In 2007 Television Week Magazine named Sam Haskell, III “One of the 25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television of the Last 25 Years,” an honor he shared with Ted Turner, Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Walter Cronkite and other television legends. Haskell earned his ranking among the industry’s best through his 27-year career at the renowned William Morris Agency where he was one of the most powerful agents and dealmakers in the business.
Originally from Amory, Mississippi (population 7000) and a 1977 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Haskell’s career began in the Fall of 1978 when he moved to Los Angeles and fought his way into the renowned William Morris Agency mailroom, about which David Rensin wrote extensively in his 2003 bestseller “The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up”. By May 1980, Haskell was promoted to agent in the TV Variety Department where he packaged specials starring Lily Tomlin, Lynda Carter, Debbie Allen, David Frost and Diana Ross. In 1990, he became the Agency’s youngest Senior Vice-President, and in 1994, was elevated to the position of West Coast Head of Television. In 1997 he was named Executive Vice President and a member of the WMA Board of Directors, and, in 1999, he was appointed to the esteemed position of Worldwide Head of Television. Haskell oversaw the “packaging” of all agency-represented network projects, including such mega-hits as “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “Mad About You”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Lost”, “Murphy Brown”, “Sisters”, “Suddenly Susan”, “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee”, “Diagnosis Murder”, “King of Queens”, “Las Vegas” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, among many others.
Prior to Haskell’s retirement from WMA in 2005, his clients included: Kathie Lee Gifford, Ray Romano, Whoopi Goldberg, Debbie Allen, Delta Burke, Dolly Parton, George Clooney, Sela Ward, Marilu Henner, Martin Short, Kirstie Alley, Tony Danza, Sean Hayes, Michael Feinstein, Emily Procter, Lily Tomlin, Marilyn McCoo, Joan Van Ark, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Swoosie Kurtz, Lucie Arnaz and His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Widely known as “the nice guy in Hollywood,” Haskell is revered for rising to the top of a turbulent and often conscienceless business with his character, integrity and value-system intact. His reputation for honesty, integrity, loyalty and fairness made him a consistent force in a sea of inconsistency and someone with whom actors, writers, directors and other industry professionals were eager to work. He is equally well-known for his far-reaching philanthropic endeavors, notably serving as executive producer of “Mississippi Rising”, a three-hour, MSNBC special hosted by Morgan Freeman which raised over $30 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As Chairman of the Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation founded in his mother’s memory, Mr. Haskell’s biennial “Stars Over Mississippi” benefit concerts in Amory have raised millions of dollars in college scholarship funds for Mississippi youngsters in need of financial assistance to further their education. In addition, Mr. Haskell serves as Chairman and CEO of the Miss America Organization and Executive Producer of the past 6 Miss America Pageant telecasts on ABC. Over the last 15 years Sam and his wife, Mary, have helped to raise over 55 million dollars for charitable causes. Since 2013, Sam has run Magnolia Hill Productions in association with Warner Bros in Los Angeles, where he is developing and producing multiple platform limited series.
Sam is married to his college sweetheart Mary Donnelly Haskell, a former Miss Mississippi. They have two children, Sam IV, and Mary Lane. Sam and Mary’s first grandchild, Samuel Bond Haskell V, was born April 19, 2013.
David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition who received his MD degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine, where he was awarded the Leonard G. Rowntree Research Award. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals including Archives of Neurology, the Journal of Neurosurgery, and The Journal of Applied Nutrition, and is a frequent lecturer at symposia sponsored by such medical institutions as Columbia University, Scripps Institute, New York University, and Harvard University. He serves as Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Dr. Perlmutter has been interviewed on many nationally syndicated television programs, including 20/20, Larry King Live, Fox & Friends, The Today Show, Oprah, The Dr. Oz Show, and The CBS Early Show, and on CNN and Fox News. He is the recipient of the Linus Pauling Award for his innovative approaches to neurological disorders and in addition was awarded the Denham Harman Award for his pioneering work in the application of free radical science to clinical medicine. He is the recipient of the 2006 National Nutritional Foods Association Clinician of the Year Award and was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award from the American College of Nutrition in 2010.
Dr. Perlmutter is the author of seven books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers, now published in 27 countries.
Elena Dunkle spent her teenage years exploring German countryside and considers Germany her second home. She was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at the age of seventeen and has always wanted to shed a light on her experiences with this complicated and misunderstood disorder. Elena, now 26, currently roams across America with her wonderful husband and travel-size Chihuahua, Mimsy. She is the author of ELENA VANISHING: A MEMOIR.
Jodi Miller has been performing Stand Up comedy all over the country for over 16 yrs, and has also done 4 military tours including going overseas to entertain the troops in Afghanistan. She was just on Comics Unleashed, Gotham Live on AXISTV and Season 9 of America’s Got Talent where she received a standing ovation from all four of the judges! She was a reoccurring guest commentator on CNN’s Showbiz Tonight and has also been seen on The Tonight Show, Comedy Central, TRUTV, SyFy, GSN and Playboy Plus.
Jodi was writer on the Cinemax series Co-Ed Confidential and is also the co-author of the WTF Series WTF College, WTF Work & WTF Women SRSLY WTF, WTF America and OMG: GUYS all available in stores and online now.
And just in case you were wondering, yes she has a cat!