Theatre Icon F. Murray Abraham to Be Honored on Ellis Island

F. Murray Abraham will be honored at The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation's Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards on Tuesday, October 18 at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

The Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards celebrate the immigrant experience by honoring the extraordinary lives of select Americans who trace their ancestry through Ellis Island or an earlier era of arrival, or an immigrant who arrived in the post-Ellis Island era. Annually, the Foundation chooses a select number of these immigrants or their descendants and celebrates the major contributions they have made to this "Nation of Immigrants." Abraham is the honoree for descendants of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island when they came to America. Abraham's grandmother Caterina Cosmana Stello passed through Ellis Island from Italy in 1910. His father and his family came to the U.S. from Syria.

Abraham earned an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Actor in 1984 for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri in Amadeus, an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV series Homeland; two OBIE's, one for his lead in Uncle Vanya, and another for Sustained Excellence in Theater; the John Gielgud Award in Excellence in Shakespeare; the Stanislavsky Award - Moscow Art Theater's highest acting award; and was inducted into the NY Theater Hall of Fame. Abraham has lectured at Harvard and Columbia, taught theater at Brooklyn College, and authored Actors on Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream. With gratitude for the refuge and opportunities afforded to his family by this country, Abraham now is giving voice to those who have none by becoming the spokesperson for the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, the nation's leading interfaith response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Abraham and Kate Hannan, his wife of more than 50 years, have two children and one grandchild.

Also being honored at this year's Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards are social justice pioneer and sports icon Billie Jean King, architect and designer Daniel Libeskind, and philanthropist Gregory Annenberg Weingarten. Analyst and reporter Mary Carillo will serve as host of the event.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created museums on both islands, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor, the American Family Immigration History Center, and the Peopling of America Center which transformed the museum into the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. Its newest project is constructing the new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island. The Foundation's endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.

For more information about the Foundation visit, follow SOLEIF on Facebook at, Twitter @ellisisland, and Instagram @libertyellisfoundation.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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