Jan 18, 2013
By Michael Clement
Anna Deavere Smith has won one of the largest and most prestigious awards in the arts. The committee that awards the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize announced Friday that the playwright and actress is this year’s winner.
The Gish Prize, now in its 19th year, recognizes leading artists in such fields as drama, music and dance, as well as literature. Smith joins past winners including Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller, Chinua Achebe and Robert Redford. The prize comes with $300,000. Smith creates documentary-style stage works such as Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. As an actress, she has appeared on Nurse Jackie and The West Wing. She also has won a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”