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A Night For Heroes

Aired November 26, 2009 - 20:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, it's a night for heroes. We have all got one.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, ACTOR: He reminds me every day to see things for the first time.

KING: Find out who inspires Matthew McConaughey.

TYRA BANKS, HOST, "THE TYRA SHOW": She is the strongest woman that I know.

KING: See who made Tyra Banks what she is today.

MARIAH CAREY, MUSICIAN: I can relate to him. I can relate to him.

KING: And learn the identity of Mariah Carey's inspiration, a night for heroes, a special Thanksgiving edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

On our Thanksgiving special saluting heroes, Mariah Carey joins us.

Did you have a hero when you were growing up?

CAREY: Did I have a hero? Well, I have loved Marilyn Monroe since I was a little girl. My mom was watching one of the tributes to her, and I was like 5 years old.

And I just -- it was "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." And...

KING: With Jane Russell.

CAREY: Yes. And it was the number -- you know, obviously the pink number.

And I was just like, she looks like a doll, like, and she sings so -- I don't know what it was, but I was very drawn to her.


MARILYN MONROE, ACTRESS (singing): Diamonds are a girl's best friend.


CAREY: Then I started getting Norman Mailer books at, like 9, which was clearly inappropriate.


KING: But he was a hero? Great writer.

CAREY: Great writer.

No, I don't know that she was a hero. She inspired me. I don't know that I...

KING: Was your mother a hero?

CAREY: Yes. She got us through everything we needed to get through. So, yes.

KING: Do you have heroes now?

CAREY: I will have to say -- and I know they're going to be like, oh, please -- but, for real, President Obama, Michelle Obama.

KING: Because?

CAREY: Because for him to go from where he came what he came through, just everything. He's just -- I can relate to him. I can relate to him.

KING: What a proud moment that must have been, great moment for you when he -- election night. Where were you?

CAREY: Oh, my goodness. I was -- well, we were at the house, my apartment in New York first.

And then me and my friend Rachel (ph) -- well, whatever -- they're calling her Kiki (ph) backstage, but we're not going to listen. Me and my friend Rachel decided we're going to stay at home because we didn't want to miss the moment.

And then I had to be at the studio. And all the people that sing backup for me and everything like that, my dear friends, and I just were crying, and laughing. And we were just like -- because we never thought it would happen.

KING: One of your signature hit songs is "Hero." And in the lyrics, you say there's a hero within each of us.


CAREY (singing): That a hero lies in you. Oh, lord knows.


KING: Where did the idea come from?

CAREY: How did that idea come to me? I just remember writing it, and feeling like, is this too corny? I don't know. I didn't -- honestly, I always sat there and said, I don't know about this song. And now, over the years, because people have said it meant so much to them, and they lost people in their lives, or, you know, different -- during 9/11 especially, and, you know, everyone from firefighters to police, and then just average people who have gone through stuff, really, I mean, I never expected.

But I did a concert recently. I wasn't going to do it. And I said, you know what, I'll put this in as an encore. And they were all -- like, so many people were crying. And just really it's touching for me.

KING: Well, it's a great song.

CAREY: I love doing it now.

KING: You realize you're a hero to people.

CAREY: Well...

KING: You are.

CAREY: If I am, then you are.


KING: Mariah Carey.

Happy Thanksgiving.

CAREY: Happy Thanksgiving.

KING: We have got an incredible show coming up at the top of the hour honoring the top 10 CNN heroes of the year.

Let's go to Brooke Anderson, who is on the red carpet outside the Kodak Theatre right here in Hollywood, for a preview -- Brooke.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Larry, I am here now with actor Masi Oka, the star of NBC's "Heroes." And he's actually a blue ribbon panelist for CNN's Heroes. He helped whittle down the nominees to the top 10 finalists.

Masi, I know that was a very difficult job. How have these people inspired you?

MASI OKA, ACTOR: It's absolutely amazing.

Each individual -- and it's an individual just leading with their vision and inspiring so many people around them. And just all around the world, people are making such a difference. It's just incredible to know that there are so many people trying to -- that make such a great impact on this world.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. And you're a part of the American Red Cross' National Celebrity Cabinet. What specific initiatives are you involved in, very quickly?

OKA: Right now, just to get out the word out there and make everyone aware that they can definitely make a difference, no matter how, no contribution, how small it is, makes a difference and can save many lives. So, they could go to like Red, and give a gift that could save someone's life.

ANDERSON: Very true.

Masi Oka, thank you so much for helping us out tonight. He was a presenter actually two years ago. Great guy. Thank you. Stay tuned for more LARRY KING LIVE: "A Night For Heroes."


KING: On this Thanksgiving night in which we salute heroes, there is an extraordinary documentary movie. It's out in about. You will see it in some theaters, in come cities, maybe opening in others. It's called "The Cove."

It exposes an annual dolphin slaughter in the town of Taiji in Japan.

Joining us is Ben Stiller, the famed actor, director, producer, and writer. And with him is Richard O'Barry, the former dolphin-trainer- turned-activist. He's featured in this film.

How did you -- Ben, what brought you to this?

BEN STILLER, ACTOR: I just saw the movie at the Nantucket Film Festival this summer, and I was blown away by it. I was just -- I had no idea what was going on over there.

And I didn't know who Ric was. But I went to a screening, and he was there, and my friend Fisher Stevens, who produced the movie. And it was incredible. It was incredible, his story, what he's been doing for the last 30 years. And the movie really put it into a -- it's a great movie, because it's exciting. It's actually funny at times. And then it's also really moving and...

KING: Tragic.

STILLER: And tragic. But it draws you in, as any great movie does. And it tells Ric's story, which is pretty amazing.

KING: Ric -- so, he is your hero. He's my hero.


STILLER: Yes. I mean, I walked out of that screening and I went right up to him and I said, you're amazing. I said, you're my hero, Ric. And he looked at me strangely.


KING: Ric has a book out called "To Free a Dolphin."

So, how did you link into this thing going on in Japan?

RICHARD O'BARRY, AUTHOR, "TO FREE A DOLPHIN": I had heard about it, but I didn't go there until around 2002, something like that, with Earth Island Institute, who I work for. And I saw this happening. And I couldn't believe it. It's so unbelievable. And I have been going back ever since. There's a media blackout, I must tell you, in Japan on all whale and dolphin stories.

KING: You had to sneak in.

O'BARRY: Well, I still sneak in.

KING: Go in, in disguises, right?

O'BARRY: Many disguises, yes.

KING: Can you say briefly about what they do to them?

O'BARRY: Well, they capture them. That's -- they're captured and sent to different dolphinariums around the world. And the ones that are not selected are slaughtered.

STILLER: We saw the movie at the Nantucket Film Festival. And I just told everybody I knew about it. We had a screening in New York.

And there's a guy named Jeffrey Wells who blogs about movies. And he saw the movie and loved it. And he got me in touch with Alejandro Inarritu, a director who was on the jury of the Tokyo Film Festival, and basically said, hey, can you do anything about getting this movie shown there?

And so literally, I just, like, sent an e-mail to him and connected Fisher and him. And Inarritu really did it and got them to show this movie in a place where really that's -- you can preach to the converted, but to like to show it there and for people to see it there has really made a difference. And they have stopped doing it.

It's not happening right now, as long as you're there checking up on them, right?

O'BARRY: Yes. And I will go back as soon as I can.

KING: Oh, I know you will.

In the '60s, by the way, Ric captured and trained dolphins, including Flipper. Now you free them from captivity.

Are you against the SeaWorlds and Seaquariums? Did you not like what they do?

O'BARRY: Well, it's not that generally. I'm not an anarchist, but I probably am a revolutionary. I would like to change our relationship with dolphins. I see no value in dolphins doing stupid dolphin tricks in a concrete tank.

KING: Ben, I have been around them, because I was in Miami for many years.


KING: Dolphins are amazing.

STILLER: They're amazing. And you talk about these dolphinariums. Literally, in the last two or three years -- I have got two young kids -- I have been in Jamaica. I have taken my kids to swim with dolphins, done it in Mexico.

And then you see this movie, and immediately you feel so guilty, and you feel so bad because you realize, OK, I want my kids to have that experience, but not at the expense of the lives of these dolphins and the humane treatment of them. And in the movie, you see how, in this cove, you know, the dolphinariums come to buy the dolphins. And the ones that are not bought are killed. And so, immediately, you think what can I do?

Well, the first thing I can do is not go and support this.


O'BARRY: That's the solution to the problem. Don't buy a ticket. The consumer has all the power.


KING: Are you sorry you trained Flipper?

O'BARRY: No, I don't.

When I saw "The Cove" for the first time at Sundance, I can now look back 50 years, and that makes sense to me. I understand why I was doing that. I wouldn't be talking to you guys. It sort of empowered me in some ways.

STILLER: And, to me, that's one of the amazing things about the movie is you see Ric's story and you see how he started out and his connection with the dolphins that he trained for Flipper. There were -- what, were there five of them?

O'BARRY: There were five, yes.

KING: Yes, five Flippers.

STILLER: And the story of one of them that died in his arms, that really for you was a turning point, right, in terms of...

O'BARRY: Yes. That was on Earth Day 1970, about that time. And I walked away from that industry and never really looked back.

STILLER: And then he committed himself to saving dolphins.

KING: Yes. Well, I have seen the film. It's an extraordinary film. I hope to see it again.

Ben, I think you have -- we have chosen an accurate hero here.

STILLER: Yes, I think he's amazing.

KING: Ric, you're an amazing man.

O'BARRY: Thank you. I hope that your audience will go to this Web site and take action, because they have the power.


Ben Stiller, Richard O'Barry, on this heroes night, what a deserving hero is he.


KING: We're saluting heroes and looking at famous people and who are heroes to them.

Matthew McConaughey is with us, the actor and activist, the founder, by the way, of the J.K. Livin Foundation. We did a special program on that recently.

Who's your hero?

MCCONAUGHEY: Who's my hero?

I have to start with my dad and mom. Pop taught a lot of self- reliance. And they were a couple of outlaws. And they used to say, I love you, but I don't like you.

And it really was a good example for them. They were married three times, divorced twice from each other. So, they were very resilient, you know?

I also -- heroes, growing up, my older brother, Pat, was a hero. And he was 17 and I was 10. He was 7 feet tall. He was James Dean. And everything he did was just iconic.

John Mellencamp sort of shaped my...


MCCONAUGHEY: ... patriotism growing up through high school and middle school.

KING: Really?

MCCONAUGHEY: And then I have got -- Levi, my son, in a way is a hero now, because what he does is he's...

KING: How old is he?

MCCONAUGHEY: He's 15 months.

KING: You've got a 15-month hero?


MCCONAUGHEY: Well, check this out. Here's what they do, though, is he reminds me every day to see things for the first time. And as we grow older, we go into a situation, oh, I know what's going to happen or I expect what's going to happen. And I see him. Every single thing he looks at, it's a magic trick. Every single thing he does, it's the very first time. So, that's a good reminder for me to see things for the first time.

KING: Do you think it's important, Matthew, to have a hero?

MCCONAUGHEY: Yes, I do. I do think it's important. It gives you something to look forward to.

And I know one of the bases -- main basis of being happy, in whatever form that is, is having something to look forward to. So, if you have got something to look forward to, if a sort of bar is set, even if it's not factual -- sometimes, heroes are fictional. But if you can pull it in and relate it in your own life, it gives you incentive.

KING: You could make Batman your hero.

MCCONAUGHEY: Batman could be -- incredible Hulk was a hero of mine.

KING: All right. How about sports heroes, though? And you're a sports fan.

MCCONAUGHEY: Sports heroes.

Well, one of my sports heroes was a running back named John Riggins with the Washington Redskins.


KING: Yes, Kansas.


Well, his -- his -- what I loved about him was, as we call him, the Diesel Named Desire, right, is he would -- his lifetime average was 3.4 yards a carry, all right?

KING: And he earned every one of them.

MCCONAUGHEY: And, if you add it up, real simple, if you run Riggins on first down, 3.4, second down, 6.8, third down, 10.2, which is just enough for a first down.

KING: Yes.


KING: Are heroes born, or do you think they're created by -- you think some people are just born heroes, like a guy like Derek Jeter?

MCCONAUGHEY: No, I wouldn't think so.

I think it has to be circumstances. I mean, I was talking about Levi being a hero. He's more of an inspiration. He's not -- I wouldn't say he's a hero. But born of circumstance -- I think circumstances brings out the hero.

KING: And, finally, was any actor ever a hero to you?

MCCONAUGHEY: Paul Newman was someone I always looked up to for his -- on screen, what he did, and off screen.

KING: Not a bad choice.

MCCONAUGHEY: Very good choice.

Matthew McConaughey, thanks.



KING: Tyra Banks is the host of "The Tyra Show" and is creator and executive producer and host of "America's Next Top Model," which airs Wednesday nights on the CW, and recently launched an online magazine called "Tyra: Beauty Inside and Out."

In this segment, we wish to talk about heroes.

Do you have heroes now?

BANKS: I do.

KING: Like?

BANKS: I would have to say my mom is my hero. I mean, she is the strongest woman that I know.

She -- my parents divorced when I was 6 years old. And my mom and my brother and I moved into a one-bedroom apartment. And she created a space that was so physically and emotionally beautiful, where we had less, but we didn't feel it.

My mom slept on the couch. My brother and I shared the bedroom. And my mom, we lived in a southern part of Los Angeles, California, not the best area. And she said that, you know, she was going to take extra jobs so that we could continue to move north, and to continue to get an extra bedroom. So, she worked extra jobs. And then we moved about a mile north and got a two-bedroom apartment.

And then she took on some more work, and then we moved a couple more miles north. And then we had a three-bedroom apartment, so that I could have my bedroom, my brother could have his bedroom, and she had hers.

KING: Wow.

BANKS: So, she's my heroes.

KING: It's like "The Jeffersons."

BANKS: Yes, moving on up. KING: Moving on up.


KING: So, she was your hero as a kid, too, your mom?

BANKS: Yes. Yes.

KING: So, she's your perpetual hero?

BANKS: She most definitely is.

KING: Why is it important for people, for young people to have heroes?

BANKS: Yes. Oh, my gosh, without the knowledge, you don't know how to get there. You know, with the hero, you can look at that path and figure out how they got to where they are or the foundation that they stand on, so that you can -- I always say, you can copy it, but make it your own.

KING: What's a hero to you?

BANKS: A hero to me is...

KING: Someone who?

BANKS: Someone who defies the odds, someone who is a -- slightly rebellious, because they're constantly hearing that they can't do something. And they figure out ways to go around, to get what they want, or to accomplish what they want, but staying positive.

My mother always said, you know, to get where you want to go, there's going to be doors that are slammed shut, and they're going to have like 10 deadbolts. She goes, but there's a window on the side of that building. There's a cellar that you can crawl through. There's a backdoor that you can come up. There's a side of a wall where you can scale up and go through the attic. But you can get in that door. You just won't get in through the front door. And, to me, that's a hero that understands that can get into that house.

KING: Is it a tough mantle to wear?

BANKS: To be a hero?

KING: Yes.

BANKS: I think it's important for the world to understand that heroes are human, a literal alliteration for you, human heroes, which means that they're not perfect, that they make mistakes.


KING: In other words, the ballplayer may be rushing to go somewhere when you ask for the autograph. BANKS: Oh, my gosh, Larry, I'm so happy you said that, because I have had so many people tell me, oh, my gosh, I met that person, and they were so rude, like she was sitting there and she was eating and she didn't want anybody to talk to her.

I said, do you have any idea? Maybe she had a fight with her boyfriend that day. Or maybe she's just having a bad day. Maybe she's sick. Maybe -- you can never judge somebody on one moment.

KING: You're an ace. You're my hero.


KING: Yes.

BANKS: Can you sing the song to me? Let's try together.


BANKS (singing): Did you ever know that you're my hero?

KING: Oh, I -- give me the second line.

BANKS: You're everything I wish I could be.


(singing): You're everything I wish...

BANKS: I could be.

KING (singing): I could be.

BANKS (singing): I can fly higher than an eagle.

KING (singing): Eagle.

BANKS (singing): You are the wind beneath my wings.

KING (singing): Beneath my wings.

Oh, geez.

BANKS (singing): Oh, the wind beneath my wings.

KING: Oh, geez, I'm an old Jew in love.


KING: Always good to see Tyra. We had a lot of fun.

Coming up at the top of the hour: "CNN Heroes," an all-star tribute, an awards show unlike any other.

Let's check in again on the red carpet arrivals outside Kodak Theatre.

Brooke Anderson has caught up with someone special -- Brooke.

ANDERSON: Larry, I am indeed here with somebody special. This is Doc Hendley, one of tonight's finalists, out of more than 9,000 nominations for CNN's Hero of the Year.


DOC HENDLEY, CNN HEROES FINALIST: Thank you. Thank you so much.

ANDERSON: Great to see you.

And, hey, your work as a bartender in North Carolina inspired you to start the Wine to Water program.

HENDLEY: That's right.

ANDERSON: In a nutshell, what does that do?

HENDLEY: Basically, we host wine events all over the country now, and the funds raised from that go to clean-water projects all around the world. We're in seven different countries. We have reached over 26,500 people now.

ANDERSON: And you're digging the wells.


ANDERSON: You're keeping it sustainable. Tell us a little bit about that.

HENDLEY: Yes. Yes. The whole idea is not just to go and give people water for free. The whole idea is to get them involved and teach them and train them how to access their own water.

And we're not just digging wells. We're also including water- filtration systems. And, so, yes, it's awesome to be a part of.

ANDERSON: Well, you are an inspiration to so many. Congratulations. Best of luck to you tonight, Doc Hendley.

HENDLEY: Thank you all so much for having me.

ANDERSON: Thank you. Of course.

Stay tuned for more LARRY KING LIVE: "A Night For Heroes."


KING: Welcome back. And happy Thanksgiving.

And she needs only one name. Shakira is with us, the Grammy-winning music superstar. New album is "She Wolf." She's the founder, by the way, of the Barefoot Foundation and a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.

And this special "Heroes" show tonight deals with people, famous people, talking about people who may be heroes in their lives. Did you have a hero when you were a kid?

SHAKIRA, MUSICIAN: Yes, absolutely. My dad was my hero.


KING: In what way?

SHAKIRA: So many ways.

He -- he was always optimistic. He had a difficult life, you know. He underwent loss and mourning and bankruptcy. However, his spirits were always high. And that, I think, is my most amazing example, the most amazing example I can follow.

KING: Where did you grow up?

SHAKIRA: In Barranquilla, Colombia.


KING: Beautiful country there, right?

SHAKIRA: Beautiful.

KING: Mountains, right?

SHAKIRA: Mountains, jungle. Fifty-five percent of the country is jungle. And we also have all sorts of weather, climates, and very interesting topography, and, yes, so contrast with my country, I think.

KING: So, daughters and daddies are always close...

SHAKIRA: Very much.

KING: ... and, in this particular case, a real hero.

SHAKIRA: I have an Oedipus complex I haven't been able to solve.


SHAKIRA: I love my dad. He's 78 years old, but I...


KING: Do you have heroes now?

SHAKIRA: Yes, so many. Well, apart from so many historical figures that I admire, you know, biblical figures, like Esther. Wonderful women, you know, Elizabeth II, or Harriet Tubman. I have heroes today, people who I have met in my own country, Colombia, in Central America, developing countries like Bangladesh. Teachers, mostly educators, people who wake up very early in the morning and travel long distances, just to bring education to underprivileged kids. They work in challenging conditions, in the middle of extreme poverty or conflict. However, they don't give up the fight because they know that that's the only opportunity that kids deserve. And that they can hold on to, to be able to develop and have dignified futures, and be productive members of society.

KING: Teachers often don't get saluted as heroes. But they're the foundation of -- you know, without the good teacher, what are we.

SHAKIRA: Exactly. The foundation of society and the future of the world, I think. Bringing education to every child in the world I think should be our next goal. As citizens of the world, we have to make sure that all those 75 million kids out there who don't have any access to any kind of primary education, finally receive the opportunity because education is the strategy to combat poverty and to eradicate it from the face of the earth.

KING: How about those figures who are larger than life? Not the people that we know. Do you have heroes among them? Famous people.

SHAKIRA: Famous people?

KING: Well, for example, the great Latin American author and Nobel laureate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He's 82 now. He once wrote that you, you, Shakira, have a will of granite. Is he one of your heroes?

SHAKIRA: He is one of my heroes for sure.

KING: Do you know him?

SHAKIRA: Absolutely. We are close friends. He interviewed me a few years ago. Actually, probably 12 years ago. And since then, we've developed this close friendship. And, of course, the admiration that I have as Colombian, and as a reader of his books is endless.

KING: What's a quality, Shakira, that you consider heroic?

SHAKIRA: I believe that being a hero consists of not giving up the fight, believing strongly in something and defending it independently from the circumstances. Being brave even when you feel fear and really speaking up for those who don't have a voice.

KING: Do you think it's important to have heroes?

SHAKIRA: Absolutely, because they inspire us. They motivate us to be better, to become better people.

KING: Because of your philanthropic work, you advocate childhood education. A lot of people would consider you a hero.

SHAKIRA: I don't consider myself a hero in the entire sense of the word, but I do believe that each one of us has a hero inside. And we just have to let it out so it can manifest itself, you know. If it wasn't because that capacity that a human being has to be brave when we have fear and to nurture others when they're hungry, and to provide love and nourish people with love, when they need it, I think humanity would not have survived all the plagues, all the wars, all the many tragedies that we have undergone, you know, as a human race. I think that we all have heroic aspects within ourselves.

KING: Well said. Thank you. Shakira.

The Latin influence continues. Comedian George Lopez will get serious about the hero in his life next.


KING: It's heroes day on "LARRY KING LIVE" on this Thanksgiving period. And we're talking with George Lopez, the famous comic and actor, the host of "Lopez Tonight" which airs every night on TBS, our sister station.

Did you have a hero growing up?

GEORGE LOPEZ, COMIC AND ACTOR: You know, I did. But it wasn't somebody who was related to me, Larry. You know, I had a very fractured family. And I knew early on that what I was going to get, I wasn't going to get it in the house. And I was very introverted, very shy. I got into this class that was about justice and youth and justice, kids, and the legal system and things, because I was drawn to that, probably because of some of the people in the house.

And there was this teacher, Mr. Cole (ph), who understood that I couldn't speak publicly and that I had trouble and I sat in the back of the class. And he --

KING: Where was this?

LOPEZ: In San Fernando high, in 1978. And, I mean, deathly shy and to the point of shaking and stuttering. And he knew that. And I had him from 10th grade through my senior year. And every opportunity that I had, I took his class. And he understood that about me. And he made me gradually hand out papers, made me gradually come up, maybe gradually do things. And by the time I was a senior, I was fully engaged in conversation, and somebody completely different than I was in the 10th grade.

KING: Wow.

LOPEZ: And we talked about it. And he purposely did it. Because he saw it, and he saw that -- I think that I was a good kid. And he knew that he could help me with that issue.

KING: Heroes is kind of a forgotten word, isn't it?

LOPEZ: It absolutely is. And I don't think a hero is somebody that you need to be related to. I think it's somebody that takes time for somebody. A lot of times people look for heroes in their father figures, in their father. And it just could be somebody who just takes time to give you some really meaningful advice.

KING: And most kids choose heroes as sports people or entertainers and the like. There are some kids in poor neighborhoods who might choose a drug dealer as a hero as a way out. LOPEZ: Absolutely. You look at somebody, and hopefully with age and hindsight, that you can look at somebody who is supposedly a negative and look what happens to him. A lot of times they live a fantastic life. Then it all comes crumbling down.

You can take that positive out of that negative and say, you know, I don't want to be like that. I thought I wanted to be like that, but I see what this guy ended up and the pain that he's caused and chose somebody else.

KING: Do you believe you're a hero to someone else?

LOPEZ: I believe that you can inspire people by just doing what makes you happy. I don't intentionally try. I don't think it has to come out of the goodness of your heart. A lot of the people that CNN has had over the years are angels, above a hero for what they do and the commitment they have for the world. But if somebody sees me and says, you know, I admire what he's done, I'm a little bit from where he's from and can get inspired by that, absolutely then I'm a hero.

KING: Is this a special holiday season for you?

LOPEZ: You know, anytime that --

KING: The new show and everything?

LOPEZ: You know, anytime that you can have some success in this business, because it is so tough for everybody not just anybody in any particular color. It's hard for everybody that you celebrate successes and if you're able to celebrate them with, now my family, it's always great. And I always watch CNN heroes.

KING: And isn't your wife a hero, a heroine?

LOPEZ: Yes, a heroine. Absolutely, gave me part of her life when most wives wouldn't give the husband the remote.

KING: The time of day.

LOPEZ: Absolutely, the time of day. But yes, she has changed my life and really gave me an appreciation for every day of life.

KING: Thanks, George.

LOPEZ: Absolutely. It's always a pleasure.


KING: Welcome back to a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, "A Night for Heroes." Everybody's got a hero or two. Let's see who's inspired some well-known achievers.


KING: Surely Al Gore has a hero. Who is it? Who is your hero? AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, one of them was Roger Rivel (ph), the teacher that started me focusing on the climate project so long ago.

KING: That would be your hero --

GORE: Yes. And my father and mother were heroes to me as well.

KING: I'll never forget your dad.



KING: Do you have a hero?

LIONEL RICHIE, SINGER: I do. I have a couple of great heroes. In my life, when I came to this town, you know, I knew no one. And, of course, my father was my first hero. I must tell you. I truly admired him as a hard-working guy. And when I came here, Sidney Poitier and Quincy Jones were my heroes.

KING: Not bad. Nicole?

NICOLE RICHIE, ACTRESS: My heroes are my parents.

KING: Both?

N. RICHIE: Yes, both.



KING: Judy, do you have a hero?

JUDGE JUDY: Well, I did have a hero. And I suppose I still do. A hero is somebody that you look up to and that has guided your life, and that would be my father. He made me feel special all of my life. My growing-up years were spent with the understanding from him in a clear concise way that I could do anything that I set my mind to doing.

KING: What did he do?

JUDGE JUDY: He was a dentist. He said I couldn't be a dentist.



KING: Do you have a hero?

DANE COOK: I do, yes. My high school drama teacher, Frank Roberts.

KING: And what did he do? COOK: Taught me all about -- well, got me out of shell basically. One of the first people to ever say, you know, you've got to believe in yourself, and you have to work hard and pound the pavement. So --

KING: Good hero.

COOK: Yes, absolutely.

KING: Still around?

COOK: Yes. Oh, yes, good friend.



TOM BERGERON: I have a number of heroes in my life. I'll just quickly mention two. My wife, for putting up with me for over 27 years of marriage, I think there's got to be a medal there. But also my sister who often says to me, I don't know how you can get on live television and talk to millions of people. She's a nurse. She's been a critical care and a cardiac care nurse. She deals with life-and- death situations every day. What I do is a lot easier. What she does makes her one of my heroes.



CARRIE ANN INABA: For me, the heroes are the children that I've seen in the hospitals. I work with a foundation called The Andrea Rizzo Foundation and we do dance therapy for young pediatric cancer patients. And every time I've gone in to work with them, I come out learning so much and so enriched. So those children that are fighting for their lives and doing it with such dignity, those are my heroes.



KELLY OSBOURNE: I think my biggest hero is my mother because she's a cancer survivor. She kept my family together with everything. And she taught me that if you want something bad enough, you can work as hard as you want, but you have to want it and you have to work for it. So it's my mom.


KING: Up next, T.D. Jakes, and a musical tribute on a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, "A Night for Heroes."


KING: It's our heroes show for this Thanksgiving night. We welcome T.D. Jakes aboard many, many people appearing tonight. He's founder and senior pastor of the Powders House in Dallas. His sermons are broadcast all over the world. A best-selling author. His book, by the way, is a novel, "The Memory Quilt: A Christmas Story for Our Times."

You have heroes when you grew up, T.D.?

T.D. JAKES: Oh, yes, and I still do today.

KING: Who were your growing-up heroes?

JAKES: My parents were when I was growing up. I grew up in a small community in Charleston, West Virginia. And the people of our community, many of which left an indelible impression on my life. I think many times we don't realize we don't have to be famous to be somebody's hero.

KING: What to you is a hero?

JAKES: Somebody who gives themselves selflessly for the needs of others. No gain, and yet there's a tremendous sacrifice made. I think they're made out of different fabric.

KING: More than say someone who hits 320 or scores touchdowns?

JAKES: Right. I think it's much bigger than that.

KING: Why is it important for people to have heroes do you think?

JAKES: I think it's important. It gives us something to aspire to and it gives us a source of inspiration. It gives us some measurement whereby we can measure ourselves and something that we hope to attain. And many of us may in fact be heroes. We don't know it until the crisis comes how we would react.

KING: Right. The foxhole.

JAKES: Exactly.

KING: I know.

How can people be heroes to others, do you think?

JAKES: I think that, first of all, listening and looking for needs, and just responding to those needs selflessly. What is normal to one person, a normal reaction is a miracle to another person, if they're really in need at the time.

KING: Other than parents and people around you, have you had heroes you didn't meet? They were just heroes to you.

JAKES: Nelson Mandela. It's been a life-long wish to meet him. I didn't get to meet him.

KING: I'll get you to meet him. I know him.

JAKES: Work that out for me.

KING: I've been to his house and had him on this program.

JAKES: I think you're incredible. I'm eager to meet his grandson who is equally impressive incidentally.

KING: Some people consider him maybe the greatest hero of the 20th century.

JAKES: I think he left an impression that we will never forget. And I go to South Africa often. But the entire world is riveting from the impression that Nelson Mandela left behind.

KING: You know a lot of people consider you a hero. Your services -- did you ever think of yourself in that vein?

JAKES: Not really. You know, I'm honored that they think that. I just do what comes very natural to me, very instinctive to me. And if it helps somebody, I'm really glad. I don't think I'm a hero, though.

KING: Do you think we're in an age of heroes or not?

JAKES: I think we're in an age of heroes, but they often don't get the spotlight. Many times our greatest heroes go unnoticed.

KING: Sad.

JAKES: It is sad.

KING: T.D. Jakes, Happy Thanksgiving.

JAKES: And to you, sir.

KING: We'll be right back with the great musical tribute. Now an update from Brooke Anderson at the Kodak Theatre. Brooke, minutes away from the third annual "CNN Heroes: an All-Star Tribute." It's now a thanksgiving tradition.

What's it like out there?

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Larry, the all-star tribute is set to kick off in just a few minutes. Everybody is really excited, truly energized by these honorees and the incredible work that they're doing. Right now, I have presenter Neil Patrick Harris.

Thank you for being here and helping us out.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS, ACTOR: My pleasure. What's going on, Larry King?

ANDERSON: Hey, tell me how this award show is different than the countless that you're asked to host, to present that, to attend, every year?

HARRIS: This is a special and just because the people that are involved in being honored aren't celebrities that are used to attending these kind of events. These are people who have done extraordinary things, who continue to provide in ways that most people aren't aware of. And so it allows awareness to their cause. It allows awareness to them. And it's one of those rare award shows, where the awards are really warranted. I think that's great.

ANDERSON: Well, thank you so much for being here. Have a wonderful time tonight. Neil Patrick Harris.

Stay tuned for more of LARRY KING LIVE, "A Night for Heroes."


KING: Steven Curtis Chapman, the Grammy-winning Christian music star, it's been 18 months since the heartbreaking loss of their youngest daughter, Maria Sue, who was fatally injured in their driveway after being accidentally run over by their SUV. He created Show Hope, an adoption ministry. And his new CD is "Beauty Will Rise."

Of course, how's your boy doing, the boy who ran over the girl?

STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN, SINGER: You know, Will Franklin is doing remarkably well. I, in fact, I talked to him today or I text messaged him, said, hey, I'm going to see your buddy Larry again because, you know, we visited with you a few months ago. And he said, so what do you want me to tell him? He said, tell him I'm doing -- I'm hanging in there. But he said, you know, and these were his words. He said, "Have some good days, have some really still very hard days. But it's the hope that I'm going to get to see my little sister again that keeps me showing up for life."

KING: Of course, he's feeling that, right?

CHAPMAN: Yes, absolutely.

KING: Well, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

CHAPMAN: Thank you.

KING: And we thank you for closing out our Thanksgiving heroes show. We're going to hear a song. But before that, did you have heroes when you grew up?

CHAPMAN: Absolutely. Yes, my dad was one of the first guys that comes to mind. Musical hero. He's a great man. And my big brother, Herbie, who's a great hero of mine. And, you know, obviously you've got your -- I've watched some football and baseball and have those sports guys.

KING: Did you have a musical hero?

CHAPMAN: Yes. You know, again, my dad really is the first guy that comes to mind because he's as a great musician. Still a great musician, great singer, great man. And, you know, I listened -- I listened to a lot of different styles of music. There was actually a guy, very few people will know the name, but a guy named Dallas Holmes (ph). He was kind of -- I'd say he was sort of my musical mentor in a lot of ways. A guy I used to watch a lot of times.

KING: Do you have a hero now?

CHAPMAN: Yes, I do. I've got some new heroes after the last year and a half, you know. Last time we were together we talked about Billy Graham. You know, of course, he's a great man, reached out to us in our time of loss. A lot of dear friends that reached out to us.

But, you know, my family, my wife has become an amazing hero of mine, watching her take this journey. My son, all of my kids, but my son Will Franklin, he's the bravest, most courageous guy on the planet as far as I'm concerned.

KING: What do you tell people who think you're a hero? You help individuals in communities. You care for orphans around the world.


KING: Are you humbled by that a little?

CHAPMAN: Yes. Oh, absolutely. Very humbled. And, you know, it's crazy. I mean, the things that I guess have made me a hero, you know, in some people's eyes, music, you know, it's a gift. Something that God kind of gave me and I just did what came most natural. Doing something like Show Hope, opening a special needs orphanage in China, helping families adopt kids. We are the ones who've been blessed by that.

KING: Your new album "Beauty Will Rise" is all about struggles, fears, prayers as they relate to your faith, missing your daughter. Your heroes help in this process? I imagine you turn to Christ a lot.

CHAPMAN: Absolutely, yes. Yes. And a lot of -- again, a lot of folks, I think it is interesting the people that become -- that as those who were heroes, as I received a letter from Billy Graham, my wife from a dear friend of hers, a lady named Beth Moore, who's a great teacher that inspired my wife, those were somehow even more significant because they came from somebody that you really -- that you really looked up to, that you really respected. And, yes, they helped sustain.

KING: The new CD is "Beauty Will Rise." I have it right here. And Steven will now sing a song for us as we close out our Thanksgiving Day special. This is from his new album "Beauty Will Rise." The song is called "Heaven is the Face."

And as we bid you all a Happy Thanksgiving, this is dedicated to his daughter, Maria.

CHAPMAN (singing Heaven is the Face): Heaven is the face of a little girl with dark brown eyes that disappear when she smiles. Heaven is a sweet maybe sealed with a kiss, a thousand other little things I'll miss with her gone.

And heaven is a face where she takes my hand and she leads me to you and we both run into your arms. And God, I know it's so much more than I can dream it's far beyond anything I can see. So God, you know I trust in you until I see heaven in the face of my little girl. Heaven in the face of my little girl.

KING: To see the entire musical tribute to Maria Sue, go to our Web site,

I want to thank all of our guests tonight on this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE, "A Night for Heroes."

Happy Thanksgiving. And now, it's time for a CNN thanksgiving tradition, "CNN Heroes: An All-Tribute," hosted by Anderson Cooper. Sit back with the whole family and be inspired.