Brian Stokes Mitchell
Tony-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway, television and film along with appearances in the great American concert halls. In addition to his many theatrical awards, he has enjoyed a long television and recording career. He brings a charismatic presence to The Fund in his latest role as president. Stokes’ committed and untiring work has brought The Fund national attention, guiding the organization into the next 125 years.
1989 – 2004
Thomas Dillon was a true performer with a long and distinguished career in show business. In addition to his numerous Broadway, television and film credits, Dillon and comedian Bert Wheeler were among America’s most popular duos, performing on the Ed Sullivan Show and at The White House. Dillon’s 15-year tenure made him one of the longest-serving Presidents in The Actors Fund’s history, using his affable talents to steward the organization through a period of significant growth and accomplishment.
Nedda Harrigan Logan
1979 – 1989
Nedda Harrigan Logan, daughter of Fund founding member Edward Harrigan, began her career as a Broadway actress, later appearing in several films. Logan helped found the Stage Door Canteen in 1942 and later became instrumental in getting the first USO shows underway, starring in the first overseas productions. Logan became the first woman president of The Actors Fund - an organization close to her heart. Her passion and commitment made her an exceptional leader, with a particular talent for creating fundraising opportunities that benefitted The Fund during the healthcare challenges of the 1980s.
Louis A. Lotito
1969 – 1979
A native New Yorker, Louis Lotito spent his entire life in theatre management. From his first job as an usher at the Hippodrome to his later years as director of the American Theatre Wing, Lotito was well-respected for his generous spirit and keen business sense. Under his leadership at City Playhouses, hits like Guys and Dolls, Death of a Salesman and How to Succeed…made it to Broadway. He served The Fund as a Trustee, treasurer and president.
1959 – 1969
Vinton Freedley was a man of many talents, but best known as a theatrical producer and “star maker”. His early career producing Lady Be Good began a life-long friendship with the Gershwins. As a producer, he was behind hits like Oh, Kay!, Anything Goes with Ethel Merman and Leave It To Me - which introduced Mary Martin to the theatre world. Before serving as president of The Fund, he was a faithful treasurer for eighteen years.
1941 – 1959
Although Walter Vincent’s name is not generally known to the public, he was an important member of the theatrical community and a pioneer in the vaudeville and moving picture world. Vincent arrived in New York in 1889, playing small roles and working in vaudeville. It was there that he began his life-long friendship with George M. Cohan. A natural business man with a genius for theatrical investments, Vincent enjoyed a successful and lucrative career. His greatest contribution to The Fund was his vision for the Home in Englewood.
1904 – 1940
Daniel Frohman’s association with The Actors Fund out-distanced that of any other individual - spanning nearly 60 years. At the 1882 meeting to establish The Fund, Frohman was elected secretary, saying “Everyone knew the secretary would have to do most of the work so I was unanimously elected.” His work ethic was legendary, and as owner and manager of some of New York’s most historic theatres (including The Lyceum), he is remembered as an instrumental figure in the organization of The Actors Fund.
1901 – 1904
Al Hayman was known as the “Father of the Theatrical Syndicate” and was acclaimed for his exceptional business ability. As president of The Fund, he continued the work of predecessor Louis Aldrich to bring the dream of building a home for retired actors to reality. His business background made him an excellent fundraiser, inspiring donations toward The Actors Fund Home in Staten Island and guiding The Fund into a new century.
1897 – 1901
Louis Aldrich had a long history of leadership in the area of actors’ organizations, dedicating his life to the concerns of the actors wage and working conditions. A well-known actor, Aldrich worked throughout the country. His passion for the welfare of actors intensified after he was injured in a hotel fire while touring. He served on the Board of Trustees and was elected first vice-president. His determination to establish a home for retired theatrical professional paved the way for what today is known as The Lillian Booth Home.
Albert M. Palmer
1885 – 1897
Albert Palmer had more to do with establishing the direction of The Actors Fund than any of its founders. He had a minor claim to authority in the theatrical field, but his personality could dominate the likes of P.T. Barnum, Harrison Fiske and Edwin Booth. A graduate of the Law School of New York University, Palmer eventually became manager of the Union Square Theatre. His business background made him a natural leader in the Fund’s development, holding a series of benefits and securing a charter for the fledgling organization.
Henry C. Miner
1883 – 1885
Henry Miner began his career as an advance agent for vaudeville acts, including Buffalo Bill. This served him well as his career led him to theatrical management and the building and acquisition of theatres. Through the years, he expanded into retail and mining ventures. This extraordinary background served The Fund’s financial affairs and his natural leadership abilities made him a formidable president.
1882 – 1883
Lester Wallack came from one of the most brilliant English theatrical dynasties. Working as an actor, producer and playwright he opened Wallack’s Theatre in January 1882. Prior to his being officially elected as president of The Fund in July 1882, he had served as its provisional president from the time of its early organization. His contribution of resources was instrumental in the formation of The Actors Fund.
*The by-laws of The Actors Fund were updated in 2010, re-naming The Fund's "President" as "Chairman." Brian Stokes Mitchell currently serves as Chairman under the new by-laws.
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