The krewe of Bacchus will mark its 50th anniversary in 2018 by welcoming Academy Award-winning actor J.K. Simmons, known for a string of successful film and TV roles including in the current film Justice League, as its celebrity monarch, the krewe announced Tuesday.
Simmons won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a ruthless jazz instructor in the 2014 movie Whiplash. He won a Golden Globe award for the role and the film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar as well.
He portrays Commisisioner James Gordon, Batman's ally in the current box office hit, and will soon appear in the movie Father Figures. He is also slated to star in the new espionage drama, Counterpart, premiering January 21 on Starz.
He has enjoyed a forty-year career as a character actor and a voice actor on Broadway, in films, television, and video games. Simmons has been in films such as Spider-Man (1,2, and 3), Terminator Genisys, Juno, The Accountant, The Medler and Patriots Day.
His television roles have included roles in Law & Order, HBO’s prison-drama Oz, and TNT’s The Closer.
“We are elated that a highly accomplished actor of J.K. Simmons stature has agreed to join Bacchus as we celebrate our Golden Anniversary," said Bacchus captain Clark Brennan. "Fifty years ago, the Krewe of Bacchus revolutionized Mardi Gras with new innovations which have created the Mardi Gras experience to be even more gratifying for residents and visitors alike.”
Bacchus' 50th anniversary parade will roll on Feb. 11. The theme will celebrate past parades for the golden anniversary. There will also be two new signature floats added this year for the anniversary.
Simmons will join the ranks of past Bacchus kings which include Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Will Ferrell, Anthony Mackie, Harry Connick Jr., Perry Como, Andy Garcia, Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Raymond Burr and many more.
Bacchus was founded in 1968 by restaurateur Owen "Pip" Brennan, Jr. and is now celebrated as one of the most important and popular krewes in Carnival history. The parade, which started out with just 250 members, has now grown to 1,600 members.
Bacchus is partnering with WWL-TV for exclusive coverage of the 50th annual Bacchus parade from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center where the Bacchus Rendezvous is held each year. The parade will air on Channel 4, WWLTV.com, WWL-TV's mobile app and Facebook page.