Irma P. Hall Day June 4 brought out some 200 fans of the actress in celebration of her birthday and honorary street dedication at 95th and Halsted.
Entertainment attorney Randy Crumpton chaired the event (honoring the actress was his idea) and Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster was the witty MC.
Among the 10 speakers paying tribute were SAG/AFTRA’s Eileen Willenborg; Harrise Davidson, Hall’s long time manager; actor Harry Lennix; CFO director Rich Moskal; comedian/actor Carl Wright; singer-actress Mary Randl, who moved back to Chicago from L.A. (she stars in “The Lion King” here) and Dr. Billy Hawkins, president of Texas College where Hall received her degree in education.
Two of the guests flew in from L.A. especially for the occasion. Co-directors Tamika Miller and Adisa Mepra are making a doc of Hall’s rich life. They earlier produced “A Gift for the Living” that frequently airs on premium cable.
Although Hall was tired?remember, she’d been in a near-fatal accident in January 2004?she signed autographs for a long line of fans for hours after the ceremony and reception.
Generously contributing to the event were Tom Hanks, Hall’s co-star in “The Ladykillers,” and Vivica A. Fox co-star of “Soul Food,” in which Hall was (and will always be) “Big Mama.”