Actress Elizabeth banks, from Massachusetts, has been named the 2020 winner of Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year Award, the group said on Tuesday.
The award, established in 1951, is presented annually to artists who have made “impressive contributions to the entertainment world,” the theater group said in a statement.
Banks, a three-time Emmy-nominated actress, producer, screenwriter and director, will be the 70th actress to be honored by the cast. Past recipients included Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Kerry Washington, Meryl Streep, Scarlett Johansson and, most recently, Bryce Dallas Howard, according to the release.
“The Pudding is delighted to present this honor to such a famous actress in film and television, who is also known for breaking new ground in Hollywood as a director and producer,” the organization said in its statement.
Banks is well known for her roles in “The Hunger Games”, “Love & Mercy” and “The LEGO Movie” franchise. She has also been nominated for multiple Emmys for her recurring appearances on the “30 Rock” and “Modern Family” television series, and the actress will star this month in the second season of her Hulu series “Shrill,” the statement said. .
The Pittsfield native will lead a parade through the streets of Cambridge on January 31 starting at 3 p.m. as part of the tradition of the award. The theater group will also host a “party roast” for the actress and then present her with a pot of pudding, the statement said.
The group will also preview “Mean Ghouls” with their second cast featuring both men and women, the statement said.
Banks graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received her graduate degree from the American Conservatory Theater. In addition to acting, the western Massachusetts native is a co-owner of Brownstone Productions, a company that has produced several films, including last fall’s “Charlie’s Angels” and the “Pitch Perfect” franchise, according to the cast.
She is heavily involved with the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and Turnaround Arts, the troupe said.
In 2016, banks compared President Donald Trump to Effie Trinket, the character she played in “The Hunger Games” as she addressed the Democratic National Convention. The actress called the character a “cruel and disconnected reality TV star who wears insane wigs while giving long speeches to a violent dystopia.”
“Elizabeth is a role model for all young women in theaters, especially in a year with a female writer, producers and cast – we all can’t wait to celebrate and meet her!” Said Natalie Needle, co-producer of the troupe.