Rosie O'Donnell to Receive Honorary Tony Award

7:26 AM PST 04/01/2014 by David Rooney
Dan Steinberg/AP
Rosie O'Donnell

The longtime Broadway supporter will be presented with the Isabelle Stevenson Award in recognition of her commitment to arts education and the work of her Rosie's Theater Kids initiative.

NEW YORK – Rosie O'Donnell is the first recipient of a 2014 honorary Tony Award to be announced.

A tireless supporter of Broadway during the six years she hosted her daytime talk show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, and her tenure as moderator on The View, as well as on her SiriusXM radio show, O'Donnell will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award. That honor is presented annually to a theater community member for humanitarian, social service or charitable contributions.

O'Donnell was chosen for the 2014 award in recognition of her commitment to arts education for New York City public school students and her establishment of the nonprofit arts education foundation Rosie's Theater Kids (originally known as Rosie's Broadway Kids), which provides children with training in dance, music and drama, mentoring programs and exposure to professional theater.

"Rosie exemplifies the spirit and the generosity of the Broadway community through her "pay it forward" mentality within the arts community and beyond," said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing.

O'Donnell has deep ties to Broadway and the Tony Awards, having hosted the theater honors ceremony three times. She won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special for that gig in 1999.

She has appeared as a performer on Broadway in the musicals Grease (1994), Seussical (2001) and Fiddler on the Roof (2005), and was lead producer in 2003 on the short-lived Boy George bio-musical Taboo.

Previous recipients of the Isabelle Stevenson Award include Larry Kramer, Bernadette Peters, Eve Ensler, David Hyde Pierce and Phyllis Newman.

Nominations in this season's competitive Tony Awards categories will be announced April 29 by Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff. The awards ceremony will be hosted for the fourth time by Hugh Jackman and broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall in New York on Sunday, June 8.

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