Julie Halston

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Julie Halston
Julie Abatelli

(1954-12-07) December 7, 1954 (age 69)
EducationHofstra University (BA)
Occupation(s)Actress, comedian
Years active1984–present
Ralph Howard
(m. 1992; died 2018)

Julie Halston (born December 7, 1954) is an American actress and comedian who appeared on television, film, and theatre. She received four Drama Desk Award nominations for her Broadway performances, and in 2020 was awarded Isabelle Stevenson Award at the 74th Tony Awards.[1] On television, Halston best-known for playing socialite Bitsy von Muffling in the HBO comedy series, Sex and The City, its film continuation, and the sequel series, And Just Like That....[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Halston was born in Flushing, Queens. Her parents, Rudolph "Rudy" Abatelli and Julia Madeline "Dolly" (née Gardner) moved to Commack, Long Island, when Halston was four years old.[3] After attending a Catholic high school, she graduated from Hofstra University, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre arts.[4]


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.[5] 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.[6] 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).[7]

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).[8] The show earned her an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best Play and landed Halston a CBS network development deal.[9] The pilot was called Those Two and co-starred Harvey Fierstein. It was written by Bob Randall, the co-producer of Kate and Allie.[10] 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), Gypsy (2003), Twentieth Century (2004), Anything Goes (2012-replacement), You Can't Take it with You (2014), On The Town (2015), and Tootsie (2019).[11]

Halston received Drama Desk Award 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.[9]

On September 26, 2021, the Tony Awards Administration Committee presented Halston with the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her advocacy in raising awareness and funding for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.[12]

Halston in 2014

Her solo comedy performances at the Birdland Jazz Club are SRO engagements that have earned her four MAC Awards (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs).[13] In 2011, Halston received the designation "Legend of Off-Broadway" from the Off-Broadway Theatre Alliance[14] and received an Excellence in Theatre Award from the Abington Theatre Company.[15] 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.[16] In May 2020, along with Jim Caruso, Halston launched a popular online talk show titled Virtual Halston and all 41 episodes are available on YouTube.[17]

Halston has 45 film and TV credits to her name including the 2022 independent feature Simchas and Sorrows (Maude), Intermedium (Winona James), Dirty Rhetoric (Elizabeth) and Chosen Family (Dorothy), both currently in post-production. In addition, the 2021 independent feature The Sixth Reel (Helen), co-starring Charles Busch, has just received national distribution. Halston also starred in the award-winning 2016 short film Hotel Bleu (Jackie). Her television credits include 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.

Although she has extensive film and television credits, she is most known for her portrayal of Bitsy von Muffling, a character first seen in HBO Max's Sex and The City. She reprised the role in the current Max original series And Just Like That....[18]

Personal life[edit]

In 1992, Halston married anchor man and entertainment reporter Ralph Howard. Howard worked for WINS and The Howard Stern Show at Sirius XM until his retirement in 2013.[19] Howard died on August 7, 2018, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 Addams Family Values Mrs. Glicker
1995 Drunks Carol
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Guest Uncredited
1996 The Juror Inez
1997 David Searching Julie
1998 Celebrity Patient with Jowls
2000 Joe Gould's Secret Sadie Gordon
2000 Small Time Crooks Concert Party Guest
2005 The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch Herself
2006 A Very Serious Person Glenda
2007 I Think I Love My Wife Convenience Store Cashier
2008 Sex and the City Bitsy von Muffling Uncredited
2014 Are You Joking? Gloria
2014 Top Five Cell Phone Lady
2021 The Sixth Reel Helen
2022 Simchas and Sorrows Maude
2022 Dirty Rhetoric Elizabeth
2023 Intermedium Winona James
2024 Chosen Family Dorothy Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1991, 1998 Law & Order Ms. Lapinsky / Jane 2 episodes
1992 Doug Voice 13 episodes
1993 Dottie Gets Spanked Dottie Frank Television film
1994 My So-Called Life Mrs. Szowski Episode: "Guns and Gossip"
2000 The Man Who Came to Dinner Mrs. McCutcheon Television film
2001 Spy Groove Dandelion Splendorface Episode: "Malibooboo"
2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Gallery Owner Episode: "Crazy"
2002 Stage on Screen: The Women Various roles Television film
2002, 2003 Sex and the City Bitsy Von Muffling 2 episodes
2006–2007 The Class Tina Carmello 8 episodes
2008–2009 The Battery's Down Bunny Steinberg 4 episodes
2009 The Electric Company Ms. Carruthers Episode: "Out to Launch"
2011 Jack in a Box Dawn Episode: "The Surprise"
2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Cassie Muir Episode: "Perverted Justice"
2015 Difficult People Hazel Episode: "Premium Membership"
2016 Crisis in Six Scenes Roz 3 episodes
2016 The Mentors Mentor Episode: "Julie Halston & Austin Durant"
2018 After Forever Moira Michaels Episode: "Rumors"
2019 Divorce Sharon Episode: "Miami"
2020 Almost Family Joyce Tune Episode: "Generational AF"
2021 The Good Fight Rita Episode: "And the Détente Had an End..."
2021–2023 And Just Like That... Bitsy Von Muffling 4 episodes
2021–2023 Gossip Girl Sharon Kleinberg 3 episodes


  1. ^ Evans, Greg (July 28, 2021). "Julie Halston To Receive Tony Awards' 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Honor".
  2. ^ Barnard, Christopher (July 18, 2023). "'And Just Like That,' She Stole the Show" – via NYTimes.com.
  3. ^ Klein, Alvin (1992-02-02). "A Comic From 'Uncool Commack'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-03-12.
  4. ^ "Julie Halston '76 Stars in Broadway Revival". News | Hofstra University, New York. 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2023-03-12.
  5. ^ "'Vampire Lesbians of Sodom' Listing, 1984 and 1985" Archived 2010-02-20 at the Wayback Machine charlesbusch.com, accessed May 31, 2012
  6. ^ Pacheco, Patrick (23 July 1989). "THEATER; When the Lady In Question Is a Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  7. ^ "Charles Busch - The Official Website". charlesbusch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  8. ^ Gussow, Mel (5 February 1992). "Theater in Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  9. ^ a b Theater, Lincoln Center. "Julie Halston | Lincoln Center Theater". Lincoln Center Theater. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  10. ^ Lowry, Brian (1993-03-24). "Eye sights on Thurs.-Sat". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  11. ^ League, The Broadway. "Julie Halston – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  12. ^ "Julie Halston to get special Tony Award for her advocacy". AP NEWS. 2021-07-28. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "2011 OBA Awards — Off Broadway Alliance". offbroadwayalliance.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  15. ^ "Charles Busch, Julie Halston, et al. to Be Honored at Abingdon Theatre Benefit". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  16. ^ "Halston and Daley Sign and Perform 'Monologues for Show-Offs' May 22 | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  17. ^ Mosher, Stephen. "BWW Feature: At Home With Julie Halston Discussing Her New Show VIRTUAL HALSTON". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  18. ^ Barnard, Christopher (2023-07-18). "'And Just Like That,' She Stole the Show". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  19. ^ Smith Brady, Lois. "Vows. Julie Halston, Ralph Howard" New York Times, August 16, 1992
  20. ^ "Ralph Howard, Veteran Radio Newscaster And Husband Of Julie Halston, Dies At 77" broadwayworld.com, August 8, 2018

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