in Military Science and Operational Art. She earned her B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University and used her scholarship funds as Miss California 1992 to pursue a career in commercial aviation.  She was recruited by the California Air National Guard to fly the C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft and was awarded the top honor of the Commanders Trophy at military pilot training graduation and was inducted into the Order of Daedalians, a WWII flying organization.

Murray is currently a director on the Disabled Veterans Charities board that helps disabled and struggling veterans in the Los Angeles Area.  She has flown 15 years as a pilot for American Airlines.

Vera Jimenez, a meteorologist and traffic reporter for KTLA 5 News at 6 and at 10, has earned two Emmys, three Golden Mikes and three Golden Pylons awards. 

She was born in Mexico and moved to Southern California when she was 3. Most of her family still lives in Garden Grove where she attended Bolsa Grande High School. She graduated with honors from Cal State Long Beach and started her career in broadcasting, working at radio stations KIK-FM and KFWB-AM. She says her best learning experience came while at KNX-AM, where she was an airborne traffic reporter. Vera eventually moved to TV — first for KABC-TV and then for KCBS-TV. While there she went back to school and in 2009 earned a certificate in meteorology from Mississippi State. 

Julie Adams has appeared in 50 films and hundreds of television episodes.  On the stage, she has starred in over a dozen plays and won a 1989 Drama-Logue Award for her portrayal of Mary Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night.  In 1999 Adams won a Golden Boot Award for her work in Westerns, and was honored with a Film Career Achievement Award from Cinecon in 2011. 

That year she also completed her award-winning autobiography, The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections from the Black Lagoon.  Last year marked the 60th Anniversary of Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon.  She still has millions of fans all over the world who adore her portrayal of Kay Lawrence, the lovely bathing beauty in this sci-fi classic.  In 2013 she was recognized by the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for her six decades of contributions to the Los Angeles film industry. 

Erin Murphy began her career while still in diapers.  One of her first jobs was a detergent commercial with future President Ronald Reagan.  Before her second birthday, ABC cast her as little witch Tabitha Stephens on the top 10 rated sitcom, Bewitched.

Magazine covers, television appearances, comic books, dolls and paper dolls in her likeness soon followed.  After eight seasons, 23 Emmy nominations, and 254 episodes, Bewitched ended without cancellation. Both Entertainment Weekly and the TV Guide named Bewitched one of the Greatest TV Shows of All Time. 

In Salem, Murphy unveiled a Bewitched statue for the TV Land Landmarks series. TV Week Magazine in Australia named Murphy number three on their list of top 10 TV kids of all time. In Japan she is still mobbed by fans who know her as “Tabitha-san.” 

As an adult, Murphy works as an acting teacher, television producer, casting director, makeup artist, motivational speaker and even a stunt double.  She has made numerous guest appearances on TV shows and has been featured in many popular publications. Heavily involved in community and charity work, Murphy is the proud mother to six boys and wife to husband Darren (yes, that’s really his name!).

Forrest Wheeler loves appearing in his new role as Emery, the cool younger brother of Eddie Huang, on the new ABC primetime TV series Fresh Off the Boat. In just a few years, he developed a thriving career working on numerous commercials, live performances, voice-overs and TV Shows including Community, "New Girl" and Chasing Life. His first job on the big screen was in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. He’s had roles as the young Kuai-Liang in Mortal Kombat: Legacy II and recently in the movie Such Good People. He speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

It was almost 33 years ago when Kate Linder got the role of Esther Valentine and delivered her line, Dinner is served, on The Young and the Restless in April 1982.  She was asked back the next day and the next.  Now she remains a key member of the top-rated daytime drama’s cast.  Still the realist, however, she continues to fly the friendly skies of United on weekends as a flight attendant while simultaneously appearing on the soap opera. 

In 2005, Linder was elected to two terms as Governor of Daytime Programming Peer Group for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences who put on the Emmy Awards.  On April 10, 2008, Linder received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Prior to playing Evan Huang on ABC’s hit comedy, Fresh Off the Boat, 9-year-old Ian Chen guest-starred in a dramatic role on “Grey’s Anatomy.”  Ian began his acting career after booking his first commercial at age five.  He loves being on set to learn about all aspects of the film process.  Ian wants to be an airline pilot when he grows up.  He and his younger brother, Max, who also does some acting, speak fluently in English and Mandarin.

At the age of 13 Jacob Hopkins’ versatility and talent has brought him acting success. He is currently the voice of Gumball Watterson in Cartoon Network’s hit animated series, The Amazing World of Gumball.  He also has a recurring role as Chad Kremp on ABC’s hit series, The Goldbergs.  Hopkins was also seen in the fifth season of the HBO series, True Blood as the youngest looking vampire, Alexander Drew.  He has guest starred on many TV shows, acted in short films, playing an autistic boy in Sunchld, and  has appeared in several national commercials, web series, and print campaigns. An accomplished martial artist, he currently holds a black belt in Taekwondo. 

Jaida-Iman Benjamin is a young American actress who has guest-starred on Disney's Liv & Maddie and Austin & Ally, TNT's Southland and Nat Geo Wild. Currently, she is a Disney Channel Movie Surfer. Before coming to Los Angeles, she appeared as July in the National Broadway tour of Annie and has done several music videos and national commercials. 

At age 12, Benjamin began working as a professional dancer for the Knicks City Kid hip-hop dance group, performing at NBA ALL-Star games including the Knicks half time games in Madison Square Garden. As a member of the prestigious group called The Broadway Kids she entertained hundreds of high-profile guests at the Kennedy Center in support of The Children's Defense Fund.

The versatile Santana Dempsey is an actress, writer, and mixed race advocate. She played one of the leads in the Lifetime movie Megachurch Murder. She also co-starred in the third season of HBO’s hit drama The Newsroom and Direct TV's new drama, Kingdom. Her other credits include: French Dirty (set to premiere at the 2015 LA Film Festival), Evolve, English Vinglish and Courtside. A University of Missouri alumnus, Santana, an accomplished stage performer, wrote and stars in the critically acclaimed one-woman show, The Other Box coming to LA this November. She is an ambassador for the non-profit Mixed Roots Foundation, helping bring awareness to those touched by adoption, and is now working on an art project Somewhere In Between that celebrates identity and diversity.

Actor/Director Gregg Daniel stars in HBO’s Emmy-winning series True Blood as Reverend Daniels.  With over 100 credits in film and television, Gregg’s roles span from comedy (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Weeds) to drama (The West Wing, Castle, Desperate Housewives) to children’s shows (Austin & Ally, Kickin’ It). Big screen credits include Spiderman 3, Hancock, Mars Attacks, Evan Almighty, Pump Up The Volume, and White Men Can’t Jump.  

Gregg is the artistic director of the Los Angeles-based Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble, and his show Elmina’s Kitchen was nominated for both the 2013 NAACP Image and Best Ensemble Award. A trained theatre actor, Gregg stars as Lord Montague in Shakespeare Center of L.A.’s production of Romeo & Juliet this summer. Previous stage credits include The Mark Taper Forum (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), the Pasadena Playhouse (Jitney), and South Coast Repertory (Fences, Death of a Salesman, A Christmas Carol).

Emily Robinson began her career modeling with Ford Models at age 6; she expanded into television/radio work at age 7. Television credits include Rizzoli & Isles (TNT), Criminal Minds (CBS), Transparent (Amazon), Scorpion (CBS), A.N.T. Farm, (Disney), The Following (FOX), CSI:NY (CBS), Person of Interest (CBS), Saturday Night Live (NBC), and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC). 

Robinson also appeared in Betty White's special Betty White Goes Wild (Nat Geo Wild), and recently filmed the movie Broken Vows, starring Wes Bentley and Jaimie Alexander. She also volunteers with Broadway Kids Care, UCLA Medical Center, and GenerationOn.

As Ms. America 2014-2015, Dr. Stephanie Mills is promoting her personal platform Making an Impact: Concussion Awareness during her year of service.  Her daughter Brooke suffered a devastating head trauma during her freshman year of high school.  Brooke’s injury and journey back to health inspired Mills' platform. Partnering with the Brain Injury Association of America, Mills hosted a fundraiser, recorded PSAs and lectured extensively on Concussion Awareness. 

Last December, Mills brought chiropractic care to impoverished communities and orphanages in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She is the host of the weekly radio show Half Hour to Health on 107.7FM and is Clinic Director of Crossroads Chiropractic in New Hampshire. 

At only 9 years old, Asia Monet Ray has a standout role on Season 3 of the hit series Dance Moms. She can also be seen on her own show Raising Asia on Lifetime. She’ll be in the upcoming indie film Sister Code with Amber Rose, slated to hit theaters on May 8. Her many fans can enjoy Asia’s musical talent with her debut LP Asia Monet and her Christmas single Christmas Time.

Two DJ’s from K-Wave Radio, Cathi Parrish and Norm McBride, will also be in the parade, along with Miss Garden Grove Shannon Galipault and Miss Garden Grove Outstanding Teen Josie Pearce.