The award "honors a female and male character actor, 50 years of age or older, for the best performance in a supporting role in a Broadway or Off-Broadway production," said Equity in a statement. As such, it is a complement to the 59-year-old Clarence Derwent Awards, which annually honor "the most promising female and male performers on the New York metropolitan scene."
The winners receive $1,000 each.
The presentation will take place at 2 PM July 13, 2004, at the offices of Actors' Equity Association, 165 West 46th Street, New York.
Aldredge has been acting on New York stages for decades. His first Broadway appearance was in 1959's The Nervous Set. Notable credits include the original productions of Sticks and Bones, Into the Woods, On Golden Pond, Two Shakespearean Actors and Passion, and high-profile revivals of The Little Foxes, The Iceman Cometh and The Crucible. Off-Broadway appearances have been many and include The Last Yankee by Arthur Miller.
In contrast, Cat was Martindale's Broadway debut. She was in the original production of Steel Magnolias and also appeared Off-Broadway in Curse of the Starving Class and The Miss Firecracker Contest.
Both actors are nominated for 2004 Tony Awards.
The Judges' Panel for the award includes: Irene Backalenick, Back Stage; Clive Barnes, New York Post; Betty Corwin, Director of Special Projects, Theatre on Film & Tape Archive of the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts; Charles Isherwood, Variety; Dana Ivey, actor; Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press; Patrick Quinn, President, Actors' Equity; David Rosenberg, Back Stage; Michael Sommers, The Star Ledger, Douglas Watt, The Daily News; and Carl Harms. The panel is the same for the Derwent Award.