Hal Prince was a giant in our industry. His contribution to the history of the American theater cannot be overstated. Hal was also a genuine hero to The Actor Fund. Time and time again, Hal offered sound leadership and good counsel. His efforts have helped to build a stronger, more effective and compassionate Actors Fund. In 1988, there was a real possibility that The Actors Fund might have to close its doors. Hal immediately stepped up. To kick-start the rebuilding of The Fund, Hal assigned his coveted house seats for The Phantom of the Opera to The Fund. Hal’s four seats inspired other Broadway shows to do the same, creating a unique membership program and a key source of financial support for our human services programs. Hal’s vision and generosity played a significant role in making sure The Actors Fund would not only survive, but prosper. He led the effort to make assisted living a vital part of The Actors Fund Home in New Jersey; and he chaired the campaign to build The Dorothy Ross Friedman and Palm View Residences for members of the entertainment industry in New York and California. He was a treasured friend who went on to serve on our Board for more than 50 years.
Hal’s deep love and respect for everyone on stage, front and back of house, will always be an inspiration. As Board Chair Brian Stokes Mitchell said at our recent annual meeting, “As a Trustee, (Hal) always encouraged everyone in his orbit to support our work, ensuring yet another way his legacy in the performing arts will continue.” Everyone at The Fund offers their love and deepest sympathy to Judy, Charlie and Daisy and to everyone in our community that was touched by his creative genius and kind, compassionate heart.
In 2017, we honored Hal with The Actors Fund's Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him by Joel Grey. Watch Hal's acceptance speech.
The Gala evening that year also included musical tributes to Hal's incredible career from Rebecca Luker, Marin Mazzie, Emily Skinner, Bryonha Marie Parham, Gregg Edelman and Andréa Burns. Watch highlights from Hal's tribute.