Belle of Broadway
Carnegie Mellon University's Cherry Jones (A'78) was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame on Jan. 27 at the Gershwin Theatre in New York City.
The School of Drama alumna was welcomed along with seven other accomplished professionals: Ellen Burstyn, Jerry Zaks, George C. Wolfe, Lynne Meadow, Cameron Mackintosh, David Hays and Lorraine Hansberry.
College of Fine Arts Dean Dan Martin and School of Drama Head Peter Cooke were on hand to congratulate Jones on her accomplishment.
"Cherry is an outstanding and active stage, film and television actress with an impressive resume, and whose excellence has been recognized by all sectors of the entertainment industry," Martin said.
Jones stars on Broadway as Amanda Wingfield in "The Glass Menagerie" with fellow Carnegie Mellon alum Zachary Quinto (A'99) and has received rave reviews for her work.
She has received nearly a dozen awards (including Tony, Obie, Joseph Jefferson, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Sidney Kingsley, Lucille Lortel, Elliott Norton and Drama League awards).
"Cherry is exemplary," Cooke said. "She is one of America's leading actors and epitomizes the discipline, drive and talent of Carnegie Mellon alumni. It is particularly wonderful that she will receive this honor during the School of Drama centennial year."
Ben Brantley of The New York Times has hailed Jones as "the greatest stage actress of her generation."
Her personal commitments are as strong as the drive that propels her career. She is dedicated to the cause supporting gay and lesbian equality in the United States and was the first openly gay actress to win a Tony Award. In 2004 GLAAD, a rights advocacy group, presented her with the Vito Russo Award, honoring openly gay or lesbian members of the media community for their outstanding contributions to promoting equality for the LGBT community.
The Theater Hall of Fame was founded in 1971 to honor Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater. To be eligible for induction, a theater professional must have given 25 years of distinguished service to the American Theater and have at least five major production credits on Broadway.
More than 350 members of the Hall of Fame and the American Theater Critics Association vote on the inductees.