Actress, comedienne, and activist Julie Halston will receive the 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award. She is being recognized for her advocacy to raise awareness and funding for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
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. This non-competitive award is being bestowed by the Tony Awards Administration Committee for the 2019-2020 season.
“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.”
In 2008, Julie’s husband, renowned anchorman and newscaster Ralph Howard, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (PF), an interstitial lung disease for which there is no known cure. 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.
“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, in a statement.
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