The American Theater Hall of Fame in New York City was founded in 1972. Earl Blackwell was the first head of the organization's Executive Committee. In an announcement in 1972, he said that the new Theater Hall of Fame would be located in the Uris Theatre (then under construction, now the Gershwin). James M. Nederlander and Gerard Oestreicher, who leased the theater, donated the space for the Hall of Fame; Arnold Weissberger was another founder. Blackwell noted that the names of the first honorees would "be embossed in bronze-gold lettering on the theater's entrance walls flanking its grand staircase and escalator." The first group of inductees was announced in October 1972.
Eligible inductees come from disciplines including actors, playwrights, song writers, designers, directors, and producers who have had a career in American theater for at least twenty-five years and, at least five major production credits on Broadway. This has since been modified. Selections are made each year by voting members of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA). Induction takes place at a ceremony at the Gershwin Theatre in New York City, where the plaques containing the names of the inductees are hung.
Since 1998, full accounts of the annual induction ceremonies, with quotes from both inductees and their presenters, have appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. An index to these articles is on the ATCA website. An annual Theater Hall of Fame Fellowship Luncheon has been held annually since 2004 to salute a member "who continues to work on Broadway and also presents grants to emerging theatre artists."
Betty Lynn Buckley (born July 3, 1947) is an American actress and singer. She won the 1983 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Grizabella in the original Broadway production of Cats. She went on to play Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1994–96) in both London and New York, receiving a 1995 Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, and was nominated for the 1997 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Triumph of Love. Her other Broadway credits include 1776 (1969), Pippin (1973), and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1985). She is also a two-time Daytime Emmy Award nominee, a two-time Grammy Award nominee, and a 2012 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee.Buckley starred in the TV series Eight Is Enough from 1977 to 1981 and played gym teacher Ms. Collins in the 1976 film Carrie, before going on to star in the short-lived Broadway musical version of Carrie in 1988, playing Carrie White’s mother, Margaret. Her other film roles include Dixie Scott in Tender Mercies (1983), Sondra Walker in Frantic (1988), Kathy in Another Woman (1988) and Mrs. Jones in The Happening (2008). She received a Saturn Award nomination for her role as Dr. Karen Fletcher in the 2016 film Split. Her other television credits include the series Oz (2001–03), and the series Preacher (2018). She is starring in the title role in the upcoming U.S. national tour of Hello, Dolly.Brian Murray (actor)
Brian Murray (né Bell; 10 September 1937 – 20 August 2018) was a South African actor and theatre director who was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2004.Charles MacArthur
Charles Gordon MacArthur (November 5, 1895 – April 21, 1956) was an American playwright, screenwriter and 1935 winner of the Academy Award for Best Story.Cherry Jones
Cherry Jones (born November 21, 1956) is an American actress. A five-time Tony Award nominee for her work on Broadway, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the 1995 revival of The Heiress and for the 2005 original production of Doubt. She won the 2009 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Allison Taylor on the FOX television series 24. She has also won three Drama Desk Awards.
Jones made her Broadway debut in the 1987 original Broadway production of Stepping Out. Other stage credits include Pride's Crossing (1997–98) and The Glass Menagerie (2013–14). Her film appearances include The Horse Whisperer (1998), Erin Brockovich (2000), The Village (2004), Amelia (2009) and The Beaver (2011). In 2012, she played Dr. Judith Evans on the NBC drama Awake.Dana Ivey
Dana Robins Ivey (born August 12, 1941) is an American actress. She is a five-time Tony Award nominee for her work on Broadway, and won the 1997 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her work in both Sex and Longing and The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Her film appearances include The Color Purple (1985), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), The Addams Family (1991), Two Weeks Notice (2002), Rush Hour 3 (2007) and The Help (2011).Eugene Lee (designer)
Eugene Lee (Scenic Designer) was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, in 1939. He attended Beloit Memorial High School. He has been resident designer at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, since 1967. He has BFA degrees from the Goodman School of Drama of the Art Institute of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University, an MFA from Yale Drama School and three honorary Ph.Ds. Mr. Lee has won Tony Awards for Bernstein’s Candide, Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and Wicked, as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design. He is the production designer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Other New York theatre work includes Amazing Grace, Alice in Wonderland, The Normal Heart, Agnes of God, Ragtime, Uncle Vanya, Ruby Sunrise, Bounce, and A Number. Film credits include Coppola’s Hammett, Huston’s Mr. North and Malle’s Vanya on 42nd Street. Mr. Lee is an adjunct professor at Brown University, resident set designer at Trinity Repertory Company, and lives with his wife Brooke in Providence, where they raised their two sons.His work on the musical Candide at the Chelsea Theater Center of Brooklyn and on Broadway are chronicled in great detail in Davi Napoleon's book, Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater. The book also describes his work on Slave Ship and other productions at the Chelsea.
Lee is also a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2006.Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.
Florenz Edward Ziegfeld Jr. (March 21, 1867 – July 22, 1932), popularly known as Flo Ziegfeld, was an American Broadway impresario, notable for his series of theatrical revues, the Ziegfeld Follies (1907–1931), inspired by the Folies Bergère of Paris. He also produced the musical Show Boat. He was known as the "glorifier of the American girl". Ziegfeld is a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame.Gene Saks
Gene Saks (November 8, 1921 – March 28, 2015) was an American stage, film director, and actor. An inductee of the American Theater Hall of Fame, his acting career beginning with a debut on Broadway in 1949. As a director, he was nominated for seven Tony Awards, winning three for his direction of I Love My Wife, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues. He also directed a number of films during his career. He was married to Bea Arthur from 1950 until 1980, and subsequently to Keren Saks, from 1980 to his death in 2015.George Hearn
George Hearn (born June 18, 1934) is an American actor and singer, primarily in Broadway musical theatre.Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Forbes Fierstein ( FIRE-steen; born June 6, 1954) is an American actor, playwright, and voice actor. Fierstein has won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his own play Torch Song Trilogy (about a gay drag-performer and his quest for true love and family) and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. He also wrote the book for the musical La Cage aux Folles, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, and wrote the book for the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.Jerry Bock
Jerrold Lewis "Jerry" Bock (November 23, 1928 – November 3, 2010) was an American musical theater composer. He received the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Sheldon Harnick for their 1959 musical Fiorello! and the Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist for the 1964 musical Fiddler on the Roof with Sheldon Harnick.John Lee Beatty
John Lee Beatty is an American scenic designer who has created set designs for more than 110 Broadway shows and has designed for other productions. He has won two Tony Awards, for Talley's Folly (1980) and The Nance (2013), and been nominated for 13 more, and he has won five Drama Desk Awards and been nominated for 10 others.John Lithgow
John Arthur Lithgow ( LITH-goh; born October 19, 1945) is an American actor, musician, comedian, poet, author, and singer. He has received two Tony Awards, six Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, an American Comedy Award, four Drama Desk Awards, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards and four Grammy Awards. Lithgow has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Lithgow is best known for his television roles as Dick Solomon in the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996–2001), Arthur Mitchell in the drama Dexter (2009), and Sir Winston Churchill in the drama The Crown (2016), for all of which he won Emmy Awards. He is also well known for his film roles in Blow Out (1981), Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Footloose (1984), Santa Claus: The Movie (1985), Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Raising Cain (1992), Shrek (2001), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Interstellar (2014), and Daddy's Home 2 (2017). His performances in the films The World According to Garp (1982) and Terms of Endearment (1983) each earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
On the stage, he has appeared in Broadway productions including the musical adaptations of Sweet Smell of Success and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In 2007, he made his Royal Shakespeare Company debut as Malvolio in Neil Bartlett's production of Twelfth Night. He has also recorded music, such as the 1999 children's music album Singin' in the Bathtub, and has written poetry and short stories for children, such as Marsupial Sue. His work in children's entertainment has earned him Grammy Award nominations and two Parents' Choice Silver Honor Awards.Martin Pakledinaz
Martin Pakledinaz (September 1, 1953 – July 8, 2012) was an American costume designer for stage and film.
He won his Tony Awards for designing the costumes for Thoroughly Modern Millie and the 2000 revival of Kiss Me, Kate, which also earned him the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design.
His most recent costume designs were for the Broadway shows Nice Work If You Can Get It (2012); Man and Boy (revival, 2011); Master Class (revival 2011) and The Normal Heart. He worked on the 1995 production of Holiday at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
He designed costumes for plays for the leading regional theatres of the United States, and the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden. Opera credits include works at the New York Metropolitan Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor, Rodelinda, Iphigénie en Tauride) and the New York City Opera, as well as opera houses in Seattle, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Sante Fe, Houston, and Toronto. European houses include Salzburg, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Helsinki, Gothenburg, and others.
He also designed for dance companies, working with Mark Morris for many years.Pakledinaz died from brain cancer on July 8, 2012 at the age of 58.Shortly after his death, he was posthumously inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.Matthew Broderick
Matthew Broderick (born March 21, 1962) is an American actor and singer. His roles include the title character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), the voice of the adult Simba in Disney's The Lion King trilogy (1994–2004), David Lightman in the Cold War thriller WarGames (1983), Leo Bloom in the Broadway production of The Producers (2005), and John Brown in Inspector Gadget (1999).
Broderick has won two Tony Awards, one for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983), and one for Best Actor in a Musical for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1995). As of 2018, Broderick remains the youngest winner of the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play.In 2006, for his contributions to the film industry, Matthew Broderick was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard. Eleven years later, Broderick earned induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame.Nancy Marchand
Nancy Marchand (June 19, 1928 – June 18, 2000) was an American actress. She began her career in theatre in 1951. She was perhaps most famous for her television portrayals of Margaret Pynchon on Lou Grant and Livia Soprano on The Sopranos.Richard Easton
John Richard Easton (born March 22, 1933) is a Canadian actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Brian Hammond in the 1970s BBC serial The Brothers.Santo Loquasto
Santo Richard Loquasto (born July 26, 1944) is an American production designer, scenic designer, and costume designer for stage, film, and dance. His work has included the ballet Don Quixote, the film Don't Drink the Water, Great Performances Dance in America: Fosse, and the television show TriBeCa.Tammy Grimes
Tammy Lee Grimes (January 30, 1934 – October 30, 2016) was an American actress and singer.
She won two Tony Awards in her career, the first for originating the role of Molly Tobin in the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown and the second for starring in a 1970 revival of Private Lives as Amanda Prynne. A former husband, Christopher Plummer, and their daughter, actress Amanda Plummer, are also Tony Award winners.
She originated the role of Diana in the Broadway production of California Suite. The role of Diana was played in the film by Maggie Smith, who won an Oscar for her performance. Grimes played the role of Elmire in the 1978 Broadway and television production of Tartuffe. She originated roles in several works by Noël Coward, including Elvira in High Spirits and Lulu in Look After Lulu! In 1966, she starred in her own television series, The Tammy Grimes Show. Grimes was also known for her cabaret acts. In 2003, she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.