Honorees for the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards - New York
Excellence in Media Award
Daytime Emmy® award-winner Joy Behar, one of the two original co-hosts of ABC's The View, along with Barbara Walters, is among today's leading comic talents. Whether performing standup comedy or interviewing politicians and artists, she is a comedic original and a leading woman on both stage and screen.
Armed with an MA in English education from SUNY at Stony Brook, Ms. Behar originally began a career in teaching. She then set out to pursue comedy professionally and immediately received bookings from such famous New York clubs as Caroline's and Catch a Rising Star.
In 1997, Barbara Walters invited Behar to become part of the original cast of The View. The View is the recipient of 28 Daytime Emmy® awards, numerous Daytime Emmy award nominations, including 11 consecutive nominations for Outstanding Talk Show and 12 consecutive nominations for Outstanding Talk Show Host. In August 2009, Daytime Emmy awards history was made when Ms. Behar and her fellow co-hosts Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, , Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd were named Outstanding Talk Show Host. This marked the first time in the 36 year history of NATAS that multiple talk show hosts received this honor.
For over a decade, Ms. Behar has used this nationally televised platform to voice her support for LGBT equality on a number of issues, particularly during the show's "Hot Topics" segment at the start of every show. Her no-frills, common sense approach to these issues has won her numerous supporters in the LGBT community.
Ms. Behar also hosts her own talk show, The Joy Behar Show, which premiered on HLN in 2009Ms. Behar often addresses LGBT-specific issues like marriage equality, gay adoption, and coming out, and consistently features LGBT media personalities to join in on the conversation on The Joy Behar Show. The show sheds light on the hardships that face the LGBT community and works towards equality by addressing topics that many talk show hosts choose to ignore.
The Joy Behar Show is nominated at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Talk Show Episode for a segment titled "Mormon Church & Gays" which featured Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award®-winning screenwriter of Milk, discussing his Mormon upbringing as a gay man.
Ms. Behar's television appearances include the voice of a hilariously neurotic patient on Dr. Katz, which won the CableACE Award, Real Time with Bill Maher, It's Gary Shandling's Show, Comic Relief 2006, Last Comic Standing, Bette, , All My Children, One Life to Live,Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, and Ugly Betty. Her film appearances include Cookie, with Peter Falk, This Is My Life, directed by Nora Ephron, Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery and a cameo in Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. In November 2005, Ms. Behar performed to a sold out crowd at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center as part of the annual New York Comedy Festival and, during her one woman show Bitchin' With Behar at New York's Zipper Theater.
Ms. Behar is also a celebrated author with two children’s books “Sheetzucacapoopoo” (NY Times Best-Seller) and “Sheetzucacapoopoo: Max Goes to the Dogs,” “When You Need A Lift: But Don’t Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin” and her New York Times best-seller “Joy Shtick: or What Is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments.”
In 2000, Ms. Behar was awarded the New York City Public Advocate’s Special Advocate Award for her outstanding friendship to the LGBT community.
For being an outspoken and consistent supporter of the LGBT community throughout her professional career, GLAAD is pleased to present Joy Behar with the Excellence in Media Award.
The Excellence in Media Award is presented to media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Past recipients include Billy Crystal, Julianne Moore, Diane Sawyer, Glenn Close, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Redgrave, Tyra Banks and Phil Donahue.
Vito Russo Award
Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award-winner Cynthia Nixon is a critically acclaimed and sought after actress in films, on Broadway and on television.
In 2009, Nixon played Penny Arcade opposite John Hurt's portrayal of Quentin Crisp in An Englishman in New York, nominated for Outstanding TV Movie at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards.
For six seasons and in the blockbuster film Nixon starred as Miranda Hobbes in HBO's Sex and the City, a role that garnered her an Emmy Award in 2004 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Born and raised in New York City, Nixon began her film career at age twelve with Ronald F. Maxwell's Little Darlings and went on to appear in Robert Altman's O.C. & Stiggs, Marshall Brickman's The Manhattan Project, The Pelican Brief and Marvin's Room, among others. In 2006 the actress won the Tony Award for Best Actress for her role in David Lindsay-Abair's Pulitzer Prize winning play Rabbit Hole. In 2009, Nixon was awarded a Spoken Word Grammy for her recording of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. She has most recently appeared in a guest role on Law & Order: SVU, a role which earned her an Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
In 2006, Nixon publicly announced that she was in a relationship with activist Christine Marinoni. She told New York magazine, "I never felt like there was an unconscious part of me around that woke up or that came out of the closet; there wasn't a struggle, there wasn't an attempt to suppress. I met this woman, I fell in love with her, and I'm a public figure."
In May 2009, Nixon announced at a rally for marriage equality that she and Marinoni were engaged and hoped to be legally wed in their home state of New York. She also spoke in support of marriage equality at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. in October 2009.
The Vito Russo Award is named after a founding member of GLAAD and the author of The Celluloid Closet. The award is presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for our community. Previous Vito Russo Award honorees include Suze Orman, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones, Elton John, Liz Smith, k.d. lang, David LaChapelle, Brian Graden, and Tom Ford.