The Actors Fund to Fete Danny DeVito, Sally Field, Hal Prince and More at 2017 Gala
The Actors Fund, the national human services organization that helps everyone in performing arts and entertainment in times of need, crisis or transition, will hold its Annual Gala on Monday, May 8, 2017.
The evening will celebrate Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Danny DeVito, two-time Academy Award winner Sally Field, outstanding corporate leader Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP and 21-time Tony Award-winning theatrical director and producer Harold Prince. Mr. DeVito, Ms. Field and Ms. Jenkins will be awarded The Actors Fund's Medal of Honor. Mr. Prince will receive The Actors Fund's Lifetime Achievement Award. The event begins with 6 pm cocktails followed by 7 pm dinner and tribute at the New York Marriott Marquis. The evening will include special tribute performances by guests to be announced.
Danny DeVito, currently starring in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Arthur Miller's The Price, is one of the entertainment industry's most versatile players, excelling as actor, producer and director. His Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning performance as Louie De Palma on the television show Taxi propelled him to national prominence. His many starring appearances include beloved hit films such as Junior, Batman Returns, The War of the Roses, Twins, L.A. Confidential, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, and Ruthless People. As the principal of Jersey Film's 2nd Avenue, a successor company of Jersey Films, he has produced over 20 motion pictures, including the Academy Award nominated film Erin Brockovich.
Sally Field, currently starring on Broadway in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, is a two-time Academy Award- and three-time Emmy Award-winning actress, whose career has spanned five decades and dozens of iconic roles on screens large and small. Highlights from her extensive film credits include Hello, My Name is Doris; Lincoln; Forrest Gump; Steel Magnolias; Murphy's Romance; Absence of Malice; Mrs. Doubtfire; Soapdish; Not Without My Daughter; Punchline and Smokey and the Bandit and her Academy Award-winning performances in Places in the Heart and Norma Rae. Her extensive TV roles include Emmy Award-winning performances in "Sybil," "Brothers & Sisters" and "ER." She was last seen on Broadway in 2002 starring in Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? In September 2015, President Obama honored her with the National Medal of Arts.
"Danny DeVito and Sally Field have delighted audiences for more than four decades," said Joe Benincasa, CEO of The Actors Fund. "We're proud to acknowledge their distinguished and exemplary work on stage and screen."
Jo Ann Jenkins was named CEO of AARP in 2014. She leads the organization's advocacy efforts, not just on behalf of its 38 million members and their families, but of all people aged 50-plus nationwide. She came to AARP in 2010 as President of AARP Foundation where she focused on assisting millions of older, vulnerable low-income Americans around issues of hunger, housing, income and isolation. Prior to joining AARP she had a distinguished 25-plus-year career in public service where she had most recently served as Chief Operating Officer at the Library of Congress. Her first book, Disrupt Aging, was published last year and has become a national best seller.
"Jo Ann's work as an advocate to empower individuals to embrace possibilities in their personal and professional lives has great synergy with our work in the development of our services for performing arts and entertainment professionals throughout their careers and in their later years," Benincasa added. "She's a visionary."
Harold Prince's lengthy career includes direction of the original Broadway productions of She Loves Me, It's a Bird...Superman, Cabaret, Zorba, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, On the Twentieth Century, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Merrily We Roll Along, The Phantom of the Opera, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Parade, and LoveMusik. He has also directed acclaimed revivals of Candide and Show Boat. Before becoming a director, Mr. Prince produced the original productions of The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, New Girl in Town, West Side Story,Fiorello!, Tenderloin, Flora the Red Menace, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Fiddler on the Roof. His extensive theatrical work has garnered 21 Tony Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's Monte Cristo Award and a National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton for a career in which "he changed the nature of the American musical."
"Hal's work as a theatrical artist is legendary," said Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chairman of The Actors Fund. "His distinguished four decades of service behind-the-scenes as a trustee of The Actors Fund has quietly guided and supported this organization in helping thousands in need in performing arts and entertainment across the country."
Tickets to the benefit begin at $1,500 and include reception, dinner and entertainment. For tables and sponsorships, call 212.627.1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and updates, visit www.actorsfund.org/Gala2017.
ABOUT THE HONOREES:
Danny DeVito is one of the entertainment industry's most versatile players, excelling as actor, producer and director. Playing Louie De Palma on the television show "Taxi," propelled DeVito to national prominence and earned him an Emmy and Golden Globe. In 2012, DeVito received rave reviews in the London stage revival of Neil Simon's comedy "The Sunshine Boys." In 2013, DeVito reprised his critically acclaimed role alongside former "Taxi" co-star Judd Hirsch in Los Angeles. DeVito is currently making his Broadway debut in Arthur Miller's "The Price" in the role of Gregory Solomon. He returned as Frank Reynolds in FXX's acclaimed cult comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," which just completed 12th season and was renewed for another two seasons. DeVito was most recently seen in Sony Classics' "The Comedian," starring Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann, directed by Taylor Hackford. DeVito directed, starred in and co-produced short film "Curmudgeons," which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was later seen at the 2016 Seattle Film Festival and 2016 London Film Festival. DeVito also recently co-starred in the Todd Solondz' dark comedy "Wiener-Dog." In 2015, DeVito was executive producer on the biographical documentary "Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story." In 2014, he co-produced Universal Pictures' crime drama "A Walk Among the Tombstones" and starred in "All the Wilderness." In 2012 DeVito starred in Sebastian Gutierrez's black and white crime drama, "Hotel Noir." He will next be heard voicing Chesterfield in the animated film "Animal Crackers." In 2012, DeVito voiced the Lorax in Universal Pictures' animated feature "The Lorax," based on the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.
DeVito runs TheBloodFactory.com, an online collaboration with screenwriter John Albo of horror shorts. He is also the principal of Jersey Film's 2nd Avenue, a successor company of Jersey Films. Jersey Films has produced over 20 motion pictures, including "Freedom Writers," "Be Cool," "Garden State," "Along Came Polly," "Man on the Moon," "Pulp Fiction," "Out of Sight," "Get Shorty," "Hoffa," "Matilda," "Living Out Loud" and "Erin Brockovich," which was nominated for an Academy Award. Apart from his work with Jersey Films, DeVito has starred in such films as "The War of the Roses," "Junior," "Batman Returns," "Twins," "Romancing the Stone," "Jewel of the Nile," "Ruthless People," "Tin Men," "Anything Else," "Big Fish," "Renaissance Man," "The Big Kahuna" and "Heist." He starred more recently in "The Good Night," "Deck The Halls," "Relative Strangers," "The OH in Ohio," "Be Cool," "Nobel Son" and "Even Money."
Never forgetting that there were more difficult times, he maintains a healthy sense of perspective. As "Taxi" character Louie DePalma, would say, "If you don't do good today, you'll be eatin' dirt tomorrow."
Sally Field is a two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy Award-winning actress, whose career has spanned five decades and dozens of iconic roles on screens large and small. Highlights from her extensive film credits include Hello, My Name is Doris; Lincoln (New York Film Critics Award; Oscar, Screen Actors Guild Award, Golden Globe, British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award noms.); Forrest Gump (SAG, BAFTA noms.); Steel Magnolias (Golden Globe nom.); Murphy's Romance (Golden Globe nom.); Places in the Heart (Academy Award, Golden Globe Award); Absence of Malice (Golden Globe nom.); Norma Rae (Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, New York Film Critics Award & Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, National Board of Review Award); Mrs. Doubtfire; Soapdish; Not Without My Daughter; Punchline and Smokey and the Bandit (Golden Globe nom.). Her TV roles include "Sybil" (Emmy Award), "Brothers & Sisters" (Emmy Award) and "ER" (Emmy Award). She was last seen on Broadway in 2002 starring in Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? In September 2015, President Obama honored her with the National Medal of Arts.
JO ANN JENKINS. As the CEO of AARP, Jo Ann Jenkins leads the world's largest non-profit, nonpartisan membership organization, harnessing the power and passion of almost 2,000 staff members, 60,000 volunteers and numerous strategic partners. AARP has long been recognized for the value of its services, information and advocacy on behalf of people age 50 and over. But since joining the organization in 2010 and heading it since 2014, Jo Ann Jenkins has sponsored groundbreaking work to transform AARP into a leader in social change, dedicated to empowering all people to live well as they age. A fearless champion for innovation and impact, Jenkins is often lauded for her ability to create business opportunity and competitive differentiation. She has been described as a visionary and thought leader, a catalyst for breakthrough results, accelerating progress and contribution while fostering positive relationships inside and outside the organization. Jo Ann Jenkins has held a variety of board and advisory positions including AARP Services, AARP Funds, Congressional Hunger Center, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration Council on Underserved Communities, Living Cities, and Caring for Military Families. She was recently appointed to serve as a Vice Chair of the Corporate Fund Board at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. With expertise in talent and leadership development, organizational restructure, public affairs, philanthropy and marketing, she has been recognized as "Non-Profit Influencer of the Year" (2015), one of "Washington's Most Influential People" (2015 and 2016), "Non-Profit Times' Power and Influence Top 50" (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016), Peace Corps Director's Award (2014) and Malcolm Baldrige Fellow (2013). Most recently she is the best-selling author of the book, "Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age."
Harold Prince directed the original productions of She Loves Me, It's a Bird...Superman, Cabaret, Zorba, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, On the Twentieth Century, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Merrily We Roll Along, The Phantom of the Opera, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Parade, and LoveMusik. He has also directed acclaimed revivals of Candide and Show Boat. Before becoming a director, Mr. Prince produced the original productions of The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, New Girl in Town, West Side Story, Fiorello!, Tenderloin, Flora the Red Menace, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Fiddler on the Roof. Among the plays he has directed are Hollywood Arms, The Visit, The Great God Brown, End of the World, Play Memory, and his own play, Grandchild of Kings. His opera productions have been seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Vienna Staatsoper and the Theater Colon in Buenos Aires. His most recent version ofCandide was seen at New York City Opera in January of 2017. In 2006, he prepared a new version of Phantom which ran in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel for six years. Prince of Broadway, a musical compendium of Mr. Prince's entire career, will open on Broadway in August of 2017. Mr. Prince is a trustee for the New York Public Library and previously served on the National Council on the Arts for the NEA. Mr. Prince is an Officier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, given to him by the French government in 2008. He is the recipient of 21 Tony Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's Monte Cristo Award, and a National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton for a career in which "he changed the nature of the American musical."
THE ACTORS FUND is a national human services organization that helps everyone - performers and those behind the scenes - who works in performing arts and entertainment. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund is a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit www.actorsfund.org.
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