amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Awards of Courage

Harvey Fierstein

Honoring with Pride 2003 Honoree


Harvey Fierstein is an award-winning playwright, actor, and gay rights activist, currently nominated for a Tony Award for his acclaimed performance as Edna Turnblad in the smash hit Hairspray. For that performance he has already received the 2002 New York Award for Theatre and the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance of the Year.

Harvey FiersteinFierstein made his debut at the La Mama Experimental Theater Club in 1971 in Andy Warhol’s only play, Pork. He followed that with appearances in more than 60 Off-Off-Broadway plays, writing and performing in many of his own productions. His Torch Song Trilogy opened Off-Off-Broadway in 1980, transferred Off-Broadway in 1981, and then went on to Broadway. For that show, Fierstein won two Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards, an Obie Award, and a Dramatist Guild Award. Torch Song Trilogy was also nominated for the Olivier. Fierstein won his third Tony Award for the book of La Cage aux Folles. His other plays include Safe Sex, Spookhouse, and Forget Him. He has appeared in 30 films, including Independence Day, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Woody Allen’s Bullets over Broadway. His television appearances have included stints on “Ellen,” “Common Ground” (which he also co-wrote), and “Cheers,” for which he received an Emmy nomination. Fierstein also provided the voice of Homer Simpson’s executive secretary on “The Simpsons,” and he is a regular commentator on PBS’s “In the Life.” His children’s book, “The Sissy Duckling,” (Simon & Schuster) garnered an Ace Award.