The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced today that actress Julie Halston will receive the 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award. The Isabelle Stevenson Award is 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. Miss Halston will receive the Award for her dedication and advocacy in raising funding and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF). Pulmonary Fibrosis is an interstitial lung disease for which there is no known cure.
In 2008, Miss Halston’s husband, renowned anchorman and newscaster Ralph Howard, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (PF). He received a life-saving lung transplant which gave him the gift of life for an additional eight years. In 2010, when their dear friend Mike Kuchwara, the drama critic for The Associated Press, succumbed to pulmonary fibrosis, Ralph and Miss Halston made it their mission to help those afflicted with the disease and to spread awareness, and founded Broadway Belts for PFF. For the past 10 years with the assistance of the incredible talents and generosity of the Broadway community, Miss Halston has helped raise millions of dollars to help patients with PF and their caregivers. In August 2018, Ralph 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 and who embody Ralph’s mission of fostering and supporting talent through mentorship, opportunity, and education. Miss Halston has continued her advocacy on behalf of the PFF throughout the pandemic, creating and hosting Virtual Halston, an internet talk show in which her interviews with many members of the Broadway community garnered legions of viewers each week, all in service of continuing to raise money for the organization during such a crucial time for those suffering from the fatal respiratory disease.
“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 Miss 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,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens President and CEO of the American Theatre Wing.
Miss Halston appeared on stage most recently in the Broadway production of Tootsie. For her performance in the Broadway revival of You Can’t Take It With You, she 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 legendary theatre company Theatre in Limbo, and has co-starred with Mr. Busch in numerous productions including Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, The Tribute Artist, and her Drama Desk Award nominated performances in The Divine Sister and Red Scare on Sunset. Her one person off-Broadway show Julie Halston’s Lifetime of Comedy earned an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. Halston was last seen off-Broadway in The Babylon Line and will next be seen in the world premiere of Fairycakes. Her film credits include the forthcoming The Sixth Reel and Simchas and Sorrows. Halston has appeared on television in a variety of series including the new Gossip Girl, The Good Fight, Divorce, and Sex and the City, for which she reprised her role in the feature film. Episodes of her talk series Virtual Halston are available on YouTube. She founded the annual Broadway Belts charity event in 2010 to and has grown the event into a fundraiser that has raised innumerable funds and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. She was happily married to newscaster Ralph Howard for 27 years.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation mobilizes people and resources to provide access to high quality care and leads research for a cure so people with pulmonary fibrosis will live longer, healthier lives. PFF is the leading patient advocacy organization of pulmonary fibrosis and are committed to funding research to find effective therapies and, hopefully one day, a cure. For more information, visit pulmonaryfibrosis.org.
The Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will host a multi-platform celebration on Sunday, September 26th, starting with the presentation of the American Theatre Wing’s 74th Annual Tony Awards LIVE at 7:00 PM ET / 4:00 PM PT exclusively on Paramount+, followed by “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+ and the CBS app.
For more information on the Tony Awards, please visit www.TonyAwards.com and follow @TheTonyAwards on social media.