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Charles Schulz, Robert Downey Jr. to be inducted into California Hall of Fame

Cartoonist Charles Schulz holds a drawing of his famous comic strip character Snoopy in Santa Rosa on Sept. 29, 1995.
Cartoonist Charles Schulz holds a drawing of his famous comic strip character Snoopy in Santa Rosa on Sept. 29, 1995. Associated Press file

A celebrated cartoonist, an Olympic gold medalist and Iron Man himself are among the latest inductees to the California Hall of Fame.

Gov. Jerry Brown, first lady Anne Gust Brown and the California Museum jointly announced Tuesday the ninth class of Californians to be recognized for exemplifying the state’s “spirit of innovation.” They are:

▪  Actor Robert Downey Jr., who returned from drug addiction to become Hollywood’s highest-paid star.

▪  British artist David Hockney, who rose to prominence 50 years ago with his stylized paintings of swimming pools in Los Angeles.

▪  Rancho Cordova native Lester Holt, the new anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News.”

▪  Martial arts icon Bruce Lee, who died while filming the 1973 action classic “Enter the Dragon.”

▪  Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina in space with a 1993 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

▪  Country music legend Buck Owens, who scored 21 No. 1 hits and co-hosted “Hee Haw” before his death in 2006.

▪  “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz, who drew the popular strip in Santa Rosa for most of its 50-year run, which ended in 2000 the day after his death.

▪  Figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, the 1992 Albertville Olympics champion.

“These talented individuals with their unique set of accomplishments show the best of California,” the governor said in a statement. “Their creativity and perseverance are a real inspiration.”

Inductees or their family members will receive the Spirit of California medal from the Browns during a ceremony at the California Museum on Oct. 28. An exhibition highlighting their lives and achievements will open at the museum the following day.

Last year’s class featured basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and beloved literary figure Joan Didion.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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