Morgan Freeman Honored at VIP Geffen Playhouse Fundraiser

Morgan Freeman, left, and Alan Horn attend Backstage at the Geffen
Morgan Freeman, left, and Alan Horn attend Backstage at the Geffen

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision for Geffen Playhouse/AP Images

Morgan Freeman was honored for his achievements in theater on Sunday at Backstage at the Geffen, the Geffen Playhouse’s annual fundraiser; the Academy Award-winning actor was presented with his Distinction in Theater Award from Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. 

Social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll was also honored at the sold-out fete. He received his Distinction in Service Award from Norman Lear. 

Actress Dana Delaney, a Geffen Playhouse alum, served as Master of Ceremonies for the fundraiser that gathers superstars from the worlds of stage and screen to share often irreverent, behind-the-curtain stories of the struggles and surprises that memorably shaped their lives and careers.

Bryan Cranston and Kristin Davis
Bryan Cranston and Kristin Davis

Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/Invision for Geffen Playhouse/AP Images

This year’s 14th annual fundraiser featured “backstage” memories by Rainn Wilson, Aaron Sorkin, Garry Marshall, Kristin Davis, Amy Landecker and Jaeden Lieberher with musical performances by Ellis Hall and Frenchie Davis.  

Jon Boogz, Lil’ Buck and dancers performed during a spoken word piece by Robin Sanders, while David Geffen served as Honorary Chair of the 20th Anniversary event. 

The evening was produced by Gil Cates, Jr. and Kevin S. Bright and directed by Randall Arney.  The $1.4 million raised are earmarked for a host of Geffen Playhouse endeavors including new play development, playwright commissions, second productions and artistic risks, as well as the theater’s award-winning education and community engagement programs, which help bring the excitement of live theater to more than 15,000 disadvantaged youth, seniors, veteran and community members annually.  Backstage at the Geffen title sponsor City National Bank, returning for the seventh year, was joined by presenting sponsors Audi of America, returning for the 11th year, Apollo Jets, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Participant Media, with special thanks to UCLA and CAA.