Other longtime relationships on view at the Jan. 25 Hall of Fame ceremony in the rotunda of the Gershwin Theatre:
Presenter Paul Libin's Circle in the Square partnership with Theodore Mann falls short of life — "just" 47 years — and existed all that time, said Mann, on a handshake.
John McMartin was presented by director friend Michael Montel, who read a note from another director friend, Harold Prince. Prince recalled the first time he saw McMartin on stage — playing a claustrophobia breakdown scene in an elevator in Sweet Charity. McMartin would later have a famous breakdown as Ben Stone at the end of the Prince-directed Follies. Alas, the master of the onstage breakdown had no such scene in Prince's Show Boat, in which he played smooth-sailing patriarch Capt. Andy.
The queen mother of gossip columnists, Liz Smith, drudged up some hilarious recollections of her longtime gal-pal, publicist Shirley Herz, who received the 2009 Founders Award for her contribution to the theatre — and wanted the world to that Herz stopped dishing to her once she took up theatrical-flacking full-time. (Many moons ago.)
Herz thanked her parents for that defining moment when she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life. They took her, as a little girl, to see the final performance, after the Broadway run and road tour, of The Philadelphia Story.
"Katharine Hepburn came out after the show and made a curtain speech, and I was stunned," she remembered. "I didn't have much experience, but I had never seen a curtain speech, and there was such magic in it that, at that moment, I made up my mind that the theatre was going to be my life. That was it!"
— Harry Haun