Chairs, Past & Present | Entertainment Community Fund

Chairs, Past & Present

Our Chairs have led the organization from our founding in 1882 as The Actors Fund to our newest chapter as the Entertainment Community Fund and beyond.*

Annette Bening
Annette Bening is a Tony Award and four-time Academy Award nominee, and two-time Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner. Bening’s extensive film and theatrical career has given her keen insight into the unique needs and challenges members of the entertainment industry face, and her commitment to supporting her peers is evident through her work with the Entertainment Community Fund and other organizations focused on helping those in need. Annette’s leadership and passion will lead the Fund into the next chapter of supporting a life in the arts for professionals across the country and throughout the industry.

Brian Stokes Mitchell 
Tony-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway, television and film along with appearances in the great American concert halls. In addition to his many theatrical awards, he has enjoyed a long television and recording career. Stokes’ committed and untiring work brought the Fund national attention, celebrating the Fund’s more than 140 years of helping those in the industry and entering a new chapter as the Entertainment Community Fund.

Tom Dillon
Thomas Dillon was a true performer with a long and distinguished career in show business. In addition to his numerous Broadway, television and film credits, Dillon and comedian Bert Wheeler were among America’s most popular duos, performing on the Ed Sullivan Show and at The White House. Dillon’s 15-year tenure made him one of the longest-serving Presidents in The Actors Fund’s history, using his affable talents to steward the organization through a period of significant growth and accomplishment.

Nedda Harrigan Logan
Nedda Harrigan Logan, daughter of Fund founding member Edward Harrigan, began her career as a Broadway actress, later appearing in several films. Logan helped found the Stage Door Canteen in 1942 and later became instrumental in getting the first USO shows underway, starring in the first overseas productions. Logan became the first woman president of The Actors Fund—an organization close to her heart. Her passion and commitment made her an exceptional leader, with a particular talent for creating fundraising opportunities that benefitted The Fund during the health care challenges of the 1980s.

Louis A. Lotito
A native New Yorker, Louis Lotito spent his entire life in theater management. From his first job as an usher at the Hippodrome to his later years as director of the American Theatre Wing, Lotito was well-respected for his generous spirit and keen business sense. Under his leadership at City Playhouses, hits like Guys and Dolls, Death of a Salesman and How to Succeed… made it to Broadway. He served The Fund as a Trustee, treasurer and president.

Vinton Freedley
Vinton Freedley was a man of many talents, but best known as a theatrical producer and “star maker." His early career producing Lady Be Good began a lifelong friendship with the Gershwins. As a producer, he was behind hits like Oh, Kay!, Anything Goes with Ethel Merman and Leave It To Me, which introduced Mary Martin to the theater world. Before serving as president of The Fund, he was a faithful treasurer for 18 years.

Walter Vincent
Although Walter Vincent’s name is not generally known to the public, he was an important member of the theatrical community and a pioneer in the vaudeville and moving picture world. Vincent arrived in New York in 1889, playing small roles and working in vaudeville. It was there that he began his lifelong friendship with George M. Cohan. A natural business man with a genius for theatrical investments, Vincent enjoyed a successful and lucrative career. His greatest contribution to The Fund was his vision for what is now The Actors Fund Home in Englewood, N.J.

Daniel Frohman
Daniel Frohman’s association with The Actors Fund outdistanced that of any other individual, spanning nearly 60 years. At the 1882 meeting to establish The Fund, Frohman was elected secretary, saying “Everyone knew the secretary would have to do most of the work so I was unanimously elected.” His work ethic was legendary, and as owner and manager of some of New York’s most historic theaters (including The Lyceum), he is remembered as an instrumental figure in the organization of The Actors Fund.

Al Hayman
Al Hayman was known as the “Father of the Theatrical Syndicate” and was acclaimed for his exceptional business ability. As president of The Fund, he continued the work of predecessor Louis Aldrich to bring the dream of building a home for retired theatrical professionals to reality. His business background made him an excellent fundraiser, inspiring donations toward The Actors Fund Home in Staten Island and guiding The Fund into a new century.

Louis Aldrich
Louis Aldrich had a long history of leadership in the area of actors’ organizations, dedicating his life to the concerns of the actors wage and working conditions. A well-known actor, Aldrich worked throughout the country. His passion for the welfare of actors intensified after he was injured in a hotel fire while touring. He served on the Board of Trustees and was elected first vice-president. His determination to establish a home for retired theatrical professionals paved the way for what today is known as The Actors Fund Home.

Albert M. Palmer
Albert Palmer had more to do with establishing the direction of The Actors Fund than any of its founders. He had a minor claim to authority in the theatrical field, but his personality could dominate the likes of P.T. Barnum, Harrison Fiske and Edwin Booth. A graduate of the Law School of New York University, Palmer eventually became manager of the Union Square Theatre. His business background made him a natural leader in The Fund’s development, holding a series of benefits and securing a charter for the fledgling organization.

Henry C. Miner
Henry Miner began his career as an advance agent for vaudeville acts, including Buffalo Bill. This served him well as his career led him to theatrical management and the building and acquisition of theaters. Through the years, he expanded into retail and mining ventures. This extraordinary background served The Fund’s financial affairs and his natural leadership abilities made him a formidable president.

Lester Wallack
Lester Wallack came from one of the most brilliant English theatrical dynasties. Working as an actor, producer and playwright he opened Wallack’s Theatre in January 1882. Prior to his being officially elected as president of The Fund in July 1882, he had served as its provisional president from the time of its early organization. His contribution of resources was instrumental in the formation of The Actors Fund.

*The by-laws of the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund) were updated in 2010, re-naming the Fund's "President" as "Chair." Brian Stokes Mitchell currently serves as Chair under our revised by-laws.