Judith Light Honored with Special Tony Award for HIV/AIDS Activism

Associate Editor
Judith Light accepts the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award onstage during the 2019 Tony Awards.
Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Judith Light added another Tony to her mantel on Sunday night, but this time for her work as an HIV/AIDS advocate.

The Transparent actress and two-time Tony Award winner for Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties came to the Tonys stage to receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award, a non-competitive award given to someone from the theater community who has made a significant contribution to a humanitarian effort. Past honorees include Eve Ensler, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) co-founder Larry Kramer and Rosie O'Donnell.

Light's HIV/AIDS advocacy street creds are pretty hefty. According to Broadway World, she's involved with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, Project Angel Food, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and GLAAD, among others.

"It has long been my privilege to support the HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ communities," Light said as she held her award. "So to be honored in this way tonight is extremely humbling."

She added, "On the 10th anniversary of this award, I must acknowledge that it is here, in this theater community that I have been inspired to do this work. It was the height of the AIDS pandemic in the early '80s and so many people in our theatre family were dying. However, even as they suffered the ravages of the disease, they came out and demonstrated courage the likes of which I had never seen before."

Light then shouted out organizations like Broadway Cares and GMHC. She also talked about specific theatrical works that "alerted the world to the devastation of AIDS and homophobia," including Angels in America, The Normal Heart, Torch Song and others.

You can watch the full speech below.