HOLLYWOOD — Entertainment journalist Nancy O’Dell of Entertainment Tonight will be grand marshal of the 87th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, organizers announced Oct. 8.
The parade, which is described as the largest Christmas celebration in America, will take place in Hollywood at 5 p.m. Nov. 25, presented and produced by Associated Television International in association with the city of Los Angeles, according to news release issued by organizers.
The Christmas Parade will be the subject of a two-hour special on The CW Network Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. The telecast will be hosted by Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain and Montel Williams, with special co-hosts Elizabeth Stanton and Garrett Clayton, the news release said. It will also air to more than 1 million American servicemen and women worldwide on American Forces Network.
The event will include live musical performances on two stages. An annual Hollywood tradition, the parade attracts more than 1 million fans each year and features large character balloons and celebrity-filled cars over the 3-mile parade route.
“Emmy Award-winning journalist Nancy O’Dell has proven to be a force in all areas of her career as a host, author, producer and entrepreneur,” the news release said. “One of the country’s most respected and leading entertainment journalists, O’Dell is co-host of the most-watched entertainment news program in the world, three-time Emmy Award-winning Entertainment Tonight.”
With more than 20 years of experience, O’Dell also contributes to “CBS This Morning” and is a go-to anchor for live TV specials. She was a special presenter on the Academy of Country Music Awards, as well as a host of the American Country Music Awards. She hosted the 2016 Grammy Red Carpet Live Special on CBS, as well as the live Emmys, Golden Globes and Critics Choice Red Carpet Special for several years.
O’Dell is also best-selling author of the novel “Full of Love: Mom-to-Mom Advice for Enriching Families with Simple Photo Albums and Scrapbooking.” She has also launched her own photo album line titled The Nancy O’Dell Collection.
The latest books by O’Dell are “Secret Ingredients: Step-by-Step Recipes for Creating Meaningful Gifts” and “Here’s To Fabulous You,” which won the Addy Award.
O’Dell has been honored with three Emmy Awards, three Associated Press Awards and two Society of Professional Journalists Awards and has been nominated for several additional Emmys. In 2012, she was honored in New York Moves Magazine: Power Women issue, as one of the most influential and successful women in her field. The Alliance for Women in Media honored O’Dell in 2013 with the Genii Award for Excellence in Television. Also in 2013, O’Dell was asked to host the National Association of Broadcasters Luncheon.
After the death of her mother in 2008 from complications related to ALS, O’Dell became a national vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and serves as the spokesperson for ALS.net. In August 2009, O’Dell and her family formed a foundation in her mother’s name called Betty’s Battle: Fighting ALS.
In 2002, O’Dell was inducted into the American Red Cross’s National Celebrity Cabinet and remains in that position today. She also serves as an international board member for Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
A native of South Carolina, O’Dell, now 52, is a summa cum laude graduate of Clemson University, finishing in the top 2 percent of her class.
She began her broadcasting career as a reporter and anchor at WPDE-TV in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and later worked as a morning news anchor and crime reporter at WCBD-TV in Charleston, South Carolina. Before joining Access Hollywood, O’Dell was the evening co-anchor and investigative reporter in Miami for NBC’s WTVJ-TV.
In May 2013, during spring commencement ceremonies, Clemson University awarded O’Dell with an honorary doctor of humanities degree.