Part 5: Our Hall of Fame
BY Advocate Contributors
March 28 2012 1:00 AM ET
It’s maybe hard now to remember a time on television and in movies where straight women didn’t have gay best friends, HIV-positive sons, or transgender daughters. But actress Judith Light had no problem doing it early on. Throughout her lengthy career on stage and screen, Light’s choices for roles have reflected the actress's passions in real life, making her a true ally for LGBT people, and the right cover subject for a 1996 feature in The Advocate on straight females as allies.
Light played Jeanne White in the 1989 TV movie The Ryan White Story, which chronicled the life of a young boy who became a face of HIV/AIDS at a time when stigma and discrimination against people with HIV was rampant. In the soapy dramedy Ugly Betty, Light played media matriarch Claire Meade, mother of Rebecca Romijn’s transgender character, Alexis. She's even credited with helping former Who's the Boss? co-star Danny Pintauro to come out.
Off screen, Light has tirelessly raised funds and awareness for LGBT rights, as well as HIV. She has been aligned with several philanthropic and activist organizations like Broadway Cares; Equity Fights AIDS, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Hetrick Martin School, and dozens of others.