Renowned Broadcaster Johnny Holliday to be awarded the Mendez Award at the Maryland International Film Festival in Hagerstown, Maryland on Thursday March 21, 2024

March 15, 2024

Renowned Broadcaster Johnny Holliday to be awarded the Mendez Award at the Maryland International Film Festival in Hagerstown, Maryland on Thursday March 21, 2024

(Hagerstown, MD March 15, 2024) – One of the most influential broadcasters in the United States, and the renowned “Voice of Maryland Sports,” Johnny Holliday will be awarded the prestigious Mendez Award on March 21st.  The award will be presented at the opening night event at the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Event Center.

Film Festival Board of Directors President Nicole Houser said, “The Mendez Award is awarded to someone who has succeeded and made a positive impact in the Television, Film, and Broadcast Industries, or has supported film and television and has given back to the community. Johnny Holliday is a legend in television and radio broadcasting and is an extremely well-known and appreciated broadcasting professional. He gives back to the community in numerous ways and is also being recognized for his support of the Arts, and for his support of high-quality sports broadcasting.”

Johnny Holliday is Maryland and Washington D.C.’s most versatile broadcaster. For more than 50 years his face and voice have been one of the most familiar in the Baltimore-Washington Metro Region. He has made hundreds of commercials and narrations to his credit. Now in his 45th year as play by play voice of the University of Maryland, Johnny has broadcast more than 1,650 Terp’s football and basketball games, including 18 bowl games, 12 sweet sixteen’s, 2 final fours and Maryland’s national championship win over Indiana in 2002. He also handled play by play duties for George Washington University basketball, Navy football, ACC women’s basketball on TV, the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and National Gymnastics events for television as well as Radio and TV coverage of the Washington Bullets. Dick Vitale named Johnny one of his Top 15 play by play voices in the nation. 

For 12 seasons Johnny hosted the Washington Nationals pre and post game shows on MASN. He previously hosted the Washington Senators pregame show on radio with Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams.

Johnny Holliday’s sports reports were heard for decades, coast to coast on the ABC Radio Network. His credits include ABC’s coverage of the Winter and Summer Olympics, championship boxing, the USFL with Hall of Famer Paul Hornung, The Masters, as well as Television coverage of the Liberty Bowl and the Crosby celebrity golf tournament. Johnny Holliday hosts the Maryland Football and Basketball coaches shows on radio. Holliday was also the public address announcer for the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Warriors and the Washington Bullets.

Prior to coming to Washington in 1969, Johnny was the top-rated radio personality in Cleveland, New YorkCity and in San Francisco where he was named America’s number One Disc Jockey. In 2003 he was inducted into the radio Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He is listed among Cleveland’s all time Top 100 air personalities. Samples of his work as a disc jockey are heard in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

His network credits include announcing duties for NBC’s Hullabaloo and The Roger Miller show, ABC’s This Week with David Brinkley and This Week with Sam and Cokie, along with ABC Radio’s Sam Donaldson show. Johnny was also seen on the CBS TV series Good Morning World. On PBS, Johnny was heard as the narrator for the Jackie Evanco, Chubby Checker, and Hullabaloo My Music specials.

Off the air Johnny has been seen on stage in leading roles in such productions as Finian’s Rainbow, Carnival, Bye Bye Birdie. How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Same Time Next Year, The Odd Couple, Follies, Company, Music Man, The Apple Tree, 42nd Street, and Me and My Girl, for which he was nominated for a Helen Hayes award for Best Actor in a Washington musical.

Despite his busy schedule, Johnny still finds time to participate in a variety of charitable activities including Catholic Charities, Special Olympic’s, Georgetown Visitation, The Patricia Sullivan Benefit Dinner and the Catholic Youth Organization. He hosts his own celebrity golf tournament to benefit The Youth Leadership Foundation which has raised over 2-million dollars for scholarships for kids to attend high school and college. His basketball and softball teams have also raised over 

1-Million dollars for charity. Johnny has served as Television host for Muscular Dystrophy, Leukemia, Cerebral Palsy, Children’s Hospital, March of Dimes and Eastern Seals telethons.

Honors and awards bestowed upon Johnny include “Washingtonian of the Year,” The Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame, the North Miami high school Athletic Hall of Fame, The University of Maryland’s Distinguished Citizen award, and the Touchdown Club’s “Timmie” award for outstanding achievement in Sports Broadcasting. He also has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The All-American Football Foundation, the 2005 Lindsay Nelson Outstanding Sportscaster Award, the 2006 Chris Schenkel award from the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Smile award from Operation Smile for outstanding service to the community. In 2011 the ACC recognized Johnny with the Skeeter Francis award for special service to the conference. Additionally, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized Johnny with its Gold Circle Award.

Holliday is a member of the Washington DC Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame and has been named one of Washington’s Football legends. He is a three-time winner of the Maryland Sportscaster of the year award, and the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters awarded Johnny its Broadcast Legacy Award. He is also a member of the Montgomery County sports Hall of Fame.

In 2006 The Catholic Youth Organization named Johnny it’s National Person of The Year, while the Diabetes Association named Johnny it’s Father of the year.  Johnny was awarded the 2020 Woody Durham voice of college sports award. In 2007 The Ed Block Courage award foundation inducted Johnny into the Baltimore Sports Media Hall of Fame. Johnny has also been named One of 60 influential Marylanders by The Daily Record. In 2022 he was elected to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.

In 2002 Johnny released his autobiography “From Rock to Jock” which he co-wrote with Stephen Moore. Both it and his latest offering “Hoop Tales, Maryland Terrapins Men’s Basketball, Great Moments in Team History,” can be found in bookstores and on Amazon. 

Johnny and his wife, Mary Clare, are the proud parents of three daughters, Kellie, Tracie, and Moira. The couple has three son-in-laws, Steve, Chris, and Bob; seven grandsons, JT, Devin, Anthony, Christopher, Nicholas, Jack and Liam and four grand daughter’s, Maggie, Clare, Bridie and Holly. The Holliday’s also have two great-grandchildren, Waylon and Bella.

“Johnny Holliday has been a fixture on television, on radio, and on stage. I remember his voice very well on ABC’s Information Network when I worked full-time in radio. He is one of Maryland’s most recognized people, and is a legend in broadcasting,” said Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown co-founder Tom Riford. “Johnny Holliday has made a real difference in Maryland, in both promoting the entire state, and also shining attention on the good things about our state.” Riford also praised Holliday’s kindness, and dedication to helping nonprofit organizations.

The first official Mendez Award was named for and was awarded in 2013 to Antonio "Tony" Mendez, CIA Master of Disguise, Founder of the Spy Museum, and Award-Winning Author and Painter. The award was given one month after “ARGO” won the Best Picture Academy Award.

Other award recipients have included: in 2014, Joe Carnahan, Film Director and Producer, known as one of the most prolific filmmakers in Hollywood, and for his ongoing support of MIFF-H as the volunteer Creative Director.

In 2015, Nora Roberts, Author and Entrepreneur, known as the world's most famous Romance Writer, best-selling author, and contributor for Washington County's economic development and tourism. Many of her books have been turned into films and television movies.

In 2016, then-Frederick County Councilman Billy Shreve, known for his advocacy in supporting film in Maryland, and for being the driving force behind Classmates4Life (an anti-drug film festival for all school students in Frederick County, beginning a state-wide pilot program). The contest received national recognition for its public awareness campaign.

In 2017, Kerry Cahill, award-winning actress from AMC’s The Walking Dead. Cahill was also a supporting actress in the Oscar nominated film Mudbound (2017). She was also recognized for her work with veterans’ organizations.

In 2018, Amir Arison, an award-winning actor, from NBC's The Blacklist. Arison was recognized for his ongoing support for Arts nonprofits, and for his work supporting treatment and help for people with mental illness and his passion for helping animal rescue and animal adoption.

In 2019, then-Maryland Governor Larry Hogan was recognized for his leadership in assisting the film industry in Maryland. Governor Hogan was also recognized for his efforts in supporting the Historic Maryland Theatre expansion, the expansion of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, and the expansion of the University System of Maryland Hagerstown. He signed into law the Maryland Film Incentive Program, which helps independent filmmaking, and provides increased tax incentives for the film industry. While being a national leader during the Covid Pandemic, Governor Larry Hogan is a humanitarian, and additionally has helped many non-profit organizations.

Barry Ratcliffe, who received the award in 2021, was recognized for his work in film and television, and for his considerable nonprofit work. He is known as “Hollywood’s Auctioneer,” and has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is active in community drama and arts, volunteering to teach classes and does motivational talks. He is very active in drug-free programs and has been a national social issue spokesperson.

In 2022, Hollywood actress Ann Mahoney was recognized for her contributions to filmmaking and television, and for her women’s rights advocacy. She additionally was recognized for her work as a university professor of drama and acting.

The Mendez Award in 2023 was presented to Stephen Schupak, Maryland Public Television’s statewide network’s executive vice president and station manager. During his 20-plus year tenure at MPT, the network earned several television industry honors for productions including Star-Spangled Spectacular: The Bicentennial of our National Anthem and its long-running series MotorWeek, plus the two-part documentary Music of Ireland, Potomac by Air, annual Chesapeake Bay Week® programming, and popular weekly series Maryland Farm & Harvest. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter inducted Schupak into its prestigious Silver Circle in 2020. Additionally, Schupak was honored for his community support and involvement in numerous issues. 

For more information about the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown, see:

The non-profit Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown partners with several local

organizations, businesses, and individuals. The major sponsors include: the City of Hagerstown,

Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Washington County

Government (Office of Grant Management), Washington County Arts Council, Nora Roberts

Foundation, Ed Lough and Northwestern Insurance, University System of Maryland

Hagerstown, Bulls and Bears, RSK Productions, Inc., and Tom Riford.

Maryland International Film Festival All Rights Reserved