Ruth Steiner, a celebrated NYC short-story writer and teacher who mentors (and later employs) an ambitious young student.
Lavin remains best known for her long-running role as the title waitress in TV’s Alice, but she is also a Brodway star of five decades, who regularly returns to the New York stage while running a theater company in her adopted hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Other Honors for This Role
—Drama League nomination for Distinguished Performance Award
1970: Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play, Last of the Red Hot Lovers
1987: Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, Broadway Bound
1998: Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play, The Diary of Anne Frank
2001: Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife
Lavin has played her current role four times: on stage in L.A. (2000) and in a PBS film version (2002), both opposite Samantha Mathis; at the Red Barn Theater in Wilmington (2007), directed by her husband, Steve Bakunas; and now on Broadway, opposite Sarah Paulson.
“[Ruth’s] passion for her work—I have that. I love what she says about how important it is not to deny your creative impulses out of fear of hurting somebody’s feelings or of not being good enough. My life is much richer than hers—I’m not isolated; she is. I’m not alone; she is. And so my compassion for her is one of the things I treasure. Donald Margulies’ writing is truly amazing in that his characters always say what you hope they’ll say.” —Lavin in a Q&A interview with Broadway.com, 4/10