Happy Birthday to The Actors Fund!
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.
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