DeKALB – Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Richard Jenkins’ public tour of his hometown wrapped up Tuesday night with a reception and a question-and-answer session at the Egyptian Theatre.
After visiting DeKalb High School, from which he graduated in 1965, and Northern Illinois University earlier in the day, Jenkins was the guest of honor at a reception at the Egyptian preceding the screening of the 2017 film “The Shape of Water,” for which Jenkins was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in the role of Giles. It was his second nomination, his first coming for his performance in the 2007 film “The Visitor.”
At the reception, Egyptian Theatre Executive Director Alex Nerad presented Jenkins and his wife, Sharon Fredrick, with an original wooden armrest from one of the theater seats that was installed in 1929, which included a plaque commemorating the theater’s Richard Jenkins Film Series.
The evening was the culmination of a nine-week film series, each week featuring a movie hand-picked by Jenkins showcasing one of his favorite roles. The film series was sponsored by Lehan Drugs, Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant, Eduardo’s, Pizza Villa, Dan and Kathy Schewe and the DeKalb High School classes of 1965 and ’67.
After the film ended, DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith honored Jenkins, who now lives in Rhode Island, with a key to the city.
“I want to thank Alex for doing this, and all the staff of the Egyptian Theatre,” Jenkins said to applause at the end of a more than 40-minute question-and-answer session. “You have a gem here, it’s a beautiful place.”