HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled today honoring Greg Mathis for his 23 years presiding over his Emmy-winning courtroom program and his philanthropy.
Mathis, 62, told City News Service before the ceremony the star ``represents the crowning achievement in a 23-year television career that has allowed me to entertain, inspire and inform millions of viewers. It also provides an opportunity for my grandchildren and their grandchildren to celebrate my engraving on one of the most famous streets in the world.'' Basketball legend Magic Johnson and singers Smokey Robinson and Johnny Gill preceded Mathis in speaking at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony at 7076 Hollywood Blvd., between Sycamore and La Brea avenues, which was also attended by International Boxing Hall of Fame member Sugar Ray Leonard and Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. The star was the 2,722nd since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.
``Judge Mathis'' is a four-time Daytime Emmy nominee for outstanding legal/courtoom program, winning in 2018. Mathis is known for mixing social commentary, humor and humanity and using the bench to provide resolution and counseling to litigants. Mathis' 23 years as a judge in a courtroom program are the second- most, behind Judith Sheindlin, who spent 25 seasons on ``Judge Judy'' and is in her first season on its spinoff, ``Judy Justice.''
In addition to ``industry excellence,'' philanthropy is another criteria to be honored with a star, said Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. ``Judge Mathis has shown to be a leader in this sector in many ways,'' Martinez said. Mathis opened the Mathis Community Center in Detroit as part of his efforts to reach out to youth and ex-offenders and has assisted thousands of youth with his non-profit organization Young Adults Asserting Themselves, which provides career, business start-up and job opportunities, job training and college enrollment assistance.
Mathis was a gang member in his native Detroit and arrested numerous times. He was released from jail on early probation after his mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. Mathis began working at McDonald's and was admitted to Eastern Michigan University, and he discovered a new interest in politics and public administration. In college, he led campaigns against South Africa's apartheid policies and for voter registration. After graduating he became an assistant to Detroit City Councilman Clyde Cleveland and attended law school at night. Mathis was elected a district court judge in 1995, the youngest in the state.
Mathis will soon be featured in a second series, ``Mathis Family Matters'' which follows him and his wife, Linda as two of their adult children move back to Los Angeles ``to find their way and join the rest of the family,'' according to E!, where the series will premiere June 19.
Eds: UPDATES with ceremony held. Video of the ceremony is available at www.youtube.com. Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce press line is 323-468-1376.