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Barbara Frum, four times a winner of major Canadian...

By STEVEN PETRANIK

TORONTO -- Barbara Frum, four times a winner of major Canadian broadcasting awards, will be only handing out prizes at this year's ACTRA awards after making the transition from radio to television.

Ms. Frum will be joined Wednesday by the stars of Canada's English-language broadcasting industry, most of whom have been nominated for one of the 20 ACTRA awards or will be on stage to greet the winners.

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Presenters of the 'Nellies' -- sculptures of a rotund, naked lady - include Al Waxman, last year's winner of the best TV acting award, Pierre Berton, Adrienne Clarkson, John Candy, Gordon Pinsent, Don Harron, plus skier Steve Podborski and Toronto Maple Leaf winger Rick Vaive.

The awards show, sponsored by the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists, will be shown nationally on the CBC, an appropriate choice because the radio-television network has snared 55 of the 60 nominations.

TVOntario, the provincial government's education network, collected two of the remaining nominations while CTV, Global Television Network and Toronto radio station CKEY got one each.

One CBC show not selected is The Journal, the nightly adventure in high-tech journalism and current forum for Ms. Frum's interviewing agility.

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After a decade as the co-host of CBC radio As It Happens, Ms. Frum said jokingly she may have won her last prize in 1980.

'Pierre Berton had said after I had got my fourth ACTRA award, 'That's it, Frum, forget it'' she said.

Ms. Frum described Elizabeth Gray, her replacement on As It Happens and a nominee for the Gordon Sinclair Award for outspoken opinions and integrity in broadcasting, as 'doing a wonderful job.'

The 95 judges from across the country will consider two other candidates for the Sinclair award: Stephen Lewis, former leader of the Ontario New Democrats and now a commentator on CKEY, and Joan Watson, host of the CBC consumer show Market Place.

One person who was asked to attend but won't be there is Canadian-born comic actor Dan Aykroyd. He was invited by the CBC but the actors' association objected, saying Aykroyd no longer earned his living in Canada.

'Thanks a lot, ACTRA,' Aykroyd said angrily, even though he acknowledged other commitments would have kept him away anyway. 'They can expect nothing from me in the future if that's their attitude.'

Ms. Frum sympathetized with the need to bring in big names from outside the country to sell tickets, 'but I also thinks its important that an awful lot of fabulous performers here get air time.'

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The best television program of the year competition pits two CBC current affairs productions, 'Cambodia -- Tragedy in Eden' and 'Just Another Missing Kid,' from the Fifth Estate, against the National Film Board's 'The Most Dangerous Spy,' also broadcast on CBC.

It's been a good year for actress Lally Cadeau, tagged last season as the best new performer in Canadian television, and nominated this time for the best acting performance in television for her part as TV host fighting alcoholism in the three-part drama, 'You've Come a Long Way, Katie.'

Her CBC sitcom about the social workers, 'Hangin' In,' has finished shooting its second season and Miss Cadeau is keeping busy by working on a live production in Toronto.

Her shot at the best acting award is challenged by Mary Ann McDonald, who won plaudits for her role as a battered wife in 'A Far Cry from Home,' and Chuck Shamata's performance as a married teacher coping with his homosexuality in 'Running Man.'

In a tag team bout, some of Aykroyd's former colleagues, now with SCTV, tangle with the Royal Canadian Air Farce for both television's best variety performance and best variety writing categories, with the Air farce facing other competition for best radio variety.

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The nominees for best radio program are 'On Golden Pond,' 'This Year in Jerusalem' and 'Under the Olive Tree.'

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