The fourth annual Lilly Awards, named after playwright Lillian Hellman, honored the following women in the theater earlier this week:
actress Lois Smith
actress Jessica Hecht
sound designer Jill Du Boff
playwright Paula Vogel
playwright Laura Marks
playwright Tonya Barfield
playwright and actress Jiehae Park
theater producer Julie Crosby
director Lear De Bessonet.
Also awarded a Lilly were architect Denise Scott Brown, who in 1991 was denied a Pritzker Prize in effect because of her gender; and Emilie “Mimi” Kilgore, who in 1978 founded the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize to honor women who have written works for the theater. (Susan Smith Blackburn was Kilgore’s sister, who had died in 1977)
Smith and Kilgore won lifetime achievement awards.
Julia Jordan, Marsha Norman and Theresa Rebeck founded the Lilly Awards in 2010.
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Lois Smith’s bio:
Lois Smith studied acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors’ Studio. She is a two-time Tony-nominee for her work in Steppenwolf’s Buried Child and The Grapes of Wrath. She is an ensemble member of Steppenwolf. She made her Broadway debut in 1952 in the comedy Time out for Ginger. Oother Broadway credits include: The Iceman Cometh (1973) and Orpheus Descending (1957). In 2006, she won a Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Obie, and Lucille Lortel Awards for her performance in The Trip To Bountiful (Signature). Other recent NYC theater credits include Heartless (Sam Shepherd, Signature), After the Revolution (Amy Herzog, Playwright’s Horizons), and The Illusion (Tony Kushner, Signature). Smith made her film debut in 1955 East of Eden opposite James Dean, and appeared in such seminal films as Five Easy Pieces (National Society of Film Critics Award), Fried Green Tomatoes, The Pledge, Minority Report, Twister, How to Make an American Quilt, Fatal Attraction, Next Stop Greenwich Village, and Dead Man Walking. Her TV credits include: soap operas (Another World, Somerset, The Edge of Night, All My Children, One Life to Live), prime-time dramas (The Defenders, Dr. Kildare, Route 66, thirtysomething, The Practice, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Desperate Housewives, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Cold Case and True Blood), and sitcoms (Just Shoot Me!and Frasier). Her career has spanned five decades working continuously in theater, film and television and is still going strong.