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Archive for June, 2011

Bebe Neuwirth’s Medal of Honor Acceptance Speech

June 30, 2011 Comments off

Bebe NeuwirthOne of our three honorees at the 2011 Actors Fund Gala on May 24 was the always amazing and incredibly dedicated Bebe Neuwirth. Vice President of The Fund, she was awarded the Medal of Honor for founding The Dancers’ Resource, created in response to the unique situation dancers face due to the physically demanding nature of their work, coupled with the significant financial challenges of earning a living in dance.

We thought we’d share her incredibly moving acceptance speech (footage of which also includes the touching introduction by her good friend Ann Reinking). And if you’d like to hear two stories of how The Dancers’ Resource has made a difference, click here to view the equally emotional testimonials given at the Gala by Marimba Gold-Watts and Jesse Factor.

For more information on The Dancers’ Resource, visit The Actors Fund’s website.

Bebe Neuwirth photo by Lyn Hughes.

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Step Up To The Plate For The Fund

June 23, 2011 Comments off

The Actors Fund's team at bat.

We’ve been blogging a bit about the fabulous weekly Broadway Show League fun in Central Park (head on over to the league’s Flickr pool to see this season’s highlights). Now that summer’s officially in full swing, more and more people are getting out to the big ballparks. If you’re itching to see a game—and want to support The Actors Fund in the process—head on over to the 1st Annual Bombers-Boomer-Broadway Celebrity Softball Game for Charity at Yankee Stadium next Monday, June 27 at 10am.

An exclusive, private event hosted by the Yankees for The Fund and The Boomer Esiason Foundation fighting Cystic Fibrosis, the event will feature two games: The first highlighting celebrities from The Broadway League (Including—among others—Billy Crudup, Edie Falco, Mitch Jarvis, Gregory Jbara, Chad Kimball, Sam Robards, Will Swenson, Aaron Tveit, Frank Wood and Tom Wopat), and the second game will pit Yankee Old Timers against Boomer’s Celebrities (including Yankee stars Jesse Barfield, Rob Blomberg, Homer Bush, Cecil Fielder, Charlie Hayes, Jeff Nelson, Joe Pepitone, Mike Stanley and David Wells, as well as Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, Buddy the Cake Boss, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ralph Macchio, former NY Knick Anthony Mason, NY Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan, The Sopranos’ Steve Schirippa, and Fox Morning Show’s Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly).

Each $200 ticket package includes a collectible credential for all-day access to the event, an official Yankees cap and baseball, continental breakfast and during-the-game access to ballpark fare, and a post-game luncheon reception featuring a meet-and-greet with all of the celebrity players. Visit The Fund’s website for more information on how to purchase tickets.

Photos From The Fund’s Tony Party 2011: Honoring Hal Holbrook

June 16, 2011 Comments off

Sean Penn (Presenter), Hal Holbrook (Honoree), Marilu Henner (Host) and Brian Stokes Mitchell (Former honoree and Actors Fund/Chairman of the Board). Photo by Bill Dow Photography.

On Sunday, June 12, 2011, supporters of the Actors Fund and Tony Awards fans gathered at Los Angeles’ Skirball Center for The Fund’s 15th Annual Tony Party, which this year honored Hal Holbrook with The Julie Harris Lifetime Achievement Award–and raised $160,000 for The Fund! The evening was hosted by the fabulous Marilu Henner, and featured a live feed from the Tony Awards in NYC, as well as number of special guests, including Sean Penn, who presented Mr. Holbrook with the Harris award.

We thought we’d share a few photos from the fabulous event here, and be sure to click through to The Actors Fund’s website for more!

Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen spoke to the crowd. Photo by Bill Dow Photography.

Tony Party 2011 2

Stephen Heath (Mr. Holbrook's nephew), Hal Holbrook and Ginna Carter (Mr. Holbrook's daughter). Photo by Bill Dow Photography.

Tony Party 2011 3

Fund Western Council Chair John Holly, Fund President & CEO Joe Benincasa, Sean Penn, Hal Holbrook, Marilu Henner, Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell and Fund Trustee and Western Region Council Member Jomarie Ward. Photo by Bill Dow Photography.

Categories: Uncategorized

Curtain Call: The Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement

June 9, 2011 Comments off

Hal HolbrookIt’s not too late to grab tickets for this weekend’s Tony Awards Party at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, which will honor the incredible actor Hal Holbrook with The Actors Fund‘s Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement. The gathering not only features the official Tony live feed–of course!–but also a special program hosted by Marilu Henner and featuring Sean Penn, who will present Mr. Holbrook with his award.

Be sure to view Marilu Henner’s appearance on Good Day LA, during which she talked up the Tony Party (skip to 2:10 to hear her promo The Fund!), and check out these photos of previous Julie Harris Award honorees from our archives.

2006 Julie Harris Award Winner Liza Minnelli

2005 Julie Harris Award Winner Stockard Channing (with Joanne Worley, Elaine Stritch and Jason Graee)


2004 Julie Harris Award Winner James Earl Jones (with Henry Winkler, Joanne Worley and Jason Alexander)

2009 Julie Harris Award Winner Chita Rivera (with daughter Lisa Mordente and Tippi Hedren)

2008 Julie Harris Award Winner Tommy Tune (with Carol Channing and Florence Henderson)

2010 Julie Harris Award Winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (with Annette Bening and Tommy Tune). Credit Bill Dow.

2007 Julie Harris Award Winner Jerry Herman, right (with composer and lyricist Jeff Marx, left)

Julie Harris Award Honorees:
2011 Hal Holbrook
2010 Brian Stokes Mitchell
2009 Chita Rivera
2008 Tommy Tune
2007 Jerry Herman
2006 Liza Minnelli
2005 Stockard Channing
2004 James Earl Jones
2003 Rita Moreno
2002 Carol Channing
2001 Lauren Bacall
2000 Tyne Daly
1999 Charles Durning
1998 Gwen Verdon
1997 Julie Harris

Happy Birthday to The Actors Fund!

June 8, 2011 Comments off

The interior of Wallack's Theatre at 30th and Broadway. Not long after its 1882 opening, it was the venue for the first official meeting of The Actors Fund after its incorporation.

On June 8, 1882, after years of hard work and dedication by some of the American theatre’s most ardent supporters, the New York State Legislature passed special legislation to officially incorporate The Actors Fund. One-hundred years later, to celebrate its centennial, The Fund threw a birthday bash at Radio City Music Hall, Night of 100 Stars, which was telecast nationwide on CBS. Check out one of the fabulous numbers below:

And here’s a little bit on those first official days from A History of The Actors’ Fund of America by Louis M. Simon (published in 1972):

By June 8, 1882, the Act of Incorporation, drafted by Hon A. J. Dittenhoefer, had been passed into law by the New York State Legislature. On Saturday, July 15, the first meeting officially held under the charter took place at Wallack’s Theatre at 12 noon. Mr. William Henderson presided. Permanent officers were elected to serve during what remained of the year 1882–83.

P. T. Barnum

P. T. Barnum, one of The Actors Fund's first trustees.

President, Lester Wallack; Vice-President, A. M. Palmer; Secretary, Daniel Frohman; Treasurer; Theodore Moss…. Initial trustees were, according to the Act of Incorporation, the first seventeen incorporators named in the bill. They were:

Lester Wallack
Edwin Booth
Henry E. Abbey
Joseph Jefferson
M. H. Mallory
Lawrence Barrett
H. C. Miner
W. E. Sinn
A. M. Palmer
Edward Harrigan
William Henderson
John F. Poole
P. T. Barnum
W. T. Florence
Frank Chanfrau
Bartley Campbell
Samuel Colville

Curtain Call: The Broadway Show League, 1969

June 2, 2011 Comments off

Digging through our archives yet again, we discovered a few pictures from a 1969 special Broadway Show League game at St. Albans. The shots include Woody Allen, Jerry Orbach, Tony Roberts, David L. Landers, and numerous others. Take a gander to see who took a little time out for some softball, and stay tuned to learn more about (and buy tickets to) an upcoming very special event at Yankee Stadium on June 27, which will benefit The Actors Fund and The Boomer Esiason Foundation!