The Actors Fund Breaks Ground to Rebuild, Expand and Preserve The Lillian Booth Actors Home | Actors Fund

The Actors Fund Breaks Ground to Rebuild, Expand and Preserve The Lillian Booth Actors Home

October 27, 2015 | Press Release

The Lillian Booth Actors Home of The Actors Fund (155-175 West Hudson Avenue, Englewood, New Jersey), an acclaimed assisted living and skilled nursing care facility for those who worked in performing arts and entertainment and their immediate families, celebrated a groundbreaking yesterday at their facility in Englewood, New Jersey. The event kicked off a capital campaign to rebuild, expand and preserve The Home, adding an additional 45 beds to the residence.

The project will be funded by both philanthropic support and debt financing. The Actors Fund expects to raise at least $10 million philanthropically in support of the project during its capital campaign. The Shubert Organization and the Dr. Gerald J. & Dorothy R. Friedman Foundation have committed gifts of $2 million each with an additional $1 million committed to the project from The Walt Disney Company.

The project will add 25,000 square feet of new space that includes new bedrooms, resident amenities and infrastructure. The project will also incorporate the renovation of over 30,000 square feet of existing resident space including reconstructed bedrooms and resident amenity space. The plans include adding a new three-story building to the facility that will house a rehabilitation center, a 25 bed sub-acute center and 14 assisted living beds. In addition, a new two story building will house a 20 bed memory care unit and 7 assisted living beds as well as a new medical suite, an arts studio, a dining room, a bistro and a Memory Care Garden.

The Home’s current assisted living facility was built in 1959 as a retirement home. Its existing wood-frame structure is outdated and will be rebuilt, expanded and modernized to improve the resident experience, embrace technology and meet current building codes. In addition, cooling and heating systems will be upgraded, asbestos removed and an underground fuel tank closed.

“With the rebuilding and expansion of our facility, and the increase from 124 to 169 beds, The Home will become financially self-sufficient, eliminating the need for subsidies from The Actors Fund within five years,” said Actors Fund President Joe Benincasa. “This will allow us to allocate future contributions towards a reserve, as well as enhance beautification and expand programming for our residents.” Currently, The Actors Fund subsidizes the care of its residents who are Medicaid qualified. In 2014, The Fund spent $900,000 to subsidize the care of the 71 percent of residents receiving Medicaid.

“Yesterday’s groundbreaking is an important milestone for this organization as we continue to build on our 133 year history of providing essential programs and services to everyone who works in performing arts and entertainment,” said Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell. “It’s important that the needs of these residents—and of everyone who comes to us for assistance in times of need, crisis or transition—be addressed with compassion and excellence.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of older Americans is expected to double over the next 30 years. Because of economic insecurity and the changing landscape of healthcare and health insurance, communities are working to improve the quality of life for today’s seniors as well as the seniors to come. The need for long-term care facilities is increasing. Specialized care is in greater demand especially for adults suffering from dementia or needing sub-acute care. The Actors Fund has continued to see a steady increase in demand for The Lillian Booth Actors Home in recent years. According to Jordan Strohl, Administrator for The Home, approximately 20 prospective residents are turned away on a monthly basis due to lack of beds.

Since 1882, The Actors Fund has been helping performing arts and entertainment professionals. In 1902, The Fund opened its first retirement home in Staten Island, New York which moved to Englewood, New Jersey in 1928. Today, The Lillian Booth Actors Home continues a tradition of care through a 124-bed assisted living and skilled care facility. The Actors Fund Home is a gold standard for senior care and a recipient of both U.S. News and World Report’s coveted “Best Nursing Homes in America” as well as the highest rating of 5 Stars from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone—performers and those behind the scenes—who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 21,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund’s programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has been—for 133 years—a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition.