The Actors Fund to Honor Chita Rivera, Uma Thurman, Warren Beatty, and Kenny Leon at Annual Gala

The Actors Fund, the national human services organization for everyone in performing arts and entertainment, will hold its Annual Gala on Monday, May 14, 2018. The evening will celebrate Academy Award-winning actor and filmmaker Warren Beatty, Tony Award-winning Broadway and film director Kenny Leon, currently director of Children of a Lesser God on Broadway, two-time Tony Award-winning actress, singer and dancer Chita Rivera, and Golden Globe-winning, Academy Award and Emmy-nominated actress Uma Thurman. Mr. Beatty, Mr. Leon, Ms. Rivera and Ms. Thurman will be awarded The Actors Fund's Medal of Honor. The event begins with 6 pm cocktails followed by a 7 pm dinner and tribute at the New York Marriott Marquis. The evening will include special tribute performances by guests to be announced.

"It's fitting that The Actors Fund honors Warren Beatty, Kenny Leon, Chita Rivera and Uma Thurman, four legends of the film, theater and dance worlds," said Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chairman of The Actors Fund. "Their artistry represents the best of our industry, and they are individuals who lead with their heart, showing boundless compassion for those in need in our entertainment and performing arts community."

Tickets to the benefit begin at $1,500 and include reception, dinner and entertainment. For tables and sponsorships, call 212.627.1000 or email actorsfund@resevt.com. For more information and updates, visit www.actorsfund.org/Gala2018.

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services. Visit www.actorsfund.org.

Since starring in his first film, Splendor in the Grass (1961), Warren Beatty has been said to have demonstrated a greater longevity in movies than any actor of his generation. Few people have taken so many responsibilities for all phases of the production of films as producer, director, writer, and actor, and few have evidenced so high a level of integrity in a body of work.

Only Beatty and Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) have been nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as an actor, a director, a writer, and a producer for the same film. Beatty is the only person ever to have done it twice, for Heaven Can Wait (1978) and again for Reds (1981). Beatty has been nominated 15 times by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and 8 films he has produced have earned 53 Academy nominations. In 1982 he won the Academy Award for Directing and in 2000 was given the Academy's highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award.

He was awarded Best Director from the Directors Guild of America and Best Writer three times from the Writers Guild of America. He has received the Milestone Award from the Producers Guild, the Board of Governors Award from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Directors Award from the Costume Designers Guild, the Life Achievement Award from the Publicists Guild, and the Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors Guild. The National Association of Theater Owners has honored him as Director of the Year, as Producer of the Year and as Actor of the Year.

He has won 16 awards from the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics, the National Board of Review, and the Golden Globes. In 1992, he was made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France; in Italy he received the David di Donatello award in 1968 and again in 1981 and its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998; in 2001, he received the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Sebastian International Film Festival; in 2002, he received the British Academy Fellowship from BAFTA; and in 2011, he was awarded the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.

In December 2004, Beatty received The Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, D.C. In addition, he is the recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, the HFPA Cecile B. DeMille Award and many others. Politically active since the 1960's, Beatty campaigned with Robert F. Kennedy in his 1968 presidential campaign. That same year he traveled throughout the United States speaking in favor of gun control and against the war in Vietnam. In 1972 he took a year off from motion pictures to campaign with George McGovern.

In 1981, Beatty was a founding board member of the Center for National Policy. He is a founding member of The Progressive Majority, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has participated in the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.

Beatty serves on the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation. He previously served on the Board of Trustees of The Scripps Research Institute for several years. He has received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Americans for Democratic Action, the Brennan Legacy Award from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, and the Philip Burton Public Service Award from The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

In multiple forums he has addressed campaign finance reform, the increasing disparity of wealth, universal health care and the need for the Democratic Party to return to its roots.

In March of 2013, he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.

Beatty was born in Richmond, Virginia. He and his wife, Annette Bening, live in Los Angeles and have four children.

Kenny Leon is a Tony Award winning Broadway and film director, currently represented on Broadway with Children of a Lesser God. His Broadway credits include the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun starring Denzel Washington (Tony Award Winner for Best Direction of a Play and Best Revival), The Mountaintop starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, Stick Fly produced by Alicia Keys, August Wilson's Fences (which garnered ten Tony nominations and won three Tony Awards including Best Revival), the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun with Sean P. Diddy Combs, Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf and the 2014 premiere of Holler if You Hear Me, a new musical created using the music of Tupac Shakur. Leon's recent film work includes In My Dreams for Hallmark Hall of Fame, The Watsons go to Birmingham for Walden Media and Hallmark, and the Sony and Lifetime TV adaptation of Steel Magnolias. Leon is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2010 Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing by the Drama League of New York.

Mr. Leon is the Artistic Director of Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to co-founding True Colors Theatre Company, he served 11 years as Artistic Director of the ALLIANCE THEATRE, where he produced the premieres of Disney's Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida, Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky and Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Other directorial credits include Alicia Keys' World Tour, Toni Morrison's opera, Margaret Garner, the world premiere of Flashdance, The Musical, and the complete August Wilson Century Cycle at the Kennedy Center. Leon is a sought after motivational speaker who has done acting and theatre workshops at universities and corporate offices around the country, South Africa and Ireland. He has directed in England, and extensively throughout the US, including Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Boston's Huntington Theatre, Baltimore's Center Stage, Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group and New York's Public Theatre. Leon is a graduate of Clark Atlanta and is an honorary Ph.D. recipient of Clark Atlanta and Roosevelt Universities. He is currently serving as the Denzel Washington Chair at Fordham University

An accomplished and versatile actress, singer, and dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations for an exceptional 10 Tony nominations. She recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway, the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer's Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. Chita's first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry's Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009 and received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002. In November, 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall and in 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin' To Do, a retrospective of her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.

Uma Thurman made her Broadway debut earlier this season in The Parisian Woman. She is best known for her portrayal of Mia Wallace in Quentin Tarantino's critically lauded Pulp Fiction, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the cult classic. Thurman also garnered Golden Globe Award nominations for her role of "The Bride" in the Kill Bill film franchise. Thurman earned a Golden Globe Award for Hysterical Blindness, in which she starred and produced, and her first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Dramatic Series on NBC's series "Smash." She was previously seen on stage in New York in The Misanthrope at Classic Stage Company in 1999. Her TV and film accolades include Bravo's "Imposters," NBC's miniseries "The Slap," Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, Dangerous Liaisons, Henry & June, Beautiful Girls, Batman & Robin, Les Misérables, Prime with Meryl Streep, Be Cool and The Producers. Thurman recently completed production on various films including Lars Von Trier's The House That Jack Built, The Con is On and Down a Dark Hall. She will also star opposite Robert De Niro in Tim Hill's The War with Grandpa. Born in Massachusetts, Thurman currently lives in New York City with her three children.

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