5 Bronx-born celebs ready to walk the Walk

Singer Tony Orlando

Five artists who were born and reared in the Bronx will come back to the borough as hometown heroes for their induction into the Bronx Walk of Fame during Bronx Week 2009.

The Bronx Walk of Fame, located outside the Bronx County Building at the corner of Grand Concourse and East 161st Street, has seen its share of celebrities inducted since it’s founding in 1997.

This yearmusical composer Charles Fox, hip-hop pioneer GrandWizzard Theodore, actor Judy Reyes from the hit show Scrubs, singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, and 1970s pop-icon Tony Orlando will be inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame in a ceremony held in front of 851 Grand Concourse on Saturday, June 20 at 11 a.m.

“I want to invite everyone to join me for an exciting welcome home and induction ceremony in honor of the new distinguished members of The Bronx Walk of Fame,” Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said.

Charles Fox is a musical composer who has composed original scores to the soundtracks to over 100 motion pictures, as well as the theme songs and other music for such popular television programs as The Love Boat, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Wonder Woman, The Paper Chase and Love American Style, for which he received two Emmy Awards.

Fox also wrote Ready to Take a Chance Again, I Got a Name and Killing Me Softly With His Song, for which he received the Grammy Award for Best Song. In 2004, he was inducted into the songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

Theodore Livingston, a.k.a. GrandWizzard Theodore, is known worldwide for his role in the advancement of turntable manipulation having invented both the “scratch” and the “needle drop” techniques, ushering in the birth of hip-hop in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Theodore was a member of the L Brothers and the Fantastic Five. Theodore has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from International Turntablist Federation and is the 2001 recipient of The Source Magazine’s Pioneer Award.

Singer and songwriter Melissa Manchester was a back-up singer for Bette Midler who went on to establish her own career with the smash hit song Midnight Blue. Manchester wrote songs for Barbara Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Johnny Mathis, Peabo Bryson, and Cleo Lane among others. She recorded the international hit songs Through The Eyes Of Love and Don’t Cry Out Loud, and won a Grammy in 1982. She has most recently starred opposite Kelsey Grammer in the musical Sweeny Todd in Los Angeles.

Judy Reyes, best known for starring as the sassy, no-nonsense nurse Carla Espinosa on the comedy series Scrubs, is also set to star in the Lifetime original move Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story. Scrubs is the ten-time Emmy-nominated comedy series.

Tony Orlando has spent more than 35 years in show business; the singer had hit songs in the 1970s with Knock Three Times, and Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree. Orlando has had his own variety show on television, and stars in both films and on Broadway.

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