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Judith Light has captivated audiences worldwide since her portrayal of Angela Bower on the ABC-TV hit comedy series "Who's the Boss?" Fans are accustomed to her amazing talent that allows her to appear virtually unrecognizable in each of an incredible diversity of roles.
Judith's television career began with her two-time Best Actress Emmy award- winning turn as Karen Wolek on "One Life to Live". She can currently be seen on the award-winning ABC hit "Ugly Betty" in the role of Claire Meade, and on NBC's long-running drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" in the recurring role of Supreme Court Judge Elizabeth Donnelly.
In 2005, Judith returned to her performing roots in theatre, opening at The MCC Theatre in New York in the production of Laura Wade's "Colder Than Here." Judith showcased her musical abilities in 2004 in the role of Joanne in Steven Sondheim's "Company" at the Freud Theatre in LA as part of Reprise! Judith also appeared 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. In 2001, Judith opened in Washington, DC at The Shakespeare Theater portraying the title character in the Henrik Ibsen classic "Hedda Gabler".
In 1999 she also took to the stage at the Union Square Theater, starring as the brilliant and uncompromising "Dr. Vivian Bearing" in the critically acclaimed and Pulitzer Prize winning Off-Broadway play WIT.
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.
Judith has proven her versatility as a performer in the numerous films for television in which she has starred. She has also taken on the challenge of co-producing as well as starring in several of her television projects. Her most recent film for television was "Carriers" for CBS-TV. In it, she starred as a military doctor searching for the key to a deadly virus threatening the population.
In 1997, Judith starred in the highly rated "Too Close to Home" for CBS-TV co-starring Rick Schroeder. In this production, she played an obsessive mother whose love for her own son forces her to commit heinous crimes.
In 1996, Judith appeared in "A Step Toward Tomorrow" for CBS-TV. Judith starred as the mother of a child with a spinal cord injury in this touching and heartfelt drama. Christopher Reeve played a minor role in the production. Other projects in 1996 included a psychological thriller "Murder At My Door" for FOX-TV and "A Husband, A Wife, and A Lover," for CBS-TV. The latter drama recounted the difficult choices a woman faces as she reconciles her duty as a wife and mother with her own needs in the face of tragedy.
In April 1995, Judith starred with Jack Wagner and Tracey Gold in the sexual thriller "The Lady Killer" for CBS-TV. In October 1994, Judith starred with Stacey Keach in "Against Their Will: Women In Prison" for ABC-TV. In this drama, Judith portrayed Alice Needham, a woman who fights for justice against the state prison system.
In January 1994, Judith portrayed Barbara Noel in "Betrayal of Trust," the powerful, fact-based drama about the ultimate betrayal between doctor and patient. "Betrayal of Trust" co-starred Judd Hirsch.
In 1993, Judith starred with Peter Strauss in the CBS-TV movie "Men Don't Tell." The tele-film, which dealt with the issue of husband abuse, pulled in a number one rating for the night and landed in the top ten for the week.
Judith starred in the ABC-TV movie "Wife, Mother, Murderer," which aired in November, 1991. Based on a true story, the movie depicts a small town Alabama woman who, to some, was charming and caring, but to her family was cunning, manipulative and capable of murder. Judith portrayed the three separate identities of the main character, and was able to showcase her acting talent.
In 1990, Judith portrayed a defense attorney in the ABC-TV movie "In Defense of a Married Man," co-starring with Michael Ontkean. In 1989, she appeared in "My Boyfriend's Back" for NBC-TV. In this project, Judith portrayed a singer in a bowling alley lounge and she performed all of her own singing numbers. Jill Eikenberry and Sandy Duncan co-starred.
Also in 1989, Judith starred in "The Ryan White Story" for ABC-TV with Lukas Haas and George C. Scott. In this landmark production which introduced many Americans to the horror of AIDS, Judith portrayed the mother of teenage AIDS victim Ryan White. Touched and inspired by this poignant story, Judith began working with several AIDS charities, and today is one of Hollywood's most active figures in this cause. Earlier in 1989, Judith starred with Jimmy Smits in NBC-TV's "Dangerous Affection." Judith Light was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. Her parents nurtured her interest in acting throughout her childhood and supported her decision to study in a summer program at Carnegie-Mellon University between her junior and senior years of high school. This experience prompted her to enroll in that institution where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
During college Judith spent a summer on tour with the USO playing Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls," in a program organized by Charles Haid ("Hill Street Blues") and Ward Baker (director of "The Fantastiks").
Judith spent the next five years with Milwaukee and Seattle repertory companies. In 1975, she moved to New York and made her Broadway debut in Ibsen's "A Doll's House," with Liv Ullman. This role was followed by a series of Broadway and off-Broadway productions that included roles in "A Streetcar Named Desire," "As You like It," and "Richard III."
In 1977, at the height of what she describes as her "frustrating period," Judith was called to understudy on the daytime serial, "One Life to Live." She then landed the role of Karen Wolek and played that part for five years. While on "One Life to Live," Judith won two Emmys, two Soapy Awards and a Soap Opera Hall of Fame Award. Indeed, one of her performances, "Karen Wolek on the Stand," was so powerful and is remembered so vividly, that to this day it is used as a model in acting classes throughout the nation. Additionally, it was recently honored as being one of TV Guide's "100 Most Memorable Moments on Television."
In 1993, Judith briefly returned to series television on the series "Phenom," created by James Brooks, and also starring William Devane. Also, in the summer of 1998, she starred in the short-lived series "The Simple Life" for CBS-TV.
Judith has also started a thriving second career in voice-over projects. One of her favorites is the character "Honey Chicken" on the animated television show "Duckman."
Judith recently starred in three independent films, "The Shoemaker" with Danny Aiello, "Ira & Abby" by Jennifer Westfeldt, with Robert Klein, Fred Willard, and Frances Conroy; and most recently, "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 premier at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Since then, it has also shown at New York City's Newfest and The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Outfest. "Save Me" will be released theatrically in October 2007 through Roadside Attractions.
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, Faith in America, Project Angel Food, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, The National Aids Memorial Grove, The Point Foundation, The Rome Chamber Music Festival, and The Trevor Project.
Judith lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Robert Desiderio, whom she met while appearing on "One Life to Live."
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