HOLLYWOOD — Haim Saban, the creator and producer of the “Power Rangers” franchise, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame March 22 for his achievements in television.
“At first I thought this must be a mistake, you know, like an Oscar snafu kind of thing,” Saban joked.
“Take it from this immigrant from Israel, a proud Israeli-American, born in Egypt, a Muslim country: America is great. Not perfect, but great,” Saban said to applause. “And we shouldn’t allow any rhetoric to make us think otherwise, because America is great — period.”
Television personality Simon Cowell, music producer and songwriter David Foster, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among those who joined Saban at the ceremony in front of the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
The ceremony comes two days before the release of the feature film “Saban’s Power Rangers.”
“As a fan of Power Rangers, can we get a little bit excited about the movie?” Garcetti asked the crowd. “I haven’t seen all 831 episodes but it’s a bucket list goal for me. A team of California teenagers with a knack for taking down villains has inspired those of us who grew up as California teenagers to continue to look at the afternoons for something that will inspire us.”
The show debuted on American television in 1993 as “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” on the Fox Kids Network. The series is in its 24th season domestically, now airing on Nickelodeon, making it one of the longest running and most-watched children’s action series in television history. It also spawned one of the top-selling boys action toy lines in the U.S.
Saban is a native of Alexandria, Egypt. He immigrated to Israel when he was 12 years old, attending agricultural school, serving in the Israeli Defense Forces and building a tour promotion business.
Saban moved to France in 1975 where he established an independent record company. He moved to Los Angeles in 1983, starting a chain of recording studios and forming Saban Productions, which would be renamed in 1988 as Saban Entertainment, an international television, production, distribution and merchandising company.
The company produced a string of successful animated television series for children, several based on Marvel Comics characters.
Saban formed Saban Capital Group, which in 2003 led a group of investors that acquired a controlling stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Germany’s largest broadcasting group. SCG sold the group’s controlling stake in the company in 2007 to private equity firms KKR and Permira.
SCG teamed with Apax Partners and Arkin Communications in 2005 to acquire a controlling stake in Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp., Ltd., as part of the government’s privatization of the company.
SCG teamed with a group of investors in 2007 to acquire the Spanish-language media company Univision Communications Inc.
Saban was 660th in the listing of the world’s billionaires released March 20 by Forbes with a net worth of $3 billion.