by Marilyn Beck, Stacy Jenel Smith and Stephanie DuBois
John Stamos - "ER"
"I'd like to be able thank some of the older guys like Don Rickles and the Rat Pack for being such great mentors to me. Don Rickles is one of my best friends, one of the great living geniuses, a legend. I learned so much from him and the other guys in show business who gave so much to the audience. Not like today when comics come on and get off fast."
Swoosie Kurtz - "Pushing Daisies"
"I'm thankful for all the amazing people in this world who give time and energy helping children who are abused and neglected to feel loved and wanted. I salute them and I thank them."
George Lopez - "The George Lopez Show," now in repeats on Nickelodeon:
"I do have to thank my wife, obviously," says Lopez, whose spouse, Ann gave him one of her kidneys thus restoring the comic to health. "I'd like to thank those guys that I admired, like Cheech Marin and Lee Trevino - you know I'm a devoted golfer - who gave me so much inspiration and made things look possible before I even got started in this business. To now be fortunate enough to actually know them and hang my affection around them is something I'm very thankful for."
Ellen Burstyn - "Oprah Winfrey Presents Mitch Album's For One More Day," ABC Dec. 9
"I'll always thank Lee Strasberg. He was such an incredible, probably the most important, influence on my life."
Holland Taylor - "Two and a Half Men"
I could speak of a lot of people on the personal level, but outside of that, it didn't take much thinking to answer this. I thought of who has changed my life and changed the quality of life in our country - and that is Oprah Winfrey. In 20 years the world will be different because of her. She knows education is how the world will change, not politics. It's a shame, what's happened because of a criminal individual," she says, referring to the dorm matron accused of sexually abusing students at Winfrey's beloved Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. "But her schools will change Africa. She's such a staple in our lives in America now. I can tell you if you call a lot of the high-powered people in the industry in the afternoon, you'll hear her show in the background. She continues informing us about life from every possible angle - her interests are everyman's interests. Her celebrity shows, where she'll devote an hour to one person, are so much more meaningful than other shows that have interviews with stars. And then she'll dare to do something everyone's wondered about but no one has had the nerve to approach, like when she had Dr. (Mehmet) Oz on, talking about what your poop should look like." Taylor has met her hero but doesn't know her. "I wish I knew her. I wish she was my girlfriend and then we could sit and chew the fat. That's how everyone feels about Oprah."
"Hairspray" star Nikki Blonsky -- who stars in the Lifetime Original Movie "Queen Sized" that premieres January 12.
"I'd like to thank God for another year with my wonderful family and for starting off the career I've always wanted."
Jane Seymour - "Dancing With the Stars"
"My special thanks this year is to a very large group. I know the names of a few dozen of these and will never know the names of many thousands -- the devoted people who kept Tony (partner Tony Dovolani ) and me on "Dancing With The Stars" competition so very long. The people involved with show, from producers to my fellow competitors to the support staff, already know what they've meant in my life because I've told them. But the people all over the country who appreciated what I worked so hard to achieve and who took the time to cast their votes, I thank them for every week for the gift of dance that they enabled me to enjoy. I hope I rewarded some of them by showing that being a few decades older doesn't keep you from doing better than your best or from trying new things and taking risks."
Mekhi Phifer - "ER"
"I've had so many people that have been influential in my life I don't have one particular person to thank. But I'd like to thank all the people who are really becoming conscious about the earth and the whole Green aspect. I really commend everyone for putting a good foot forward around that."
Alex Wolff - teen heartthrob and co-star of Nickelodeon's "The Naked Brothers Band."
"I wanna thank all the people that give money to the homeless."
Nat Wolff - teen heartthrob and co-star of Nickelodeon's "The Naked Brothers Band."
"I would like to thank all those people who randomly smile while walking down the street. It always makes me smile!"
Polly Draper -- Mom of Nat and Alex and "The Naked Brothers Band" creator/exec producer/writer, former 'thirtysomething' star
"I would like to thank all people involved with Habitat for Humanity. The organization is so meaningful because of each individual person involved."
Mario Lopez - "Extra," "Dancing With the Stars," etc.
"I'd thank my drama coach and my wrestling coach -- Danny Mora and Bill Virches. They each had a great influence in my life, and still do. I definitely stay in touch."
Genie Francis -- Hallmark Channel's Dec. 8 "The Note" movie, former "General Hospital" teen sweetheart
"Barbara Bass -- she was my studio teacher when I was a young woman, a nice Jewish mother. I spent three hours a day with her. She was one of the only people who was capable of not losing sight of who I was. Just about everybody else seemed to let that slip by in the midst of the fame. She had an ability to separate me from that, to see just me, to take care of me as if I was her own daughter. She was there for all the trials and tribulations. Without her loving guidance, I don't what I would have done. I thought I lived to make money and be a celebrity. She opened my mind to the possibility that I was worthwhile for myself. I was damn lucky to have her."
Kimberley Locke - "American Idol"
"I have great friends I probably don't thank enough. I'm not very close to my family, but thank God, you get to pick your friends, and they can become your family. Nicole I went to high school with, who sings with me on the road sometimes, she's a staple. Nina I went to college with. Polly, who sometimes travels with me. I just reconnected with my friend Sev, from high school, who inspired me so totally because he's as into music as I am. Even my old chorus teacher, James Story - he's just as important in my life now as he was in high school. He calls to check in, give inspiration to me. I've lost a few friends along the way who didn't stand the test of time, but these have. At the end of the day, these are the people who are real, who are going to be there regardless of anything, who show up again and again, people I can count on.
Jerry O'Connell - "Carpoolers"
"I really just thank my parents. That's what's so fun about Thanksgiving is reflecting on how much they've done for me and how grateful I am for them being around."
Laila Ali - Host of The N's upcoming series "The N's Student Body/"Dancing with the Stars" semi-finalist/championship boxer
"This Thanksgiving, I will give thanks all of my fans! So many people came up to me on the street and told me how much they enjoyed my performances on 'Dancing with The Stars.' Their votes took me all the way to the finals, which was great because I had the time of my life! So just in case they don't already know, I would like to let them know that I appreciate their continued support! I hope everyone has a joyful holiday season!"
Nick Lea - "Men in Trees."
"Besides my entire family and friends and dog... I would like to say thank you to 'Men in Trees' creator and exec. Producer Jenny Bicks. Just recently Ms. Bicks handed me an opportunity that I have waited most of my life to fulfill. Ever since I was a boy I have wanted to sing on film. I grew up watching people like Elvis in various films and concerts singing in front of large audiences. After being humiliated by my brothers and sister for being caught in front of the bathroom mirror singing into a hair bush, on a number of occasions, I continued to dream of 'rocking out in front of my many fans' in a concert environment! I watched people like Val Kilmer in The Doors and Mark Wahlberg in Rock Star and projects like Almost Famous, and thought to myself "Man, I so FREAKIN' wish that was me!" A few episodes ago I was given the chance to not only sing with a band on camera but to also write the song that I was to sing! SO GREAT!"
Maria Lark -- "Bridgette Dubois" on "Medium"
"I am thankful for everyone who works on Medium, because without them, I wouldn't be writing to you now. I feel so thankful that I get to work and learn things from great actors like Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber. They play my mother and father on the show. The actors get all the attention, and hey, that includes me, I guess, but it's really the people behind the scenes who make it happen. I really love the crew and that includes the writers and producers."
Sarah Strange - 'Men in Trees'
"I'm grateful to the people of the World Wildlife Fund, for their efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats. Mostly, I'm grateful (as ever) to my dog… he guarantees at least two belly laughs every day."
Jennette McCurdy, 15 -- Nickelodeon's "iCarly" comedy series
"This Thanksgiving, I'd like to thank God. Without him, I wouldn't be where I am now. God has been so generous to me and has given me so many blessings. Thank you, God."
Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are featured in over 100 print publications and other media outlets with cutting edge celebrity news and insider scoop. Have a burning showbiz question?
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