Actor Julie Halston will receive the 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, the Tony Awards Administration Committee announced Wednesday.
The Isabelle Stevenson Award is given to members of the theater community who volunteer a substantial amount of time and effort to a humanitarian, social service or charitable organization. Halston is receiving the award due to her work raising money and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, a charity advocating for individuals with the interstitial lung disease.
Halston’s husband, newscaster Ralph Howard, was diagnosed with the disease in 2008. In 2010, Mike Kuchwara, a former drama critic for the Associated Press and a friend of the couple, died from the disease and Halston and Howard founded Broadway Belts for PFF in response. The organization has since raised millions of dollars for pulmonary fibrosis patients and their caregivers.
Howard passed away from the disease in 2018. Following his death, Halston continued to advocate on behalf of patients with pulmonary fibrosis by creating and hosting an internet talk show, Virtual Halston, which raises money for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.
An inaugural Ralph Howard Legacy Award is presented to individuals who have contributed to the pulmonary fibrosis community and supported talent.
“It is with the deepest appreciation that I wish to thank both The Broadway League and The American Theatre Wing for this incredible honor,” Halston said. “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.”
The Tony Awards are scheduled to take place Sept. 26. Prior recipients of the Isabelle Stevenson Award include actor Judith Light, Nick Scandalios, executive vice president of the Nederlander Organization, and actor and choreographer Baayork Lee.
Halston has appeared on Broadway in “Tootsie,” “On the Town,” “You Can’t Take It With You,” “Anything Goes,” “Gypsy,” “Twentieth Century” and more.
“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 chief of the American Theatre Wing.