Thursday, December 6, 2007

Liz Taylor among hall of fame inductees

Liz Taylor among hall of fame inductees

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Moreno, Tiger Woods and Willie Mays are among the new crop of achievers inducted into the California Hall of Fame, which honors the leaders, Taylor canceled because of a fall, but Moreno, Woods and Mays accepted their awards in person Wednesday at the California Museum near the state Capitol.

Woods said he was moved to be able to introduce Mays, who had been an idol of his father.

"Jackie Robinson changed the face of baseball, but Willie Mays changed the way the game was played," Woods said at the ceremony. "He was speed and power. Grace and strength. Guile and athleticism. Excitement and style and cool — all in one package."

Others, including Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier, and John Wayne, were honored posthumously. Robinson's widow, Rachel, accepted the award on his behalf, and Wayne's son Patrick accepted his award.

Some of this year's honorees have only tangential ties to the state. Dr. Jonas Salk, for example, developed his polio vaccine in Pennsylvania, a decade before he founded the Salk Institute in San Diego.

But others played major roles in the state's history. Earl Warren was the only California governor to be elected three times. He later became chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The San Francisco-born Ansel Adams took wilderness photographs of such arresting beauty that they helped move Congress to create national parks in California.

Another honoree, Steve Jobs, played an important role in the creation of Silicon Valley as the co-founder of Apple Inc.

Robert Mondavi, who also got a place in the hall of fame, pioneered winemaking techniques in California and the export of its fine wine.

John Steinbeck and Milton Berle were also honored.

inventors, sports figures and — of course — celebrities who have shaped California.


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