The Hollywood stars were the guests of honour as a series of letters, interviews and speeches by TV network boss Tartikoff, who died in 1997, were posthumously accepted into the University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Cinematic Arts catalogue.
Star Wars creator Lucas, who had pushed for the film school to obtain the papers, declared himself a “big fan” of Tartikoff, and added: “He let people do their job. There are lots of executives and lawyers in the business who think they understand the creative process. And they don’t. Brandon was someone who enjoyed watching others be creative and he let them get on with their work.”
Danson noted that Tartikoff gave him “everything in his career” – from putting hit U.S. comedy Cheers on the air to meeting his now-wife Mary Steenburgen.
He told the audience, “She took a second look at me because I was on it (Cheers).”
Music mogul Quincy Jones also spoke at the ceremony.