The 17th Annual Monte Cristo Award New York Will Honor JUDITH LIGHT 2017 by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino
The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center announces that iconic stage and film actress Judith Light will receive the 17th Annual Monte Cristo Award. A star of stage and screen recognized with this prestigious award. An alum of the O’Neill, Judith first performed at the O’Neill’s 1977 National Playwrights Conference. A gala dinner will be held in her honor at 583 Park Avenue, New York on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 6:30pm followed by a special program hosted by O’Neill Executive Director Preston Whiteway and an award presentation by director and O’Neill alumnus Thomas Kail.
Tony and Emmy Award winner Judith Light. Photograph by Lisa Pacino.
The O’Neill annually bestows its Monte Cristo Award on a prominent theater artist whose lifetime work has had an extraordinary impact on American theater, in memory of its namesake. The gala event supports the Center’s commitment to developing new work and new artists for the stage.
Star of stage and screen, Judith Light received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked in repertory theatres in the US and Canada, as well as performing in Europe. Her Broadway debut was in A Doll’s House with Liv Ullman, followed by a season at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference (performing in three plays over the summer of 1977, including Wendy Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women and Others). In 1999 she starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Wit in New York and also at the Kennedy Center, winning the Helen Hayes Award; soon after she played the title role in Hedda Gabler for Michael Kahn at the Shakespeare Theatre in D.C. For three consecutive years, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a play. She won back-to-back Tony Awards for Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities in 2012 and Richard Greenberg’s The Assembled Parties in 2013. She also won back-to-back Drama Desk Awards for those same performances. Judith is currently starring with Al Pacino in the play God Looked Away at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Judith’s television career began with her two-time Emmy Award-winning Best Actress turn on One Life to Live, followed by the comedy series, Who’s the Boss? and 15 movies of the week. She played Claire Meade in the Emmy-winning ABC series, Ugly Betty and was Emmy-nominated for her performance. She is currently on the groundbreaking show, Transparent streaming now on Amazon Prime.
Judith is also an advocate for HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ causes; supporting such organizations as Point Foundation and Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights Aids. She is also very active with the D.C.-based peace building organization, Friends Committee on National Legislation.
The Monte Cristo Award is presented to a prominent individual each year in recognition of a distinguished career exemplifying Eugene O’Neill’s “pioneering spirit, unceasing artistic commitment, and excellence,” and furthering the American theater. Past recipients of the Award include actors Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, Nathan Lane, Christopher Plummer, James Earl Jones, Kevin Spacey, Jason Robards, Jr., Zoe Caldwell, Brian Dennehy, and Karl Malden; playwrights August Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein, Edward Albee, and Neil Simon; directors Harold Prince and George C. Wolfe; and Arthur & Barbara Gelb.
O’Neill Executive Director Preston Whiteway remarks, “Beloved the world over, Judith Light brings artistry of the highest caliber to every role she takes on.. Her gifts to bring the nuances of each character and their intrinsic humanity, are extraordinary – as is her lifelong commitment to the American theater. Twice awarded the Tony Award for her remarkable portrayals on stage, she began her professional career at the O’Neill with Wendy Wasserstein’s break out play, Uncommon Women and Others. Judith’s life work – her career on stage, screen and her advocacy for the LGBTQ community – truly make her an uncommon woman of the highest caliber, and we are delighted to recognize her with our 2017 Monte Cristo Award.”
Judith Ellen Light was born February 9, 1949. She is an American actress and producer. She is a two-time Tony Award winner. Light made her professional stage debut in 1970, before making her Broadway debut in the 1975 revival of A Doll’s House. Her breakthrough role was in the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live from 1977 to 1983, where she played the role of Karen Wolek. For this role, she won two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She later starred as Angela Bower in the long-running ABC sitcom Who’s the Boss? from 1984 to 1992, and later starred in many television films and short-lived series. She played the recurring role of Elizabeth Donnelly in the NBC legal crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2002–2010) and Claire Meade in the ABC comedy-drama Ugly Betty (2006–2010), for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 2007. She received her first nomination for a Tony Award in 2011, for her performance in the original Broadway play Lombardi. In 2012 and 2013, Light won two consecutive Tony Awards for Best Featured Actress in a Play, for her performances in Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties. From 2013 to 2014, Light played the role of villainous Judith Brown Ryland in the TNT drama series, Dallas. In 2014, she began starring as Shelly Pfefferman in the Amazon Studios critically acclaimed dark comedy-drama, Transparent for which she received Golden Globe, Primetime Emmy, and Critics’ Choice Television Award nominations. Judith is currently starring with Al Pacino in the play God Looked Away at the Pasadena Playhouse in California and is expected on Broadway Fall 2017.
Please visit several of our Judith Light and Al Pacino photo-articles. Our most recent— AL PACINO at The Pasadena Playhouse with Judith Light in God Looked Away 2017:
Lisa Pacino and Under The Duvet Productions are based in New York. Photography services are available worldwide. If you wish to book photography services, receive information, and/or license images for commercial and/or promotional use please E-mail: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com
Sources: The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Wikipedia