Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen in the Jewel…

The glitz and glamour of Hollywood Makes its way to Belize! Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen set foot in the Jewel…

Ted Danson
Ted Danson

Whether or not you’re fascinated with everything Hollywood, there’s something definitely special and mesmerizing about actually seeing, just a few feet in front of you, a Hollywood Star in flesh and bones, not to mention two of them! Few Belizeans ever get this experience but several hundred were this week able to behold the spectacle of spouses Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen on the occasion of Oceana’s first board meeting in Belize, undoubtedly a result of Vice President of Oceana in Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd’s unfailing, tireless effort to bring all Belizeans on board the “no offshore oil exploration in Belize” bandwagon.

He is the tall, good-looking award-winning actor made famous in the television series Cheers, a sitcom named Becker and now Curb Your Enthusiasm. She is the petite, beautiful and also award-winning actress with a 30-year successful movie career behind her name. But apart from whatever other shared passions that we may not know about, they are both champions of saving the World’s Oceans.

In fact, Danson has a history of environmental activism and helped found American Oceans Campaign which in 2001 became Oceana. With offices in the Americas and Europe, it is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation.

Mary Steenburgen
Mary Steenburgen

In his role as Oceana spokesman, Danson retells that when living in Santa Monica he saw a sign at the beach reading, “Water polluted, no swimming” and had a hard time explaining that to his child. Subsequently, he began questioning a lot of things and that led to his activism to save the Oceans. But he says his wife is the brain behind everything and following the Public Lecture held at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts where Danson had spoken against offshore drilling, and praised Government’s historic decision to ban all bottom trawling in Belizean waters, they made an appearance at a Cocktail where she showed her deep connection to the wonders of the ocean. She was absolutely fascinated with that unique experience of holding a nurse shark in her arms. And just so you understand where we’re going with all this, we have to quote verbatim what she said: “I saw a sea turtle and I saw a damselfish, and I saw a giant manta…[trying to remember name then someone proffers "manta ray" and she continues] no but it was a spotted eagle ray. And it was beautiful. It has the face of an eagle but it’s a ray! It was beautiful and crazy!”

As if she were a marine biologist, she knew the names of so many of the sea life in Shark Ray Alley! We wonder how many of us Belizeans can boast the same and have taken the time to explore and learn about the wonders that we are blessed to have and which we have been entrusted with to protect for all humanity.

Ted Danson, Audrey Shepherd, Sam Waterston
(Left to Right) – Ted Danson, Actor and founding member of Oceana; Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Vice President, Oceana – Belize; Sam Waterston, actor and board member Oceana

During their short appearance at the Cocktail, Danson and Steenburgen did not leave without repeating their appreciation and praise for Belize. Danson earlier said of the ban on bottom trawling: “This is a huge step you’ve taken not only for yourself but for the whole world really, because your reefs end up feeding a vast portion of the rest of the world, so thank you so much and what a pleasure to be here in your beautiful country.” Steenburgen meanwhile said “that world you are working to protect so that your children and your grandchildren will get to see those things that I got to see; so I congratulate you and we’re here to mainly say we admire you for what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. If the rest of the world would do what you’re doing, we’d all be in good shape.”

And with that, they excused themselves with Ted saying “please don’t feel bad about us not staying long ’cause we’re only good for about 5 minutes then we get real boring.”

But Belizeans present were not just about ready to let the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass them by (though Ted and Mary did say they’d return when we come together as a people to request a ban to offshore drilling) and rushed to get the couple’s autograph and pictures that will be posted on Facebook for posterity and shown numerous times to friends and family to say “look at what you missed out on!”

Article written by Marisol Amaya







About KREM
The idea for the KREM Radio station originated in early 1979 while Rufus X and I were visiting New Orleans. There was a New Orleans deejay I liked, by the name of Sister Love, and one day Rufus and his cousin, Sam Wiley, who was our host, showed me the building where the radio station which featured Sister Love was located. It was quite a modest, one flat structure, much smaller than the three story Albert Cattouse Building from where the Belize government monopoly station – Radio Belize – was broadcasting.

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