Julie Halston, most recently on Broadway in the new musical Tootsie, will receive the 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service, or charitable organizations.
The stage and screen star is being honored for her dedication and advocacy in raising funds and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
Halston’s late husband, anchorman and newscaster Ralph Howard, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2008 and subsequently received a life-saving lung transplant, which gave him the gift of life for an additional eight years. In 2010, when their friend, AP drama critic Mike Kuchwara, succumbed to pulmonary fibrosis, Howard and Halston made it their mission to help those afflicted with the disease and founded Broadway Belts for PFF.
For the past 10 years, Halston has helped raise millions of dollars to help patients with PF and their caregivers. In August 2018, Howard lost his own battle with PF. Later that year, the inaugural Ralph Howard Legacy Award was presented, and now annually recognizes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the pulmonary fibrosis community. Halston has continued her advocacy on behalf of the PFF throughout the pandemic, creating and hosting Virtual Halston, an internet talk show in service of continuing to raise money for the organization.
“It is with the deepest appreciation that I wish to thank both The Broadway League and The American Theatre Wing for this incredible honor,” said Halston. “I am so grateful to be a part of the extraordinary Broadway community, and I am profoundly indebted to them for their support of my advocacy on behalf of patients struggling with pulmonary fibrosis. I am so genuinely humbled and sincerely touched by this recognition.”
“Julie is an inspirational talent both on and off the stage. Her unwavering commitment to our Broadway community and to the PF community is unparalleled. Her commitment has resulted in millions of dollars raised to help the people and caregivers afflicted by PF. We are honored to present the Isabelle Stevenson Award to her,” added Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theatre Wing.
For her performance in the Broadway revival of You Can’t Take It With You, Halston received the Richard Seff Award from Actors’ Equity Association, as well as Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Her other Broadway appearances include On the Town, Anything Goes, Hairspray, Gypsy, and Twentieth Century, for which she received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. Halston is a founding member of Charles Busch’s Theatre in Limbo, and has co-starred with Busch in Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, The Tribute Artist, and her Drama Desk Award-nominated performances in The Divine Sister and Red Scare on Sunset. Her solo show, Julie Halston’s Lifetime of Comedy, earned an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. Her screen credits include Gossip Girl, The Good Fight, Divorce, and Sex and the City.
The Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will host a multi-platform celebration September 26, starting with the presentation of the American Theatre Wing’s 74th Annual Tony Awards at 7 PM ET on Paramount+, followed by The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back! on CBS.