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James Ellis Nabs 2009 Hunky Santa Title - FashionWindows

Hunky SantaLOS ANGELES, Nov 23, 2009 / FW/ — We always think of Santa as a kindly and portly old man with a white beard and wears glasses. That might hold true in most places but not at Los Angeles’ Beverly Center where Santa has muscles, abs and displays a six pack.

For Beverly Center’s annual search for Hunky Santa, 400 applicants threw their names in the hat and fitness model James Ellis won the coveted title. An Indiana native, Ellis came to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment after completing undergraduate work in the field of Education. He turned in his snow and water skis for a surfboard and hit the beach or rock climbs in Malibu in between posing for fitness magazine covers.

And following tradition, James Ellis will don the signature red velvet costume and make his official debut at Los Angeles’ premier fashion destination on Friday, November 27th. He will star in the Hunky Santa & The Candy Cane Girls, a “Vegas-style” aerial arts production, runs through 12/24/09 at Beverly Center’s Grand Court during evenings and weekends.

As this year’s Hunky Santa, Ellis joins a fraternity of ex-hunkys that include last year’s Eli Wilhide, who’s just finishing a movie entitled Captured and Greg Plitt of Bravo’s Workout with Jackie Warner.

Ellis is a supporting player and “Hunky Host” of the festivities in 60 free shows for Beverly Center shoppers that include aerialists in a spectacular display of world class performances in the 3-story, multi-level center.

Beverly Center’s search for an alternative to the traditional Santa Claus began in 2001 and has resulted in an international phenomenon that continues to make headlines across the globe. Many see Hunky Santa as a little something for the big kids to enjoy and look forward to meeting him each year.

Hunky Santa was never intended to replace the beloved Saint Nick or “Classic Santa” who also makes his annual appearance in the center.