On March 10th in Los Angeles, the Southland Theater Artists Goodwill Event (STAGE) will honor stage, screen and television Actress Judith Light at their annual event at the Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills. This fundraiser has been held for over a decade to “honor members of the theater community for both their artistic skills and their dedication to the civic well-being of society with special emphasis on service to battle against HIV/AIDS.”
No person deserves this award more and presents us with an opportunity to celebrate her talents, service and generous spirit.
In just over a decade, Judith Light has participated in near 400 events relating to HIV/AIDS. I think it would be almost impossible to find a leading actress who has done more in the battle. Not only has she allowed her celebrity to be used to raise funds and create awareness, she personally has been a caretaker to people with HIV/AIDS.
Judith Light was an activist and caregiver when few others were willing to even lend their names. In one of her most celebrated roles, she played Ryan White’s mother in the TV movie The Ryan White Story, helping to share his personal story of living with HIV/AIDS with the world at a time when few would discuss the disease. Along with George C. Scott and Lukas Hass, Judith’s performance made sure the movie was a huge ratings hit for ABC-TV.
As an activist and public speaker, Light has been blunt in describing our nation’s moral obligation to end the AIDS epidemic. Her rhetoric has been tough and uncompromising, and delivered with the kind of power that might have hurt any other individual’s career. But coming from Judith Light, her dignity and gentleness enable people to listen instead of being turned off. She has been effective, powerful and charismatic in this huge battle.
Over the last several years, she has begun to collect long overdue recognition for her astounding artistic talents.
In 1977, she landed a major role in the in the daytime serial One Life to Live, which led to two Emmys and her election to the Soap Opera Hall of Fame. It is almost impossible to go to any corner of the world without seeing reruns of her hit series Who’s the Boss. On a recent trip to Mala Mala in a remote region of South Africa, the entire hotel staff knew “Angela,” her character in that hit series.
Judith’s recent work is some of her best ever, including her well critically acclaimed performance as Dr. Vivian Bearing in the off-Broadway hit Wit for which she won a Helen Hayes Award. She quickly followed up that triumph with a leading role in Hedda Gable, which had reviewers raving about her talent. For some critics, these recent performances served as a reintroduction and led them to proclaim her as “one of America’s greatest actresses.”
Today, her recurring guest roles on the television hit show Ugly Betty and Law and Order: SVU have earned her even more critical attention. Portraying tough and complex characters in both series has given her a chance to showcase her broad range of acting skill, from comedy to drama.
After starring in a number of television movies, she is finally moving to the big screen. In the upcoming film Save Me, which was a huge hit at the Sundance Film Festival, she stars with Chad Allen and Robert Gant.
Judith Light honors her own name. She has brought light and joy into millions of lives both on screen and off screen. Her generous spirit continues to inspire others to contribute to the betterment of our society. We are lucky to have her walk among us.
You can get tickets for the event at this STAGE website. Join all of us in honoring this remarkable human being.