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New York, NY (February 28, 2021) –The Actors Fund, the national human services organization supporting those working in performing arts and entertainment, today announced the Spring return of The Actors Fund Gala on Monday, May 9, 2022, with a simultaneous live broadcast at events in New York City and Los Angeles and a national private stream for people to watch around the country.

The Actors Fund also announced that Paramount President and CEO Bob Bakish and The Shubert Organization Chairman and CEO Robert E. Wankel will receive this year’s Medal of Honor, an annual award that recognizes individuals who have had a profound impact on the entertainment community. More honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.

The New York City event will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis and the Los Angeles event at Paramount Pictures. The 2022 Gala is co-chaired by Actors Fund Vice Chair Annette Bening and Chairman of the Board Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Guests will join together to support The Actors Fund’s services that foster stability and resiliency and provide a safety net over the lifespan of professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry. Since March 2020, The Actors Fund has distributed more than $26 million in direct financial assistance to more than 17,700 entertainment professionals.

“The Actors Fund is thrilled to host our first bicoastal gala in Los Angeles and New York City to celebrate everyone in the performing arts and entertainment community,” says Brian Stokes Mitchell. “It’s a privilege to recognize Bob Bakish, President and CEO of Paramount, and Bob Wankel, Chairman and CEO of The Shubert Organization, with our Medal of Honor, as they fully embody our shared mission of supporting a life in the arts with their leadership, collaboration and dedication to the entertainment industry.”

Tickets to the benefit begin at $500 with customized packages available beginning at $25,000. For more information and special sponsorship opportunities in NYC and LA, please contact 212-627-1000 or reach out to actorsfund@resevt.com. Visit actorsfund.org/gala2022.


The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, senior and affordable housing, and secondary employment and training services. Visit actorsfund.org.

Robert M. Bakish is President and Chief Executive Officer of Paramount. Bakish oversees one of the world’s leading producers of media and entertainment content, driven by a global portfolio of powerful consumer brands and flagship streaming platforms, including CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+ and Pluto TV, among others. In this role, which he assumed in December 2019, Bakish is responsible for growing the company’s creative assets, content capabilities and streaming services to serve important and diverse audiences, which consume over 30 billion hours of Paramount content globally across more than 180 countries.

Bakish’s leadership was integral to the successful merger of Viacom and CBS as he led the transformation efforts within the new company, combining two great cultures, formalizing a best-in-class leadership team and aligning the organization around strategic growth priorities centered on streaming. Importantly, Bakish created a new, unified global streaming organization and strategy to maximize Paramount content across pay, free and premium streaming services spotlighted by Paramount+, Pluto TV and Showtime OTT.

Prior to the recombination of Viacom and CBS, Bakish was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom since December 2016. He led the revitalization and evolution of Viacom’s core businesses, returning the company to growth, and extending its leadership across multiplatform entertainment content, next-generation distribution and advertising. Through a strategy to deepen and expand Viacom’s presence in digital and live experiences, Bakish also stewarded the key acquisitions of free streaming television service Pluto TV; Gen-Z focused brand Awesomeness; influencer marketing firm WHOSAY; and VidCon, the world’s largest celebration of online video fans and creators.

Bakish previously headed the company’s international business as President and CEO of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) since 2007. Under his leadership, VIMN more than doubled revenues and broadened its portfolio with new, broadly distributed pay-TV networks, including Spike and the Paramount Channel, as well as general entertainment broadcast networks Channel 5 in the U.K., Telefe in Argentina and Colors in India. At the same time, he guided the company to launch Viacom Play Plex and other innovative mobile streaming offerings that introduced a new generation of young audiences to Viacom’s popular brands and IP.

Bakish joined Viacom in 1997, and held a series of senior corporate, sales and development positions at the company. He previously worked as a partner with Booz Allen & Hamilton in its Media and Entertainment practice.

Bakish has an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Operations Research from Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. He serves on the boards of both schools and is also a Director on the Board of AVID Technologies, a NASDAQ-listed company.

Robert E. Wankel is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Shubert Organization that owns and operates 17 Broadway theaters and six off-Broadway venues.

Throughout Mr. Wankel’s 46 years with Shubert, he has been a guiding force in all aspects of the Company’s operation, including finance, creative projects, real estate, ticketing and Telecharge. Mr. Wankel was Chief Financial Officer before being appointed Executive Vice President of the company in 1996 and was named President of The Shubert Organization in 2008. He was appointed Chairman and CEO in 2020.

Mr. Wankel also serves as Chair of The Shubert Foundation, the nation’s largest arts funder dedicated to unrestricted support of not-for-profit theaters and dance companies throughout the United States. The 2021 Shubert Foundation grants totaled $32.1 million.

Mr. Wankel plays a leading role in numerous charitable, community and civic organizations. He serves on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, and is a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Times Square Alliance. Mr. Wankel is Board Chair of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts as well as an Officer and Director of The Actors Studio. He is President of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Chair of the The Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation Board of Directors, and a member of The Actors Fund Chairman’s Council.

Since its founding in 1900, The Shubert Organization has produced and co-produced hundreds of Broadway plays and musicals, including CATS, Dreamgirls, Sunday in the Park with George, Amadeus, The Real Thing, Children of a Lesser God, The Grapes of Wrath, Equus, The Audience, The Elephant Man, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and School of Rock –The Musical.

Mr. Wankel is a graduate of St. John’s University.

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