Most recently, Judith Light received her 2nd consecutive Emmy nomination to go along with her three consecutive Critics Choice Award nominations for her role as Shelly Pfefferman in Amazon Prime’s Transparent. She was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carnegie Melon University along with a Made in New York Award and the Elizabeth Taylor Award from ACRIA. Earlier this year, Judith starred with Al Pacino in the play “God Looked Away” at the Pasadena Playhouse. Transparent seasons 1-4 are available on Amazon Prime for binge watching and season 5 just got picked up.
In 2016, Judith did a one woman, Off-Broadway show for MCC, All the Ways to Say I Love you at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Earlier in the year, she won an Outer Critics Circle Award and also nominated for a Drama League Awardfor her role of Madame Raqiun in Therese Raquin.
Earlier in the year, she was nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for her role in Transparent. In addition to the series’ past Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award wins, Transparent was also nominated by SAG for Best Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
In 2015, Judith Light played the role of Madame Raquin on Broadway’s Therese Raquin, starring with Kiera Knightly at Roundabout Theatre. Therese Raquin is a stage adaptation of the 1867 Emile Zola novel, directed by Evan Cabnet.
In 2014, Judith was named the National Ambassador for the 19th KIDS NIGHT OUT ON BROADWAY by the Broadway League. She was also honored with the Women Who Care Award at the 13th Annual UPC of NYC Women Who Care Luncheon.
In 2013, Judith was awarded her second of back-to-back Tony Awards* for “Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play”, for The Assembled Parties. She also won her second of back-to-back Drama Desk Awards for “Best Featured Actress” for the same play. Written by Richard Greenberg, The Assembled Parties welcomes us to the world of the Bascovs, an Upper West Side Jewish family in 1980. The second act starts twenty years later as 2001 approaches, the Bascovs’ seemingly picture-perfect life may be about to crumble. A stunning new play infused with humor, The Assembled Parties is an incisive portrait of a family grasping for stability at the dawn of a new millennium. Light creates the role of Faye, the neurotic sister-in-law of Julie Bascov.
In 2012, Judith starred in Other Desert Cities for which she won the Tony Award for “Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play”, and also won the Drama Desk Award for “Best Featured Actress”. Written by Jon Robin Baitz, Other Desert Cities is centered on a daughter who presents her family with a memoir she is about to publish. She played the role of Silda Grauman, the wise-cracking alcoholic aunt.
She was nominated for a Tony Award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play” in 2011, starring in “Lombardi”, the new American play by Academy Award winner Eric Simpson. Directed by Tony winner Thomas Kail, the play is based on the best-selling biography When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by Pulitzer-winning author David Maraniss. Judith played Marie Lombardi alongside Dan Lauria who played sports icon Vince Lombardi.
Judith’s television career began with her two-time Best Actress Emmy award-winning turn as Karen Wolek on “One Life to Live”. She then went on to play Angela Bower on the hit comedy series “Who’s the Boss?”. She starred on the Emmy Award-winning ABC-TV series “Ugly Betty”, for which she received an Emmy nomination playing the character of Claire Meade. She also co-starred on NBC’s long-running drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in the recurring role of Judge Elizabeth Donnelly. Judith has also starred in “Phenom” (created by James Brooks), “The Simple Life” (created by Herb Hamsher), “The Stones” (created by Max Mutchnick, David Kohan and Jenji Kohan) and in over 15 television movies, including her role as Ryan’s mother, Jeanne, in “The Ryan White Story”. More recently Judith has created recurring characters on TNT’s “Dallas” and TV Land’s comedy series “The Exes”.
Some of Judith’s film work includes, “The Shoemaker” with Danny Aiello, “Ira & Abby” by Jennifer Westfeldt, with Robert Klein, Fred Willard, and Frances Conroy – which was voted Best Comedy at the 2007 HBO comedy festival; and “Save Me” with Chad Allen and Robert Gant, a film which she also produced with her long-time manager/producer, Herb Hamsher through their production company, Tetrahedron Productions, in conjunction with GKE and Mythgarden Productions. “Save Me” had its US premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, followed by screenings at both NYC’s NewFest and LA’s Outfest, as well as a screening and panel discussion aboard RSVP vacations Queen Mary 2 transatlantic crossing. “Save Me” was released theatrically nationwide in the summer of 2008 by First Run Features. She also can be heard as the Narrator in “Scrooge & Marley”, a modern variation on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In 2012, she co-starred in the independent film “The Last Weekend”. In 2013, Judith appeared in the film “We’ll Never Have Paris” by Simon Hilberg and most recently in 2014, she filmed the indie picture “Digging for Fire” by Joe Swanberg.
In 1999, Judith returned to her performing roots in theater, starring as the brilliant and uncompromising “Dr. Vivian Bearing” in the critically acclaimed and Pulitzer Prize winning Off-Broadway play “WIT”, at Union Square Theater. Originally directed by Derek Anson Jones, “WIT” is a heartbreaking and at times very funny play about how ‘Dr. Bearing’ copes with ovarian cancer, and how it transforms her and her views of life. A university professor who has always treasured her independence and lack of personal connections, ‘Dr. Bearing’ is forced to change her stance when she undergoes radical chemotherapy. Judith performed in New York until January 2000 and then toured with WIT nationwide, in such cities as Boston, Washington (at the Kennedy Center), and San Francisco. For her outstanding performance, Judith received the Helen Hayes Award in Washington, DC, as well as the Elliot Norton Award in Boston.
In 2001, Judith opened in Washington, DC, at The Shakespeare Theater, portraying the title character in the Henrik Ibsen classic “Hedda Gabler” directed by Michael Kahn. Judith also starred in Athol Fugard’s “Sorrows and Rejoicings” in 2002 at the Second Stage Theatre in New York and the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, written and directed by Athol Fugard. Light joined the Ojai Playwrights Conference for their 2004 season, as well as played the role of Joanne in Steven Sondheim’s “Company” at the Freud Theatre in LA as part of Reprise that same year. In 2005, at The MCC Theatre in New York, she starred in the production of Laura Wade’s “Colder Than Here”. In 2009, she starred in A.R. Gurney’s “Children”, a co-production at the Westport Playhouse and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA, Judith has worked in repertory theaters throughout the United States and Canada, as well as a USO Tour of “Guys and Dolls” performed throughout Europe. Judith’s Broadway debut was in “A Doll’s House” with Liv Ullmann and was followed by a season at the Eugene O’Neill Playwright’s conference.
Judith is a Board Member and advocate for many organizations and charities representing AIDS-related and Human Rights issues including: Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS, The Names Project/The AIDS Memorial Quilt, The AIDS Memorial Grove, CDC’s Business Responds to AIDS/Labor Responds to AIDS, Hollywood Health and Society, Project Angel Food, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, The National Aids Memorial Grove, The Point Foundation, The Rome Chamber Music Festival, Faith In America, Drama League National Advisory Council and The Trevor Project.
Judith lives in New York and Los Angeles and is married to writer/actor, Robert Desiderio.
* A feat accomplished only twice before in Tony history – by Gwen Verdon in ’58 & ’59 (“New Girl in Town” & “Redhead”) and by Stephen Spinella in the same role in the two-part-er, “Angels in America” in ’93 & ‘94.