LOS ANGELES — Actor Ed Begley Jr. was honored Jan. 10 by the Los Angeles City Council for his longtime commitment to environmental causes.
Begley, who has appeared in dozens of television shows and films, including “St. Elsewhere,” “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind,” was introduced by Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who declared it “Ed Begley Jr. Day” in Los Angeles.
“I first got to know Ed back 20 years ago when I worked for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Ed was on the board,” Blumenfield said. “And I was like, who is this crazy actor guy who comes, literally comes to the meeting in his bike shorts — everybody else is wearing a suit — and he comes in his bike shorts all sweaty to meetings, but then really contributes to things. He’s not just there as an actor-celebrity, he’s someone who really cares about the environment.”
Begley created the web series “On Begley Street” and starred in the HGTV and Planet Green series “Living With Ed,” which both chronicled his family’s efforts to live an environmentally conscious lifestyle in Los Angeles.
He also serves on the board of several charitable organizations, including the Coalition for Clean Air.
Actor Jeff Goldblum and lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also spoke in front of the council about Begley.
“He’s a real hero, thank you for doing this,” Goldblum said.
“He’s a model citizen, activist, thinker, intellectual, talent and father. I’m a new father myself and I model myself, and aspire to be everything — just a thimbleful — of what he is. He would be the true real-life George Bailey from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’”
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, author, activist, media personality whose father who was assassinated in Los Angeles in 1968 while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination, called Begley “my personal hero.”
“He understands that we’re not just protecting the environment for the sake of the fishes and the birds, we’re protecting it for our own sake,” Kennedy said.
Begley spent part of his comments saluting the City Council, which he said has a long record of fighting air and water pollution.
“Don’t give up the fight. We will hold the line with some of the problems that we are seeing nationally and globally,” he said. “You’ve been doing it for decades and decades, the air is cleaner not dirtier from 1970. Keep it up, I’m proud to be with you.”