On February 9, 1949, Judith Light was born in Trenton, NJ. She grew up to become a versatile, award-winning actress, famous for her role as Angela Bower on the hit 1980s sitcom “Who’s The Boss?” Celebrating her 69th birthday today, Light is just as vibrant as ever. She is still dazzling us with her stellar talent, including her recent guest spot on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”
The daughter of Pearl Sue, a model, and Sidney, an accountant, Light pursued an acting career at a young age. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1970 with a degree in drama. In 1975, Light made her Broadway debut in “A Doll’s House.” Considering herself a serious actress, she was hesitant at first to join the cast of the ABC daytime soap opera, “One Life To Live.” However, her role as the housewife-turned-prostitute became not only her breakthrough role that won Light two Daytime Emmy Awards, but it also turned out to be one of the most remembered storylines on “One Life To Live.”
Photo: Everett Collection
Light is most remembered for playing advertising executive and single mother Angela Bower on “Who’s The Boss?” Co-starring Tony Danza as her housekeeper, the primetime hit show ran for eight seasons from 1984 to 1992. The show was also ahead of its time in its gender role reversal. In a 2015 Elle magazine interview, Light shared her thoughts about the show: “It was really on the cutting edge. It was the first time that there had been a woman who was out in the workforce, and it was the man who was taking care of everything at home. I can’t tell you how many young women have come up to me, your age, and even younger, who said they watch it, they watch it still, and the message is still impactful for them.”
Since playing Bower, Light had recurring TV roles on “Law and Order: SVU” from 2002 to 2010 and “Ugly Betty” from 2006 to 2010, for which she earned an Emmy nomination in 2007. A powerful stage actress, Light won two consecutive Best Featured Actress in a Drama Tony Awards for “Other Desert Cities” (2012) and “The Assembled Parties” (2013).
Photo: Jemal Countess/WireImage for Tony Award Productions
Light’s performance opposite Jeffrey Tambor in “Transparent,” earned her nominations for Best Supporting Actress at the Primetime Emmy Awards (2016, 2017), Golden Globes (2016) and the Critic’s Choice TV Awards (2015, 2016).
She recently appeared in a guest spot on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” playing Marilyn Miglin, the founder of a beauty empire, whose closeted husband was also murdered by Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan. She wowed critics and fans with, what many have called, an Emmy-worthy guest performance. Always brightening up the stage and screen, we wish Judith Light a very happy birthday!