Julie Halston

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Julie Halston
Julie Abatelli

(1954-12-07) December 7, 1954 (age 67)
OccupationActress, comedian
Years active1984–present
SpouseRalph Howard (m. 1992-his death 2018)

Julie Halston is an American actress and comedian. She was born in Flushing, Queens on December 7, 1954. Her parents, Rudolph “Rudy” Abatelli and her mother Julia Madeline “Dolly” (née Gardner) moved to Commack, Long Island when Halston was four years of age.[1] Halston graduated from Hofstra University cum laude with a B.A. in Theatre Arts.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Halston first achieved recognition as an actress through her co-starring performances in the comedy plays of writer-performer, Charles Busch in the 1980s in New York City.[3] She was a founding member of his theatre company, Theatre-in-Limbo, which along with other writers and performers such as Charles Ludlam, Lypsinka, Ann Magnuson, and John Fleck, to name a few, were part of a cultural movement that helped revitalize the Off-Broadway theatre.[4] Busch considered Halston his muse and wrote many roles for her in his plays including, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom (1984),The Lady in Question (1989), Red Scare on Sunset (1991), You Should be so Lucky (1994), The Divine Sister (2011), The Tribute Artist (2013).[5]

She wrote a series of one woman comedy shows that eventually led to a successful Off-Broadway production entitled, Julie Halston's Lifetime of Comedy (1992).[6] The show earned her an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best Play for that season and landed Halston a CBS network development deal.[7] The pilot was called Those Two and co-starred Harvey Fierstein. It was written by Bob Randall, the co-producer of the hit series Kate and Allie.[8] The show was not developed into a series and Halston returned to the stage and subsequently appeared in many Off-Broadway and Broadway shows including The Man Who Came to Dinner (2000), The Women (2001), Hairspray (2002-replacement), Gypsy (2003), Twentieth Century (2004), Anything Goes (2012-replacement), You Can't Take it with You (2014), On The Town (2015-replacement), and Tootsie (2019).[9]

Halston's performances have garnered her critical acclaim across the boards and she has received Drama Desk Nominations for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Red Scare on Sunset (1991), White Chocolate (2004), The Divine Sister (2011), and You Can't Take it With You (2014). In addition she received the Richard Seff Award for her portrayal of Gay Wellington in You Can't Take it With You.[10] On September 26, 2021, the Tony Awards Administration Committee presented Halston with the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her advocacy in raising awareness and monies for The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.[11]

Her solo comedy performances at the famed Birdland Jazz Club are SRO engagements that have earned her four MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs).[12] In 2011, Halston received the designation “Legend of Off-Broadway“ from The Off-Broadway Theatre Alliance[13] and received an Excellence in Theatre Award from The Abington Theatre Company.[14] In 2008, along with fellow writer Donna Daley, she co-authored the book Monologues for Show-Offs published by Heinemann Press. The book is used by casting agents, colleges and performers for audition material for all media.[15] In May 2020, along with Jim Caruso, Halston launched an online talk show titled Virtual Halston on YouTube. The series of 41 episodes garnered popular acclaim.[16]

Halston has 43 film and TV credits to her name including the 2022 independent feature Simchas and Sorrows (Maude), Intermedium (Winona James) currently in post-production, and the 2021 independent feature The Sixth Reel (Helen) along with her starring role in the award-winning 2016 short film Hotel Bleu (Jackie). Her television credits include the HBO Max original series And Just Like That... (Bitsy von Muffling), HBO Max's Gossip Girl (Sharon), The Good Fight (Rita), HBO Max's Divorce (Sharon), Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes (Roz), The TV web series The Mentors, for which she won a NYC Web Fest award for Special Guest Star (2016), Difficult People (Hazel), Law and Order, Special Victims Unit (Cassie Muir), The Electric Company (Mrs. Carruthers), Sex and The City (Bitsy von Muffling), The Class (Tina Carmello), and Law and Order (Mrs. Lapinsky). She has also appeared in the films A Very Serious Person, The Juror, Addams Family Values, Joe Gould's Secret, Drunks, Small Time Crooks, Celebrity, and I Think I Love My Wife.

Personal life[edit]

In 1992, she married anchor man and entertainment reporter Ralph Howard. Howard worked for 1010 WINS RADIO and Howard Stern at Sirius XM until his retirement in 2013.[17] Howard died on August 7, 2018 from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.[18]


  1. ^ Klein, Alvin. [1] nytimes.com "A Comic From 'Uncool Commack'"]nytimes.com (abstract), February 2, 1992
  2. ^ Giammona, Marilou R. "Julie Halston 76 Stars Broadway Revival" hofstra.edu, accessed May 27, 2016
  3. ^ "'Vampire Lesbians of Sodom' Listing, 1984 and 1985" Archived 2010-02-20 at the Wayback Machine charlesbusch.com, accessed May 31, 2012
  4. ^ Pacheco, Patrick. "THEATER; When the Lady In Question Is a Man". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  5. ^ "Charles Busch - The Official Website". charlesbusch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  6. ^ Gussow, Mel. "Theater in Review". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  7. ^ Theater, Lincoln Center. "Julie Halston | Lincoln Center Theater". Lincoln Center Theater. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  8. ^ Lowry, Brian (1993-03-24). "Eye sights on Thurs.-Sat". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  9. ^ League, The Broadway. "Julie Halston – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  10. ^ Theater, Lincoln Center. "Julie Halston | Lincoln Center Theater". Lincoln Center Theater. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  11. ^ "Julie Halston to get special Tony Award for her advocacy". AP NEWS. 2021-07-28. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  12. ^ BWW News Desk. "YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU's Julie Halston and SOMETHING ROTTEN!'s Brad Oscar Win 2015 Richard Seff Award". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  13. ^ "2011 OBA Awards — Off Broadway Alliance". offbroadwayalliance.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  14. ^ "Charles Busch, Julie Halston, et al. to Be Honored at Abingdon Theatre Benefit". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  15. ^ "Halston and Daley Sign and Perform 'Monologues for Show-Offs' May 22 | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  16. ^ Mosher, Stephen. "BWW Feature: At Home With Julie Halston Discussing Her New Show VIRTUAL HALSTON". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  17. ^ Smith Brady, Lois. "Vows. Julie Halston, Ralph Howard" New York Times, August 16, 1992
  18. ^ "Ralph Howard, Veteran Radio Newscaster And Husband Of Julie Halston, Dies At 77" broadwayworld.com, August 8, 2018

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