Judith Light Named Recipient of the 2019 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced today that two time Tony Award (Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties) and two time Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light will receive this year's Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award.
The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Light will receive the Award for her impassioned advocacy to end HIV/AIDS and her support for LGBTQ+ and human rights.
"To be so generously acknowledged by The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League and the Tony Awards, and to be included with these outstanding individuals who have received this honor before me, has been one of the most extraordinary gifts I have ever received in my life. The HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ communities are inspirations and demonstrations of how to be and live in the world; courageous, honorable, and uplifting. They inspire me and it is my privilege to be of service to them. I am humbled by this recognition from my theatre family, whom I so respect, honor, and love," said Ms. Light.
Since the early days of the AIDS pandemic, Light has reacted to the divisive response towards the LGTBQ+ community by speaking out and aligning herself with numerous organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, GLAAD, NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, Project Angel Food, Elton John AIDS Foundation, among many others.
Light's commitment to each cause has come in various forms throughout the years. In 1993, she spoke at the LGBT March in Washington. In 1995, Light rode her bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the California AIDS Ride to support HIV/AIDS Programs for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. In 1996 she joined Elizabeth Taylor, who served as grand marshal, at the National Mall in Washington DC for the display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. In 1998, GLAAD recognized Light with the Vision Award for her dedication to fight HIV/AIDS alongside the LGBTQ+ community. Light traveled to South Africa for the AIDS walk to raise awareness for on the ground care in South Africa and research in the United States. Countless times, Light has lent her voice at Outfest, the LGBTQ+-oriented film festival in Los Angeles, and she sits on the honorary board of Point Foundation, which is the National LGBTQ+ Scholarship Fund. She has participated in Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Gypsy of the Year competition and Broadway Bares.
She continues to push boundaries with her roles in Jill Solloway's Transparent (Amazon Prime); Ryan Murphy's The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX); the film Save Me, written by her husband Robert Desiderio, in which Light produced and starred. The film explored the subject of reparative therapy in a way that had rarely been done before; and The Ryan White Story (ABC). These roles continue to create conversations about prejudice and bigotry towards HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ communities.
"Judith is one of the most beloved members of our theatre community," said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing. "Her talent is as big as her heart and spirit - and her tireless commitment to HIV/AIDS organizations and to the LGBTQ community, are unparalleled. We are honored to salute Judith at this year's Tony Awards!"
Judith Light is known for her extensive body of television, film, and stage work. This fall she stars in the musical finale of Transparent, Amazon Prime's Golden Globe-winning series, created by Jill Soloway, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and multiple Emmy and Critics' Choice nominations as well as in Ryan Murphy's Netflix series The Politician with Bette Midler and Ben Platt. Last year, her role in Ryan Murphy's FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story garnered her an Emmy nomination and a Critics Choice nomination.
Light stars with Alec Baldwin and Mandy Patinkin in Before You Know It which premiered at Sundance and was picked up by distributor 1091; as well as Ms. White Light, that premiered at SXSW; and Lifetime's Nellie Bly with Christina Ricci. Upcoming, Light can be seen in film Hot Air with Steve Coogan.
In 2017, Light she starred in God Looked Away with Al Pacino at The Pasadena Playhouse. In 2016, the play, All the Ways to Say I Love You (MCC) garnered her a Drama League Award nomination. For the Broadway production of Thérèse Raquin with Kiera Knightly, Light won an Outer Critics Circle Award.
In 2012 and 2013, Light won two consecutive Tony and Drama Desk awards for her performances in Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties; these two performances dubbed her the first actress in nearly two decades to win consecutive Tonys.
For the Pulitzer Prize winning play at MCC Theatre, Wit, she was awarded the Helen Hayes and Eliot Norton awards. In 2011, Light received a Tony nomination for her role as Marie Lombardi in Lombardi, directed by Thomas Kail.
starred in and produced the film, Save Me, written by husband Robert Desiderio which premiered at Sundance in 2007. The year before, could be seen in the indie film Ira and Abby. Selected TV includes: "Ugly Betty" (Emmy Nomination), "Law and Order, SVU", "Dallas", "Who's the Boss", "One Life to Live" (Two consecutive Emmys).
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos
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