New York (April 11, 2017) – The Actors Fund, the national human services organization that helps everyone in performing arts and entertainment in times of need, crisis or transition, will hold its Annual Gala on Monday, May 8, 2017. The evening will celebrate Emmy and Golden Globe Award® winning actor Danny DeVito, two-time Academy Award®-winner Sally Field, outstanding corporate leader Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP and 21-time Tony Award®-winning theatrical director and producer Harold Prince. Mr. DeVito, Ms. Field and Ms. Jenkins will be awarded The Actors Fund’s Medal of Honor. Mr. Prince will receive The Actors Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The event begins with 6 pm cocktails followed by 7 pm dinner and tribute at the New York Marriott Marquis. The evening will include special tribute performances by guests to be announced.
Danny DeVito, currently starring in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Price, is one of the entertainment industry’s most versatile players, excelling as actor, producer and director. His Emmy and Golden Globe® award-winning performance as Louie De Palma on the television show Taxi propelled him to national prominence. His many starring appearances include beloved hit films such as Junior, Batman Returns, The War of the Roses, Twins, L.A. Confidential, Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, and Ruthless People. As the principal of Jersey Film’s 2nd Avenue, a successor company of Jersey Films, he has produced over 20 motion pictures, including the Academy Award® nominated film Erin Brockovich.
Sally Field, currently starring on Broadway in Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, is a two-time Academy Award® and three-time Emmy® Award-winning actress, whose career has spanned five decades and dozens of iconic roles on screens large and small. Highlights from her extensive film credits include Hello, My Name is Doris; Lincoln; Forrest Gump; Steel Magnolias; Murphy's Romance; Absence of Malice; Mrs. Doubtfire; Soapdish; Not Without My Daughter; Punchline and Smokey and the Bandit and her Academy Award®-winning performances in Places in the Heart and Norma Rae. Her extensive TV roles include Emmy Award-winning performances in “Sybil,” “Brothers & Sisters” and “ER.” She was last seen on Broadway in 2002 starring in Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? In September 2015, President Obama honored her with the National Medal of Arts.
“Danny DeVito and Sally Field have delighted audiences for more than four decades,” said Joe Benincasa, CEO of The Actors Fund. “We’re proud to acknowledge their distinguished and exemplary work on stage and screen.”
Jo Ann Jenkins was named CEO of AARP in 2014. She leads the organization’s advocacy efforts, not just on behalf of its 38 million members and their families, but of all people aged 50-plus nationwide. She came to AARP in 2010 as President of AARP Foundation where she focused on assisting millions of older, vulnerable low-income Americans around issues of hunger, housing, income and isolation. Prior to joining AARP she had a distinguished 25-plus-year career in public service where she had most recently served as Chief Operating Officer at the Library of Congress. Her first book, Disrupt Aging, was published last year and has become a national best seller.
“Jo Ann’s work as an advocate to empower individuals to embrace possibilities in their personal and professional lives has great synergy with our work in the development of our services for performing arts and entertainment professionals throughout their careers and in their later years,” Benincasa added. “She’s a visionary.”
Harold Prince’s lengthy career includes direction of the original Broadway productions of She Loves Me, It’s a Bird…Superman, Cabaret, Zorba, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, On the Twentieth Century, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Merrily We Roll Along, The Phantom of the Opera, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Parade, and LoveMusik. He has also directed acclaimed revivals of Candide and Show Boat. Before becoming a director, Mr. Prince produced the original productions of The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, New Girl in Town, West Side Story, Fiorello!, Tenderloin, Flora the Red Menace, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Fiddler on the Roof. His extensive theatrical work has garnered 21 Tony Awards®, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s Monte Cristo Award and a National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton for a career in which “he changed the nature of the American musical.”
“Hal’s work as a theatrical artist is legendary,” said Brian Stokes Mitchell, Chairman of The Actors Fund. “His distinguished four decades of service behind-the-scenes as a trustee of The Actors Fund has quietly guided and supported this organization in helping thousands in need in performing arts and entertainment across the country.”
Tickets to the benefit begin at $1,500 and include reception, dinner and entertainment. For tables and sponsorships, call 212.627.1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and updates, visit www.actorsfund.org/Gala2017.
THE ACTORS FUND is a national human services organization that helps everyone—performers and those behind the scenes—who works in performing arts and entertainment. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund is a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit www.actorsfund.org.